Just 16 months ago, the Playa Sunrise Rotary Club was formed, and this year, they showed how strong they are.

The club’s Holiday Giving Program adopted 12 needy families solicited from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Pacific Division Boosters DAPS (Deputy Auxiliary Police Services) and Explorers program, the Boys & Girls Club of Venice and local referrals.

Project chair Patricia Lyon, honorary Rotarian Wendy Donell and the 30-member Playa Sunrise Rotary Club raised funds and collected carloads of toys, clo-thes and food to make the holiday season bright for these local families.

Donell reached out to six of the office buildings her company manages in the Santa Monica and Westside areas and raised almost $10,000, and the proceeds from the club’s annual pancake breakfast and additional donations, a total of almost $12,000, went to the project.

“The undertaking was enormous, but so worth it,” said Lyon, the club’s community service director.

With the help of students from St. Bernard High School, who worked as gift wrappers, and volunteers shopping for items on the families’ wish lists, the club was successful in its mission to brighten the holidays and help 12 needy families start the new year off right.

For more information about the Playa Sunrise Rotary Club, call (310) 306-8525.

PVJOBS HIRES GAIL LEVY — Playa Vista Job Opportunities and Business Services (PVJOBS) has announced the hiring of Gail Levy in the newly created position of director of development.

A longtime Playa del Rey resident with a history of community involvement, Levy was most recently the membership salesperson for the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce, where she cultivated relationships with area businesses.

Additionally, she has spearheaded activities in local schools and for several years, chaired the annual Westchester Holiday Home Tour, which benefits the Airport Marina Counseling Service.

In her new position, Levy will be developing programs to familiarize businesses, foundations, and the public at large with the mission and the work of PVJOBS, a nonprofit organization that advocates for and secures career-track employment, primarily in construction-related trades, for those most at-risk within our area.

Of her new position, Levy said she’s “excited to join this great organization whose work benefits not only PVJOBS’ clients but, in doing so, benefits our community and our society as a whole.”

For more information on PVJOBS go to www.pvjobs.org, contact Gail Levy at (310) 448- 8047 or send e-mail to her at glevy@pvjobs.org

LIGHTEN UP AT THE Y — The Westchester Family YMCA is taking a cue from television’s “The Biggest Loser,” and has created a new program called “Lighten Up” to encourage people to lose weight and establish a healthy lifestyle.

“Lighten Up” is a 12-week program designed to improve the everyday life of its participants through implementation of healthy habits.

The program brings in a number of staff members, including a nutritionist, trainers, counselors and teachers.

YMCA staff assists each participant in creating exercise and diet plans that will help them not only reach weight loss goals but also overall health goals.

The “Lighten Up” program participants and staff meet every Monday night. During this time all participants weigh in.

The program includes a competition used to encourage participants to be dedicated to their goals.

Every Monday, the person with the highest percentage of weight lost is the weekly winner of a small prize. The person who loses the most weight in percentage at the end of the 12 weeks receives the grand prize.

The next session begins Monday, January 8th.

For more information, contact the YMCA at (310) 670-4316.