As we enter a new decade, we got to thinking about all the great things that make up the Westchester/Playa area. With so much to appreciate about our community, we started compiling a list, but since every month we share what we love about “our small town in a big city” in the pages of the HTN, we decided to reach out to longtime residents, small business owners and Westchester/Playa super fans to learn their go-to spots, favorite hidden gems, tips they share with people new to the area and events and places that can’t be missed. Below are their picks for what everyone should know about Westchester/Playa in 2020!
We hope you learn something new, revisit some old favorites and see some picks you’d put on your own list. If there’s a tip you’d like to share, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy New Year!
Reindeer In Here would not be one of the newest holiday traditions if author Adam Reed didn’t learn to trust his instincts. A television producer by trade, this Playa del Rey resident put everything on the line because he believed strongly in the message of his holiday-themed children’s book, which features a cuddly reindeer with unique antlers: being different is normal.
“Every one of us in the world is different in our own special way,” Adam said. “Different on the inside, different on the outside. Different in our hopes, dreams and desires and those differences should be celebrated.”
If you’re looking for what’s on tap this summer, we’ve got you covered! Our favorite season officially kicks off this month on June 21, and there’s no shortage of events happening in the community that the whole family can enjoy.
Mark your calendars for these fun, free (or low-cost) local events, so when someone asks you “What’s happening this weekend?” you’ll be in the know. Below are our picks for the best summer events to keep your schedule packed through September!
More than 2,000 families, students and community members came out to support local schools at the LAX Coastal Education Foundation’s (LAXCEF) 2nd Annual Rock Roll & Run in collaboration with Loyola Marymount University on Saturday, March 9.
The event raised funds for 21 participating K-12 schools and featured a 5K run around the beautiful campus of LMU, a 1K kid’s race and a lively expo. More than 40 community organizations, businesses and sponsors had booths at the event, which featured free food, a photo booth, arts & crafts, kids’ activities and giveaways, while music from classic rock tribute band Ab-soul-ute played in the background.
The Rock Roll & Run is the ed foundation’s premier fundraiser and is the only event that brings together all interested local schools for a chance to raise money for programs like P.E., art and field trips.
“We hope everyone had a great time at the event, whether they had a chance to participate in the 5K or 1K, or attended the expo,” said LAXCEF President Andrew Chereck. “We’re proud to have raised more than $80,000 that will go back to our local schools who increasingly need the support of the community and partners like our foundation to be able to fund important school programs. We look forward to continuing to raise more money in the future.”
The foundation, which launched in 2017, supports all local schools–public, private, charter and parochial–in the Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista and Marina del Rey areas. The foundation’s primary goals include aiding schools through fundraising, distributing grants and creating strategic partnerships. Since its inception, the foundation has given back more than $165,000 to local schools in direct funds and grants. Most recently, $15,000 in arts and beautification grants were awarded to nine schools. The foundation is kicking off the spring season accepting applications for STEM grants in partnership with SoCalGas and will announce literacy and teacher development grants in the coming months.
LAXCEF also supports the Teacher Eddy Awards, Teacher Mini-Grants, hosts the School Expo and is always looking for partners to collaborate with for future projects.
For more information, please visit laxcef.org or email email@example.com.
Check out page 22-23 of the April HomeTown News for more photos from the race!
A new event is coming to Westchester! This August, Westchester will help host the 5th annual international cultural exchange and dance festival, Ballet Beyond Borders. The event has become a success in Missoula, Montana where it was founded, which also happens to be the second home of Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation President Karen Dial. Always looking to bring new arts and cultural events to the area, she convinced the event’s organizers to bring Ballet Beyond Borders to her hometown of Westchester.
The event will bring together accomplished artists from more than 25 countries for an international competition, with dancers showing off their skills in a variety of genres from ballet to hip hop and everything in
between. All ages and demographics are represented in the competition and the community is encouraged to become immersed in engaging topics and performances that are open to the public.
Another important component of Ballet Beyond Borders is hosting workshops and special events on relevant global topics like human rights, justice and peace to foster understanding between cultures and helping identify shared values.
Ballet Beyond Borders will take place August 7-10. The dance portion of the event will be held at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. On Saturday, August 10, the community is invited to attend the free “Creative Crossroads: Cultural Diplomacy in a Changing World” conference taking place at Loyola Marymount University.
Stay tuned for more details!
Posted April 2019. Photo Courtesy Ballet Beyond Borders.
If you need help getting into the holiday spirit, there’s a ton of local free and festive holiday-themed events the whole family can enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a picture with Santa, to give an elf your Christmas list, to marvel at bright lights, or play in the “snow,” here’s our top picks for neighborhood holiday happenings: Continue reading →
As we get ready to celebrate Father’s Day, the Inncrowd and I were touched by a story we recently heard from our Westchester neighbor, Karen Dial. Karen shared with us, “From about the age of 4, I recall my dad, Howard Drollinger, taking me to help inspect buildings he owned. Continue reading →
The HomeTown News is proud to present its Fifth Annual Best Of Readers’ Poll! Show your support for your favorite businesses, restaurants, events and hot spots by voting today. Our Readers’ Poll is about celebrating local small businesses in Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Del Rey and Marina del Rey!
In the first round of voting, please nominate your favorites in each category. The top vote-getters will then move on to our second round of voting starting June 30.
This survey contains more than 90 categories and should take about ten minutes to complete. While you don’t have to vote for everything on this list, you must vote in at least five categories.
Feel free to encourage your fans, friends and family to vote, but you may only vote once.
New Farmers’ Market for Westchester? The Westchester Town Center Business Improvement District (BID) is considering establishing a new weekend farmers’ market in Westchester’s business district to open sometime this summer. Continue reading →
Calling all candidates! If you’ve ever considered becoming more active in the community and serving on the 31-seat Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa (NCWP), now is your chance to get involved. With the election taking place in late spring of this year, the NCWP is currently looking for candidates to run for the 16 seats that are up for grabs for four year terms. Continue reading →