79.7 F
San Fernando
Saturday, Sep 30, 2023

Third-Graders Receive Back-to-School Supplies

Nearly 220 third-grade students from Pacoima’s Vaughn Next Century Learning Center received new backpacks, basic school supplies and shoes, in addition to dental and vision screenings, as part of the 12th annual “Head to Toes” event hosted by MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity) late last month. Longtime MEND supporter The Walt Disney Co. provided the backpacks for the event, while the school supplies were donated by the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation. “Disney is a great partner of ours,” said Maria Salmeron, associate program director at MEND. “They help us out every year.” The vision and dental screenings were performed by doctors who already volunteer at MEND’s onsite facilities in Pacoima. The organization provides medical and dental services, food, clothing, and educational and training services for as many as 30,000 people each month. Salmeron said the back-to-school event is one of the volunteers’ favorites. “It’s one of the special events of the year,” Salmeron said. “We really look forward to it because we can focus on the next generation.” She noted that the building is set up differently the day of the event and that even if they have served the children’s families before, making it about the kids alone is important. “There’s a lot of energy running through the building when they come in,” she said. “They get so excited. Golf Tournament Helps Boys & Girls Proceeds from the Ninth Annual Club Classic golf tournament at Valencia Country Club Aug. 27 benefitted the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita. Sponsored by Keyes Lexus of Valencia, the event raised approximately $40,000 for the organization, according to Ronda Chobanian, development director for the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Foundation. “The foundation exists exclusively for raising funds for the club,” Chobanian said. She noted that the club charges each participant $36 a year to join, but it costs the organization roughly $500 a year per youth to finance its programs. The foundation coordinates fundraisers, including the golf tournament, to make up the difference. Lexus of Valencia General Manager Robert Rizzo said the store has been sponsoring the event for a number of years. “It’s the Boys & Girls Club. It’s a great organization.” Chobanian said the Keyes dealership donated $10,000 in addition to donating the auction prize of a trip to the Lexus Championship for Charity National Championship at Pebble Beach. “Fundraisers like this benefit our club by helping us fund our core programs,” she said. OPI Funds Breast Cancer Research North Hollywood-based nail care company OPI will donate $25,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure and $5,000 to Rethink Breast Cancer in Canada next month as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. OPI also launched its Sixth Annual Pink of Hearts Promotion this month, featuring two pink shades, “I Think Pink” and “You Glitter Be Good to Me,” which the company hopes will raise awareness and funds for researching a cure for the disease. “Organizations like Susan G. Komen and Rethink Breast Cancer offer hope to everyone whose lives have been touched by breast cancer, and OPI is proud to aid these organizations’ global effort in eliminating this disease,” said Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI executive vice president and artistic director, in a statement. The duo pack of polish will be available for the rest of September and through October. “Breast cancer afflicts millions of women worldwide, and Pink of Hearts is OPI’s way of creating new visibility to honor those who have valiantly battled breast cancer, and support those who continue to fight,” Weiss-Fischmann said. The Komen foundation supports research, community health outreach, advocacy and programs involving breast cancer awareness in more than 50 countries. Rethink was launched in 2001 and aims its outreach efforts at women under 40. Valley Businessmen Give to Area Bloodmobiles Peter Heumann of Calabasas and Howie Neftin of Thousand Oaks donated $45,000 to the UCLA Blood and Platelet Center earlier this month. Neftin, owner of Neftin Volkswagen in Thousand Oaks, and Heumann have previously donated to the center. Last year, they donated a combined $30,000, and much of their fundraising efforts have been a result of Heumann’s City of Angeles Fun Ride. The money will be used to fund a new truck for the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center’s mobile blood donation program, which transports equipment to donation sites across the greater Los Angeles area. Staff Reporter Kelly Goff can be reached at (818) 316-3135 or by e-mail at kgoff@sfvbj.com.

Featured Articles

Related Articles