It is that happy time of year for all parents of school-age children — time to go back to school.

It is not that we don’t love having our children at home with us, I am sure, but the desire to see them in an environment of learning — and, okay, no more juggling with the necessary extended daycare situation.

SCHOOL EVENT — One of the first school-based events to happen this fall will be the annual September Fest 2005, planned from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, September 17th, at Venice High School, 13000 Venice Blvd.

The Service Planning Area (SPA) Council 5 of Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council and the West Side Townsmen Car Club of Southern California invite all to this fun event, which will have live entertainment, a magic show, face painting, storytelling, food booths, and, most important, community resources that can help parents during the school year.

This year, a youth talent show for those 13 to 21 years old has been added, with a first prize award of $200.

Information, (310) 391-1579.

In order to start your day off with a good breakfast before going to September Fest 2005, there will be a pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to noon at the Los Angeles City Fire Station 63, 1930 Shell Ave., Venice, Tickets are $4 for adults and $2 for children.

The Venice Marina Rotary and the Venice Chamber of Commerce are sponsoring the breakfast to raise money for the Fallen Firefighter Memorial being constructed in front of the Los Angeles Fire Department’s fire museum at the old Fire Station 27 at 1355 N. Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood.

An inscription on the monument will read “Service Above Self.”

Firefighters put their lives on the line to protect our families, businesses, and communities. This is an opportunity to recognize and support our firefighters in honoring those members of the department who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

The Venice Marina Rotary Foundation is accepting donations for the monument.

MAYOR’S PROGRAM — Another way to support our schools and community is through a program being sponsored by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called a Day of Service.

The concept is to bring the city and community members together to undertake projects designed to address local needs.

The first of several events throughout the year will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, October 8th, at Venice High School, 13000 Venice Blvd.

The mayor, Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, and school board representatives will be working with volunteers and community organizations to improve the grounds, facilities, and surrounding communities of Venice High School.

The mayor’s local field deputy, John Brady, will be working with local community organizations and interested parties to make this a very successful first attempt to clean up and beautify our community in the targeted project area, bounded by Victoria Avenue, Washington Boulevard, Penmar Avenue and Centinela Avenue.

The main focus of attention will be at Venice High School and a small satellite area around the Mar Vista Family Center, 5075 Slauson Ave. in the Del Rey area.

Those interested in participation in this Day of Service will find more information at (213) 978-0645.

BOOSTERS OPEN HOUSE —The Pacific Area Boosters Association, which supports the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), will sponsor an open house and reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, September 21st, at the Pacific Community Police Station, 12312 Culver Blvd., Del Rey.

This is an opportunity to meet Capt. Bill Williams, Capt. Bill Hayes, and other LAPD officers, explorers, and members of the DAPS (Deputy Auxiliary Police Service) who serve our community.

Outstanding citizens from our community will be honored and tours of the renovated station will be available.

Those interested in attending the open house can reserve by calling Jann Brauer, (310) 822-0074.

ANOTHER LAPD EVENT — The LAPD will also have its annual open house for the community at the Pacific Community Police Station between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, October 1st.

The LAPD canine unit and many other LAPD groups will be represented with exhibits and there will be displays by community organizations.

Refreshments and tours of the renovated police station will also be available. Information, the LAPD Community Relations office, (310) 202-4524.

L.A. CITY CONTROLLER COMING — The Venice Chamber of Commerce and the Venice Abbot Kinney Memorial Library will host Los Angeles city controller Laura Chick at a breakfast forum from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, September 27th, at the library, 501 S. Venice Blvd., Venice.

The Los Angeles Business Journal recently said, “Los Angeles City Controller Laura Chick has emerged as a central voice in the ongoing debate over how the city handles its contracts.”

In its May 2004 issue, Los Angeles Magazine wrote, “Where others couch and evade, she is Ms. Blunt.”

The Venice library event is designed to allow participants to learn how city monies are spent.

A complimentary continental breakfast will be provided. Information, the Venice Chamber, (310) 822-5425.

BENEFIT 5K, 10K — The Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center will host its Seventh Annual Alive & Running for Suicide Prevention 5k/10k at 8 a.m. Sunday, October 2nd, in Westchester.

Registration as well as the event start and finish will be at 88th Street and La Tijera Boulevard.

More than 3,000 runners, walkers, spectators, and volunteers from all over Los Angeles are expected to participate.

The event is designed to raise awareness and funding for the agency’s suicide prevention services.

Founded in 1958, the center’s Suicide Prevention Center was one of the first programs in the U.S. to establish a 24-hour Suicide Prevention Crisis Line, which now receives more than 21,000 calls each year.

In addition to the Crisis Line, the agency’s Suicide Prevention Center offers support to those who have lost a loved one to suicide, provides outreach to the community, and maintains an emergency response team that works with local police to provide immediate crisis counseling at the scene of an attempted suicide.

Every year, 30,000 people in this country commit suicide.

Information, Joanne Uy, (310) 751-5426 or

ABBOT KINNEY FESTIVAL — The 21st Annual Abbot Kinney Festival is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, September 25th.

The event can be described as the Ultimate Venice Block Party. During the event, Abbot Kinney Boulevard will be closed to traffic between Main Street and Venice Boulevard.

Scheduled are two stages of live music, dancers and performance artists, a children’s court, three food areas, a Spirit Garden, an art pavilion, and more than 300 vendors featuring original, handcrafted goods. Admission to the festival will be free.

More details are available at

JAZZ AT THE PALMS — The Venice Community Housing Corporation will host its 13th Annual Venice Music Festival and Jazz at Palms Court Champagne Brunch Sunday, September 18th, at 733-743 Palms Blvd., Venice.

The brunch is planned between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Admission will be by reservation only and there is a suggested donation of $100 per ticket.

The event will feature the Brazilian jazz band Braziliando.

The Venice Music Festival will then take place between 1 and 6 p.m. and there is a suggested donation of $200 per ticket.

The Music Festival will feature Afro-Cuban salsa band Sono-Lux, African pop band Alula, and Argentinean rockers Los Pinguos.

A silent auction is planned during the day and items can be viewed online at

Information is available from Kristen Laskaris, (310) 399-4100 ext. 106.

Mary Richert can be reached at