VIP program volunteers sought at LAX; LMU Wine Classic

BY GEOFF MALEMAN

Behind every home there is a story, and the story of Gloria Dresser is both uplifting and heart-breaking.

Dresser is a lifelong resident of Westchester, raised by her mother after her father died when she was 6. Despite having cerebral palsy and always being “different,” she was an honor student and graduated from Westchester High School. She majored in psychology and childhood development in college and used this knowledge in her work life, including special education of autistic children.

Unfortunately, her working career ended when she was diagnosed with advanced cancer and the radiation treatments rendered her unable to work. Once vibrant and active, she now has difficulty getting around and caring for her animals. Dresser’s daughter, Ariel, is planning on returning to Westchester from Hawaii to help care for her mother.

Although their bond as a family has not wavered during this time of uncertainty, their home on Dunfield Avenue has suffered. Most critically, there is a gaping hole in the roof that Dresser has been unable to get fixed for nearly 10 years. While there’s a tarp on it now, the home has extensive water damage that needs to be repaired. With the Dressers unable to do the work required to keep up the house and unable to find the funds to pay for home improvements after paying for Gloria’s medical bills, the Dressers’ home is in need of some real tender loving care.

From Jan. 22-30, the Dressers will be treated to a Hawaiian vacation, while volunteers from the Rotary Club of Westchester and throughout the community roll up their sleeves to paint and landscape their home. Thanks to major contributions from the Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation, the Westchester Woman’s Club, the Westchester Rotary Foundation and many others, Gloria will return to new windows, a new roof and other surprises.

Work on the home at 7607 Dunfield Ave. in Westchester (just west of Sepulveda) will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 22. Work will continue during daylight hours each day until the afternoon of Sunday, Jan. 30, when the Dressers will return to their “new” home.

“We are hopeful this project will inspire others like it in our community,” said Rotary Club President Ted Grose. “In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we often fail to realize how fortunate we all are, so it will be a privilege to help them make their home warm, comfortable and livable again.”

Those interested in making a tax-deductible contribution to the project can make checks payable to Westchester Rotary Foundation, P.O. Box 91543, Los Angeles, CA 90009.

Those interested in working on the project can email warren@allaboutperformance.biz for more information.

VOLUNTEERS SOUGHT FOR VIP PROGRAM

To enhance customer service, Los Angeles International Airport is recruiting volunteers for its Volunteer Information Professionals (VIP) program to create a friendly, positive experience for travelers from around the world. VIP volunteers are stationed at information booths in LAX terminals and will assist passengers with their travel needs during one four-hour shift per week. The VIP information booths will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends.

Volunteers will assist passengers by providing directions to various airport and community facilities, helping to find appropriate transportation and accommodations, meeting and greeting passengers, and providing sightseeing and hospitality resources in the Los Angeles area.

VIP program volunteers are provided the opportunity to help people, free parking during the volunteer’s shift, free uniforms, an annual recognition event, and invitations to attend Los Angeles World Airports events, trainings, and workshops.

Applications are available on-line at www.lawa.org and can be submitted to: VIP Program, 1 World Way, Room 204, Los Angeles, CA 90045. Training is anticipated to take place early spring.

For more information about the VIP Program, Heidi Huebner, volunteer director, at (424) 646-8471.

LMU WINE CLASSIC

Loyola Marymount University will hold it 30th Annual Wine Classic from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 30 at Albert Gersten Pavilion on the Westchester campus.

The Wine Classic is an opportunity to meet owners and vintners from 46 prestigious boutique California wineries, sample from among 150 wines and enter a silent auction of specialty wines, wine country packages and products.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Alfred J. Kilp, S.J. ’30 and the Raymunde McKay, R.S.H.M., student scholarships, which are awarded to children and grandchildren of LMU alumni.

Wine Classic tickets are $90 per person and $75 per person if purchased by Jan. 21.

For more information, events@lmu.edu, or (310) 338-5278.

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