By Mary O’KEEFE
Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce held its installation of officers and directors on Jan. 10 at the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club.
The event introduced the new set of officers for the chamber, which is celebrating its 88th year in service. It was also a time to say goodbye to vice president Neil Ryan and immediate past president Leslie Lesh. Both Ryan and Lesh thanked the audience for its support and added that although they are leaving office, they are still very much involved in the community. Lesh is co-owner of Leo’s Sports Bar and Grill and is well known for her generosity to the community. She thanked everyone for the support they had given her throughout her tenure but singled out Ken Biermann and Jean Maluccio for being her “inspiration and her role models.”
Ryan, whose roots are deep in the Crescenta Valley, also thanked those in the chamber who had supported him. Ryan is the organizer and driving, or running, force behind the organization’s Annual 5K Run, which is a fundraiser that benefits local schools.
The luncheon event also doubles as the presentation of proceeds from the Mary Pinola/Crescenta Valley Chamber Educational Endowment Fund.
“Since its inception in 1990, the fund has awarded over $118,241 in grants to educational programs and capital projects in Crescenta Valley,” said Chris Waldheim, member of the organization’s board.
This year, they were able to give about $18,000 in grant money to organizations.
One of the ways funds are raised is through the annual Smart-A-Thon. This year will be the 25th anniversary of the event that gathers teams comprised of non-profit organizations to battle in a Trivial Pursuit-type question and answer game.
This year grants were given to organizations that support kids and educate parents. The fund provides financial grants to a wide variety of organizations including Rosemont after school sports, Special Olympics and a robotics program at Lincoln Elementary, just to name a few.
Grants were submitted by organizations, and members of the fund conducted interviews. The Educational Endowment Fund allows local organizations to continue their work in supporting the community.
Below is a list of new CV Chamber of Commerce officers:
President Leonard Ghazarian
Vice President Steve Pierce
Secretary Robin Goldsworthy
Treasurer Craig Fisher
Honorary Mayor Holly Heurkins
New Directors Christopher Aristo
Grant recipients are:
College View School/La Crescenta Elementary School
Verdugo Hills Hospital Foundation
La Crescenta Elementary School
Lincoln Elementary School
Rosemont Middle School
The Fire House
Crescenta Valley Instrumental Music
CV CAN (Crescenta Valley Committed to Athletic Needs)
Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School
Crescenta Valley Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coalition
YMCA of the Foothills
For a more complete list of those organizations that were awarded and the projects the funds will help to support, visit www.cvweekly.com.
College View/La Crescenta Elementary:
Students from La Crescenta Elementary began an innovative buddy program involving special needs students from College View Elementary. The La Crescenta students will learn about he equipment their College View buddy may use for mobility, stability, communication and medical requirements.
Verdugo Hills Hospital Foundation:
The grant will be used to purchase of a patient care manikin and storage case. The manikin will be used during “Surviving Sepsis” demonstrations. Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection.
La Crescenta Elementary:
The grant will be used to support the school’s music program. It allows them to purchase one half-size student cello and one full-size student cello to be loaned out to needy students free of rental fees each year.
Lincoln Elementary School:
A robotics team will be supported by the grant for Lincoln Elementary School students. Clark Magnet High School students will act as mentors to this program. The funding will allow the elementary school to purchase two LEGO Mindstorm Base sets, one Education Resource set, two competition mats and three additional laptops for programing the robots.
Rosemont Middle School:
An after-school sports program is being supported by the grant at Rosemont Middle School. The program was started by Principal Cynthia Livingston as a way to give kids an activity after school, promote self-esteem and school pride. It has become one of the most popular programs at the school. The sports include: flag football, basketball, and girls’ lacrosse, cross country, arts and dance programs. In the future the organizers hope to expand to offering a math labs, after-school tutoring and additional sports.
The Fire House:
The Fire House is a youth center that provides a safe sanctuary for pre-teens and teens. The kids at the Fire House volunteer in the community and provide programs that they chose will benefit peers. The grant money provided will be used for a viewing of the film “Race to Nowhere.” A production that deals with the pressures kids face at school.
Crescenta Valley Instrumental Music:
The award winning music department at Crescenta Valley High School will use their grant for a Optoma Interactive Projector that will enable the music director, Mathew Schick, to display and share music, scores and music performance videos with students.
For about 20 years Prom Plus has been providing CVHS seniors and their guests a safe alternative to an after prom party. Along with community partners like the Crescenta Cañada YMCA they have been able to provide a safe and fun party that includes a full casino, rock climbing wall, zip line, opportunity drawings for students and food throughout from midnight to 5 a.m. The funds will go toward helping the organization’s 2013 Prom Plus event.
CV CAN (Crescenta Valley Committed to Athletic Needs):
CV CAN is an organization that has supported sports programs throughout the area for years. They began with a goal of funding a new and safe track and field at CVHS, which was realized and the organization has continued to support sporting programs not only for students but for seniors as well. In addition they have partnered with Special Olympics and host the Special Olympic Track and Bocce Ball meet and CVHS in April.
Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School:
The grant will be used for the school’s Second Step Anti-Bully Program for use in the middle school. This Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) program teaches sixth through eighth grade students the skills that could prevent future tragedies.
CV Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coalition:
The grant will enable the organization to continue its mission of building strong families and in particular through their weekly Parent Education Seminars that provide parents of pre-teens and teens with direct support and resources. The work is done in partnership with Glendale Unified School District and the YMCA of the Foothills.
The YMCA is providing aquatics staff with training on how to instruct children and adults with special needs to attain water safety and swimming skills. They will also train a “master” trainer to provide on-going training for existing swim instructors and new employees. Drowning is the second leading cause of injury and related death among children one to 14 years old. The grant provided will help staff training for this important program.