ROY HEFNER, presiding over the election of officers at the very first meeting of the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/ Playa at the Congregational Church of the Messiah in Westchester.

Astronomers to hold Star Party; Holiday Home Tour; Halloween Fair; Firehouse Chili Cook-off

Longtime Westchester resident and community activist Roy Hefner passed away October 2nd at his home, and our community lost a great gentleman and a true class act.

I will miss Roy.

He and I both served on the committee that helped organize the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa, and we had many spirited debates about how to create the fledgling organization during the many months we spent sifting through bylaws and other details of the neighborhood council system.

Sometimes, he won the argument. Sometimes, I won. In fact, we disagreed so often that we used to joke that on the rare occasions that we agreed, our position had to be right.

The memorial service for Roy will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, October 17th at the Covenant Presbyterian Church, on the northwest corner of Sepulveda Boulevard and 80th Street in Westchester.

Roy was an active member of the Westchester community from the time he moved to the area in 1954 and served as a well-respected teacher during a 33-year career at Orville Wright Middle School, Westchester High School and the Venice Adult School, where he taught history, physical education and citizenship classes.

He had active roles with a wide array of community organizations, serving as an active charter member of the LAX Advisory Committee for 32 years and as an active charter member of the LAX-Community Noise Roundtable.

Hefner also served as a Boy Scout advisor, Neighborhood Watch leader, member of the Westchester Family YMCA’s Board of Managers, past-president of Westchester American Little League Baseball and was a member of the board of directors for such local organizations as Kentwood Home Guardians, Westchester-Playa del Rey Historical Society and Flight Path Learning Center of Southern California.

Roy had been honored by many organizations throughout the years, including earning the Chamber of Commerce’s “Teacher of the Year Award” as a teacher at Orville Wright and the “Citizen of the Year Award” from the Airport Lions Club.

He is survived by his wife, Neva, and their two children, Allen and Suzanne.

At a time when e-mail discussions about community issues often turn nasty and people snipe at those with whom they disagree, I think about Roy and how his calm demeanor, ardent beliefs and respect for his fellow man made him a pleasure to disagree with.

He was a teacher and an advocate for our community, and while we joked about our disagreements, there is one thing on which we can all agree, Roy was a class act and he will be deeply missed.

STAR PARTY

Robert Eklund and his astronomer friends will take the community on an exploration of the night sky and its wonders beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, October 22nd at the Westchester-Loyola Village Library at 7114 W. Manchester Ave.

The event will begin indoors in the Mary Lou Crockett Meeting Room, where Eklund will read from his recent book of astronomical poetry, “First Star I See Tonight: an Exploration of Wonder.” The group will then move outside for telescopic views of the crescent moon, Jupiter and a variety of stars.

In addition, visitors will have the opportunity to spy a flyby of a bright satellite, called an “iridium flare,” at exactly 7:33 p.m.

The event is free and open to children, teens and adults. Please be sure to dress warmly.

This star party is one of many similar events being held between October 22nd and 24th as part of “Galilean Nights,” a worldwide celebration of the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first use of the telescope in 1609.

For more information on this United Nations-sponsored global activity, please visit www.galileannights.org/.

HOLIDAY HOME TOUR

The Westchester Mental Health Guild will hold its 27th Annual Holiday Home Tour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, November 1st.

This year’s tour features five homes in the Westchester/Playa del Rey area that will be decorated for the holidays.

Homes include: A “haunted” Spanish colonial hilltop house built in 1931; a spectacular modern castle with sparkling views and artwork galore; the area’s newest “green” house with the latest energy-saving features; and two beautiful bungalows with contrasting renovation styles, one charming and traditional, and the other sleek and ultra-modern.

Tickets for the tour are now on sale at The Guilded Cage Gift Shop, 8917-B South Sepulveda Blvd. in Westchester. Tickets are $25 in advance, and $20 for seniors 65 and over. Children under 12 years are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

On-line purchase of tickets is available at http://wmhgholidayhometour.eventbrite.com/. Day-of-event tickets are $30 and will be available at the Westchester YMCA Annex, 8020 Alverstone Ave., Westchester.

Home tour ticket holders are invited to attend a reception and enjoy holiday shopping from noon to 5 p.m., at the YMCA Annex.—For further Information, The Guilded Cage at—(310) 641-7850.

The Holiday Home Tour is the guild’s largest fundraiser.—Net proceeds from the event support Airport Marina Counseling Service, which provides 15,000 hours of child, adult and family counseling services annually to people in the community.

HALLOWEEN FAIR

Get ready to celebrate Halloween like never before. This year, in conjunction with the completion of the Westchester Town Center’s street and landscaping improvements, the Westchester Town Center Business Improvement District (BID), Ralphs Grocery Company and H.B. Drollinger Company will present Westchester’s first Halloween Town Fair.

The event will include a Los Angeles City Fire Department Battalion 4 “Firehouse Chili Cook-Off,” LAFD bandwagon rides, live music, a petting zoo, pumpkin patch, beer garden and a variety of family friendly activities and other amusements.

In conjunction with the fair, Otis College of Art and Design and the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce will hold their Second Annual Halloween Window Painting Competition, in which young artists from throughout the community will come together to decorate storefront windows along Sepulveda Boulevard with Halloween images.

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