ARSAC fundraiser ‘Roy’s Fiesta’ will honor longtime Westchester teacher Roy Hefner
BY GEOFF MALEMAN
The H.B. Drollinger Co. has announced that it has established a fund and will match community contributions up to $25,000 to help the family whose five-year-old son was killed in a street racing incident last month in Reseda. The boy’s mother lost her leg and his infant sister was in critical condition as a result of the incident.
The family’s father, Amir Arif and his brother Hasan Abid, own and operate a Quizno’s sandwich franchise in Westchester near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), where they are tenants of the H.B. Drollinger Co.
“This is a horrible tragedy, and we want to do all we can to help the family, which is not only struggling with the loss of five-year-old Ayman and the injuries to Amir’s wife Syeda and their daughter but is also dealing with extraordinary medical bills and other expenses,” said Drollinger president Karen Dial. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Arif family, and we want to do all we can to help.”
On October 9th, Syeda Arif, 31, and her two children, Ayman and two-month-old daughter Ikra, had just stopped by a friend’s house in Reseda to visit. While Syeda was holding her daughter and retrieving a package from the trunk of their car, the driver of a Chevrolet Camaro allegedly traveling at more than 90 miles per hour lost control and plowed into a parked car, which then struck Arif and her son.
Her daughter flew out of her arms. The Arifs’ son died and Syeda lost part of her leg. At last report, her daughter was in critical condition, but is improving.
Brian Barnes, 44, and Armando Ayon, 19, are each charged with one count of murder and vehicular manslaughter and three counts of reckless driving causing specified injury. Barnes also is charged with three counts of leaving the scene of an accident. Both men have entered not-guilty pleas in Superior Court in Van Nuys.
Police say the two men were driving when they got into a dispute. Their cars allegedly weaved along city streets of speeds between 50 and 90 miles per hour, and they tried cutting each other off.
After Barnes slammed on his brakes, Ayon tried to avoid the vehicle and plowed into the back of a parked car, according to police. The parked car slammed into another vehicle, crushing the boy and his mother and launching the infant into the air, police allege.
All three were taken to a hospital, where Ayman was taken off life support and died. His mother and sister suffered critical injuries.
Barnes and Ayon were jailed on $1 million bail each.
Those interested in contributing to the Arif Family Fund to assist the family may send checks payable to the H.B. Drollinger Co. Arif Family Fund, 8929 S. Sepulveda Blvd. #130, Westchester 90045.
ROY’S FIESTA — The community will honor longtime Westchester resident Roy Hefner at an ARSAC (Alliance for A Regional Solution to Airport Congestion) fundraiser themed “Roy’s Fiesta” Sunday, November 18th, at the home of Denny and Nan Schneider in Westchester.
The event will be held from 2 to 5 p.m., and a minimum $35 donation per person is requested to help support the efforts of ARSAC.
A variety of food and refreshments will be served, and reservations are strongly encouraged by Wednesday, November 14th. Checks can be made payable and sent to ARSAC, 322 Culver Blvd. #231, Playa del Rey 90293. Reservations can also be made via email at RoysFiesta@ toadaway.com or online at www .RegionalSolution.org.
The event will honor Hefner, who has been a teacher and active member of the Westchester community since he moved to the area in 1954. Hefner served as a well-respected teacher during a 33-year teaching career at Orville Wright Middle School, Westchester High School and the Venice Adult School, where he taught history, physical education and citizenship classes.
In addition, Hefner has taken an active role in a wide array of community organizations, as a charter member of the LAX Advisory Committee, where he has served for 32 years, and as a charter member of the LAX-Community Noise Roundtable.
For 23 years, Hefner has also been the announcer for the annual Jet to Jetty 5k/10k Run/Walk, which raises funds for Airport Marina Counseling Service, a private nonprofit outpatient mental health clinic serving the LAX area.
In addition, he has served as a Boy Scout advisor, Neighborhood Watch leader, member of the Westchester Family YMCA Board of Managers, past president of Westchester American Little League Baseball and 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.
Hefner was also one of the original crafters of the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/ Playa del Rey, spending many months crafting the bylaws and details necessary to bring our community into the fledgling citywide Neighborhood Council system.
In addition, he has been honored by many organizations throughout the years, including earning a chamber of commerce Teacher of the Year Award while a teacher at Orville Wright and the Citizen of the Year Award from the Airport Lions Club.