Gateway to L.A. begins advertising program for airport commercial vehicles

By Geoff Maleman

For the 76th consecutive year, Lions Clubs throughout California are holding speech contests for high school students.
This year’s topic was “How Do We Create and Keep Jobs in America?” David Citrin, a junior at Hamilton High School; Roxanne Echavarria, a senior at Venice High School; and Amber Brown, a senior at St. Bernard High School in Playa del Rey competed at the Venice-Marina-LAX Lions Club contest on Feb. 20. A panel of judges selected Citrin, a Westchester resident, to advance and compete at the Zone D Contest on March 2 in Lomita.
Citrin’s speech was selected by judges in that competition as well, and he will advance to the Southern Regionals competition, which will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 24 at the Wilmington Senior Center.
The public is invited to attend.

THE VENICE-MARINA-LAX Lions Club held a speech contest for local students on Feb. 20. Pictured (back row from left) are Marc Costello, judge; Ken Blackman, Zone D chairman; Christina Davis, judge; Angie Mahboob, Lions Club president; Sibyl Buchanan, Student Speakers Contest chairperson; John Musella, judge; Terry O’Connor, judge; and Don Chinery, past district governor. (Front row from left) are David Citrin, junior at Hamilton High School; Roxanne Echavarria, senior at Venice High School; and Amber Brown, senior at St. Bernard High School.

THE VENICE-MARINA-LAX Lions Club held a speech contest for local students on Feb. 20. Pictured (back row from left) are Marc Costello, judge; Ken Blackman, Zone D chairman; Christina Davis, judge; Angie Mahboob, Lions Club president; Sibyl Buchanan, Student Speakers Contest chairperson; John Musella, judge; Terry O’Connor, judge; and Don Chinery, past district governor. (Front row from left) are David Citrin, junior at Hamilton High School; Roxanne Echavarria, senior at Venice High School; and Amber Brown, senior at St. Bernard High School.

The purpose of the contest is to provide an opportunity for competitive public speaking among students on a subject of vital interest to the contestants and to the American people as a whole, to stimulate self-expression and independent thinking, to present to the public the problems surrounding the maintenance of this country as a free nation and to consider the means at the public’s disposal of meeting the present and future world problems.
In 1937, the then-district governor of Lions was looking for a project that would give all the clubs in the district something they would have in common, bringing them closer together.
A Lion member, who was also the superintendent of schools in Oxnard, suggested a student speaker contest for high school students in the district. It was a great success, and the competition quickly spread statewide.
The Student Speakers Foundation was organized in 1960 and provides scholarships for the winning speakers. Foundation funds come entirely from voluntary donations and income from the accumulated assets. In 2012-13 alone, more than $103,500 will be paid out in scholarships to winning students.

GATEWAY CHAMPIONS PILOT AD PROGRAM
Thanks to the efforts of Gateway to L.A. and City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, Los Angeles International Airport has begun a new pilot program that allows advertising on ground transportation commercial vehicles. Current rules, agreements and contracts describe policies for advertising, marking and colors on commercial vehicles operating at the airport.
Gateway’s intent was to create this program so that the airport could review the impacts of advertising and markings on customer service and airport operations. And while the key priorities for the airport’s commercial vehicle program remain ease of identification, customer convenience and customer service, Gateway officials say they are hopeful advertising on commercial vehicles will become part of the equation.
“We believe shuttle operators and others who operate at the airport should not be prohibited from including advertising on their vehicles because those ads provide a significant source of potential income,” said Laurie Hughes, executive director of Gateway to L.A. “We are confident that this pilot program will help establish what we already know – advertising on commercial vehicles does not impact the ease of identification for customers or negatively affect airport operations.”
The pilot project will continue through Aug. 15.

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