ER’s Noah Wyle, a.k.a. Dr. John Carter, visited the Venice Family Clinic Tuesday, May 3rd, in his role as the national spokesperson for “Cover the Uninsured Week.”

The goal is to bring awareness to the public of the 45 million Americans without health insurance.

“We all have a choice,” Wyle said. “We can let millions of Americans live without health insurance or we can try to do something about it.”

He toured the clinic — the largest free clinic in the nation — with Venice Family Clinic chief executive officer Liz Forer and medical director Karen Lamp.

A film crew was in town for a segment to be aired on NBC news affiliates.

“Cover the Uninsured Week” is a nonpartisan campaign created to focus attention on the need to secure reliable, affordable health coverage chaired by Presidents Ford and Carter and supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, among others.

In order to provide free health care for some of the many uninsured Americans, the Venice Family Clinic is sponsoring its 26th Annual Venice Art Walk and Auction from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, May 22nd.

This year, one of the special exhibits will be “Bridges and Beyond at the Canals.”

Eight Los Angeles artists will be creating site-specific works along the walkways and bridges for the Venice Art Walk, curated by LeRad Nilles.

On Thursday, May 12th, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served at the studio of Laddie John Dill in Venice.

A live auction will feature Cheech Marin, honorary chair, and Robert Berman, auctioneer.

For tickets to this event or any of the other Venice Art Walk events, (310) 392-9255 or

CITY FIRE SERVICE — Saturday, May 14th, is Fire Service Recognition Day for City of Los Angeles fire stations.

Members of local Los Angeles Fire Department stations will host an open house at each neighborhood city fire stations to welcome visitors of all ages.

There will also be guided tours at each neighborhood city fire station and special displays of Los Angeles Fire Department equipment, apparatus, and procedures at various locations.

The local Venice Fire Station 63, at 1930 Shell Ave., will hold open house between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

I am quite proud to say that I was chosen to be this year’s honorary fire chief after being nominated by Fire Captain II Jeremiah C. Johnson and Fire Captain I Ernest D. Bobadilla of “C” Platoon of the Venice Fire Station.

I hope that everyone will join us in celebrating the good work of our heroes who are there to help us every day.

For more details, check the Web site.

CITY L.A. POLICE EVENT —The City of Los Angeles Police Department will commemorate National Police Week with a Candlelight Vigil at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 18th, at the Ahmanson Recruit Training Center, 5651 Manchester Ave., Westchester.

There will be a brief service in front of the facility and the names of police officers killed in the line of duty will be displayed during an event starting at 4:30 p.m.

POLICE AWARDS — The Pacific Area Boosters Association held its 18th Annual Police Community Awards Luncheon, “Take a Bite out of Crime,” Tuesday, April 19th.

Awards were given to the following officers and community members for their outstanding service:

Explorer of the Year, Shanil Singh;

DAPS (Deputy Auxiliary Police Service) of the Year, Ana Martinez;

Officer of the Year, Mary Becerra;

Reserve Officer of the Year, David Gelbmann;

Detectives of the Year, Timothy Jones and John Hong;

Supervisor of the Year, Michael Carodine;

Civilian of the Year, Laura Palka;

Volunteer of the Year, Doug Ehlers;

Booster of the Year, Judith Ciancimino;

Citizen of the Year, Sibyl Buchanan; and

Booster Board Recognition, Gwen Vuchsas.

Booster board secretary, Judith Ciancimino, was also honored the prior night by the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors as the department’s Volunteer of the Year.

Every year, so many wonderful members of our community voluntarily work many hours to provide assistance to various organizations — and so much of that work seems to go unnoticed or is taken for granted.

It is very satisfying to see those who work the hardest being recognized.

BOOSTERS GOLF EVENT —The Pacific Area Boosters Association is sponsoring its 28th Annual Charity Golf Classic Mon- day, June 13th, at the MountainGate Country Club, 12445 MountainGate Drive, in the Sepulveda Pass.

The Pacific Area Boosters Association raises money to support the community, the police, and youths.

The DAPS program was created to help boys and girls nine to 13 years old develop a positive relationship with the Los Angeles Police Department.

The Law Enforcement Explorers program develops leadership and discipline in young people between the ages of 14 and 21.

Donations are also used to provide the police department with additional equipment and to provide scholarships to young men and women from local high schools.

Information, LAPD Pacific Community Relations Office, (310) 202-4524.

CHAMBERS MIXER — The Venice Chamber of Commerce and the Westchester/LAX-Marina del Rey Chamber of Commerce will have a joint mixer between 6 and 8 p.m. Thursday, May 26th, at the Playa Vista CenterPointe Club, 6200 Playa Vista Drive, Playa Vista.

This annual event gives our business leaders the opportunity to interact with their counterparts throughout the Venice and Westchester communities.

Information, Venice Chamber, (310) 822-5425 or the Westchester/LAX-Marina del Rey Chamber, (310) 645-5151.

WANTED: AUTHORS — As part of the Venice Centennial and the Venice Abbot Kinney Memorial Library’s tenth anniversary celebrations, the Friends of the Venice Library are looking for local area published authors — authors of fiction, nonfiction, children’s poetry, science-fiction, mystery, historical, and picture books — for a book signing from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 28th, at the library, 501 N. Venice Blvd., Venice.

Authors who wish to participate are asked to contact or call Kathy Owens at (310) 398-9191.

BENEFIT DRAWING — Inside Out Community Arts was founded in 1996 by Camille Ameen and Jonathan Zeichner to bring much-needed after-school programs to at-risk and underserved middle-school youths throughout greater Los Angeles.

The goal of the organization is to give at-risk kids a source of personal power that does not rely on violence or money.

Through visual and performing arts workshops, performances, and festivals, the organization’s mission is to give youths from all backgrounds the tools, confidence, and inspiration to make a positive difference in their communities and the world — from the inside out.

Inside Out Community Arts is holding a $10,000 benefit drawing at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 28th, at 2210 Lincoln Blvd. Only 250 tickets at $100 each will be sold.

This fundraiser will support free programming for at-risk youths and families at their Venice Center and other sites throughout Los Angeles.

One of their programs is the Neighborhood Arts Project (NAP), which serves middle-school youths from rival gang areas. Operating year-round, the program includes arts workshops, parent/child workshops, and theater and nature field trips.

Information, (310) 397-8820 or

Mary Richert can be reached at