Local residents plan to run, walk and ride to raise money for mental health services in Westchester at the 23rd annual Jet to Jetty fundraiser.

The event, which benefits the Airport Marina Counseling Service, will feature a 10K run, 5K walk/run, a team competition, a 10- and 20-mile bike ride, and a 1K fun run for kids under age ten.

Gates open at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, August 25th, for registration and packet pickup. The “Family Fun Bike Ride” begins at 7:30 a.m.; followed by the 5K run/ walk at 8 a.m.; the 10K run at 8:30 a.m.; and finally the 1K “Kids Fun Run” at 9:30 a.m.

The races are at their traditional starting point on Vista del Mar near Imperial Highway in Playa del Rey, with the finish line at a Dockweiler Beach parking lot. Two years ago, the race took a brief detour and was held on Westchester Parkway due to construction.

Serving as grand marshal of the event is Steve Napolitano, deputy to Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe.

This year’s Jet to Jetty event will feature a pancake breakfast along with prizes and exhibitors.

A drawing will be held for a Hawaiian vacation trip to Maui, with an eight-day/seven-night stay at Maui’s Lahaina Resort, $500 hotel restaurant credit and round-trip airfare, courtesy of a gift from the William H. Hannon Foundation. Tickets are $5 for the raffle and contestants need not be present at Jet to Jetty in order to win, organizers say.

Early registration for Jet to Jetty will be available between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, August 18th, and noon and 7 p.m. Friday, August 24th, at the Top to Top Athletic Footwear & Apparel Store, 4224 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey. Information, (310) 821-6111.

Registration is $25 to $30 for the 5K walk/run and 10K run; $15 per bike for the family fun bike ride; and $10 for the 1K kids fun run.

Awards are presented to the overall 5K and 10K race winners; the top three male and female finishers in each age bracket for the 5K and 10K races; the fastest team in the 5K run; the team with the most participants; and the fastest team.

The Airport Marina Counseling Service is a private nonprofit outpatient clinic that has offered mental health services to the community since 1961.

The service was founded after a realization by community leaders and residents that there were no mental health services available in the Westchester area at that time.

Today the clinic is a major provider of mental health services to adults, children and families living and working in Marina del Rey, Playa del Rey, Culver City, Venice, Westchester, Inglewood, El Segundo and other nearby communities.

The nonprofit clinic also trains mental health professionals.

It’s main services are individual and group counseling, family and couples therapy, child and adolescent counseling, psychological testing, psychiatric care, consultation and referrals.

Airport Marina Counseling Service provides 18,000 hours of child, adult and family counseling sessions annually, with a paid staff of only six and the help of roughly 60 interns from nearby graduate schools. About 400 children, adults and families are treated weekly.

The clinic has established outreach programs to local elementary and high schools, providing child therapy and preventative intervention.

“It’s been a mainstay,” says Polly Garstka about Airport Marina Counseling Service (Garstka is on the Board of Directors). “It adds to the quality of life. If not for the clinic, there wouldn’t be a place in the community for people with mental health needs to go to.”

The money gained from Jet to Jetty is essential to the daily operations of the clinic as client fees account for only about 40 percent of the funds necessary to keep the clinic operational, according to Airport Marina Counseling Service.

Airport Marina Counseling Service is located at 7891 La Tijera Blvd., Westchester.

Registration, www.w2pro mo.com/ or (310) 670-1410. Information, (310) 670-1410.

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