Category Archives: Uncategorized

Playa del Rey family starts new holiday tradition with Reindeer In Here

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.”

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Your summer can’t-miss event guide!

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! 

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Second annual Rock Roll & Run raises money for education

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.

1K runners start the race.

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.” 

Runners warm up before the 5K at LMU.

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 or email

Check out page 22-23 of the April HomeTown News for more photos from the race!

Posted April 2019. Photos by Zsuzsi Steiner.

Save the date: Ballet Beyond Borders!

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.

Vote now in our 2016 Best Of Readers’ Poll!


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.

Please click HERE to vote or visit

The results will be published in our Thursday, August 4 edition!

Want to run for Neighborhood Council? Candidate registration opens February 21


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

Marina del Rey restaurateur to receive Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club’s highest honor


In the 18 years since Tony Palermo, or Tony P as he known by his friends and family, has owned his namesake restaurant with business partner Dan Ringwood, he’s managed to donate more than $380,000 to the community and operate arguably the Marina’s most popular restaurant. For his philanthropic efforts, the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club is bestowing their highest honor on Palermo at their annual Cultural Dinner. At the Thursday, October 15 event at Playa Vista’s CenterPointe Club, Rotarians will present Palermo with the 2015 Sunrise Community Service Award, an accolade they present once a year to a deserving community member who has made a difference in the lives of others, gives back to the community and lives their life by the Rotary 4-Way test. This year’s theme is “Return to Italy,” an ode to Palermo’s and club president Tony Ciancimino’s Italian heritage.

“We couldn’t think of a more deserving honoree for this year’s service award,” said Cultural Dinner chair Gwen Vuchsas. “Tony has donated to practically every group in this community and he is especially generous with the local schools, from donating money and gift cards for raffles to inviting schools down to his restaurant to learn how to make pizza. He is a great example of someone who is dedicated to community service, both personally and professionally.”

Palermo, who lives in Westchester with his wife, Lauren, and two daughters, is also known around the community for playing Santa Claus for the Rotary-sponsored Santa Tour and for having one of the major float entries in the Fourth of July Parade. He is active in a variety of community organizations and currently serves on the Executive Board of the LAX Coastal Chamber and as the Board Treasurer for the Marina del Rey Convention and Visitors Bureau. No stranger to being honored, in the past Palermo has been awarded the Business of the Year award from Senator Ted Lieu, Restaurateur of the Year from the Southern California Restaurant Writers Association and last year, he received the Kid’s Need Heroes Community Pillar Award from the Westchester Family YMCA.

At the dinner, the club will also recognize longtime Venice resident Ty Pennington, who transformed the lives of hundreds of deserving families on the hit ABC show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Pennington inspired tens of thousands of volunteers across the country, as well as millions of television viewers worldwide, to give back to their communities, which is a cornerstone of the Rotary mission. Locally, the show helped inspire the Westchester Rotary’s Home Makeover Project, which has helped transform the homes of four local families and earlier this year, the Westchester Senior Center.

The Cultural Dinner is the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary’s largest fundraiser of the year and helps the 60-member club, which meets every Wednesday morning at Whiskey Red’s, the ability to fund projects like the Teacher Mini-Grants, the Holiday Adopt-A-Family program, feeding the homeless, scholarships and supporting local fire fighters. The club also holds a variety of community events throughout the year including pancake breakfasts in Westchester and Venice and a St. Patrick’s Day BingoFest.

“It is truly an honor to be chosen to lead Playa Venice this year,” said Ciancimino. “Our members represent the best in our community and our  events like Adopt a Family where we  provide a joyful holiday where there wouldn’t have been one, Teacher Mini Grants and youth scholarships, which enhance educational opportunities, all offer a hand up to those in need. We proudly live the Rotary motto, ‘Service Above Self.’”

Tickets to the event are $85 and include appetizers, dinner, a hosted bar and entertainment. 

For information, please call (310) 306-8525.