During closing ceremonies of the Abbot Kinney Street Festival Sunday, September 25th, the Venice of America Foundation honored three Venice community supporters with its annual Spirit of Venice award — Mike Bonin, J. Kevin Brunk, and Fred Dewey.
The awards are given to long-time Venice supporters who embody the spirit of Venice and its founder Abbot Kinney.
With Venice celebrating its 100th birthday this year, the Spirit of Venice award was redesigned by John Kertisz to reflect the Centennial.
Kertisz is the president and co-founder of the Venice of America Foundation.
Los Angeles Councilman Bill Rosendahl presented this year’s awards.
Bonin, Rosendahl chief of staff, has lived in Venice for several years.
While serving as district director for former Los Angeles City Councilwoman Ruth Galanter, Bonin was involved in the creation of Venice’s Windward Plaza and revamping the Venice Boardwalk.
He was also deputy chief of staff for Congresswoman Jane Harman.
Brunk is the former head of the Abbot Kinney District Association and the Abbot Kinney Festival.
He is the current chairman of the Venice of America Foundation and a local developer.
Brunk was involved with establishing the Taste of Venice and the Classic Car Show.
During his tenure with the District Association, Brunk was involved with the effort to rename West Washington Boulevard as Abbot Kinney Boulevard and line the street with palm trees.
Recently, he was involved with the beautification project on the Gateway to Venice, located at the intersection of Abbot Kinney Boulevard and Venice Boulevard.
Dewey is the artistic director and executive director of Beyond Baroque Foundation, a center for Southern California poetry and poetry archives.
Beyond Baroque is housed in the former Venice City Hall building on Venice Boulevard.
Dewey, in 1992, was involved with the Neighborhood Council movement and getting Neghborhood Councils included in the City of Los Angeles charter.
He is a Santa Monica resident and a member of the City of Santa Monica Arts Commission.