Several hundred people joined Airport Marina Counseling Service on Sunday, March 19th, as it honored two influential people in the Westside community with lifetime achievement awards.

This year’s Tribute to Our Friends event acknowledged the work and contributions of Toni Jordan, former Airport Marina Counseling Service clinical director, and philanthropist Howard Drollinger.

Each received an award recognizing their contributions to Airport Marina Counseling Service, which provides free and low-cost mental health services to the community.

Airport Marina Counseling Service executive director Patsy Goldsmith told the crowd that the service provided counseling for hundreds of Westchester High School students last year alone.

Drollinger, whose mother Ella developed the first commercial building in the Westchester Business District, said his mother instilled in him a sense of community building.

“Ella Drollinger had a vision for Westchester,” he said. “Today, it’s clear that her vision has become a reality. I am very honored to receive this award tonight because it represents the fruition of my mother’s dream.”

In addition to the honors doled out by Airport Marina Counseling Service, Loyola Marymount professor Fred Kiesner presented Drollinger with the 2006 Entrepreneur of the Year Award, honoring a community entrepreneur who has not only achieved financial success but has also given back to the community through philanthropic donations.

HEALTHY KIDS DAY — On Saturday, April 8th, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Westchester Family YMCA will hold its annual Healthy Kids Day event to educate the public about children’s health and safety.

The event is free and open to the public and will be held at the YMCA, at the corner of 80th Street and Sepulveda Boulevard.

Local healthcare professionals will be on-site to answer questions and hand out materials about pediatric services.

There will also be appearances by the Los Angeles Police Department LAX K-9 Unit and the L.A. County Fire Department, as well as Los Angeles World Airports (the city entity that owns and operates the city’s four airports); Chivas USA; Dr. Jeffrey Marshak, with free vision testing for youths; and Dr. Shirley Elizinga, a chiropractor.

Also appearing will be Lisa Potruch, a speech and language pathologist; first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification specialists; AmbuServe; Abrakadoodle (art classes); and WSS Warehouse Shoe Sale.

The YMCA will provide games, prizes, drawings, hair painting, and a gigantic Bounce House.

Hot dogs and beverages will be available at a nominal price. It will be a fun event for the entire family.

YMCA SUMMER CAMPS — In addition, Saturday, April 8th, marks the first day of sign-ups for the YMCA’s very popular summer camp program, designed for children four and a half to 18 years old.

Ten weeks of summer day camp are offered, including four specialty camps, giving youths the opportunity to swim, go on field trips, do arts and craft projects, and much more.

Resident camps consist of adventures at Big Bear, Mammoth Mountain, and on the California Delta, and include rock climbing, canoeing, horseback riding, fishing, hiking, and archery, just to name a few.

The $25 camp registration fee will be waived for anyone who signs up for summer camp during Healthy Kids Day event hours.

Information, (310) 670-4316.

YMCA YARD SALE — Looking for bargains? Looking for good, usable items?

You’ll find them on the YMCA Annex Parking Lot, located at 8020 Alverstone Ave., Westchester, Saturday, April 8th.

From 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Westchester Y’s Men’s Club will hold a yard sale to benefit the Westchester Family YMCA and International YMCA projects.

The group is currently seeking items for the yard sale.

To donate your items, drop them off at the Annex from 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 5th; or from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, April 6th and April 7th.

All usable items, except for large pieces of furniture and large appliances, will be accepted.

On the day of the sale, a variety of goodies and coffee will be offered at a nominal cost.

Information, Marty Francis at (310) 670-4796.


SOCIETY HONORS — Fourteen outstanding professionals from across the United States, including Playa del Rey’s Monica Kahn, will receive the American Cancer Society Lane Adams Quality of Life Award, a prestigious national prize for cancer caring, at a ceremony in Atlanta Thursday, June 9th.

The Lane Adams Quality of Life Award recognizes individuals who have made a difference through innovation, leadership, and consistent excellence in providing compassionate, skilled care and counsel to persons living with cancer and their families.

These extraordinary individuals come from many disciplines and backgrounds, and their daily work is committed to extending “the warm hand of service,” a phrase coined by the late Lane W. Adams, a former executive vice president of the society.

The award recognizes the unsung heroes of cancer care who give hope, comfort and the very best care to cancer patients and their families.

This year, the society will honor Kahn, who founded, Helen’s Room, a group that provides free wigs, makeup, clothing and more to women battling cancer.

“The concept of the ‘warm hand of service’ is a critical one,” said Stephen F. Sener, M.D., volunteer president of the society.