June 2024 LCN!

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Fun Fridays kick off Summer

The Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Lakewood Center, has partnered with Angel City Markets to host Fun Fridays at the Lakewood Center to kick off the summer months.

Themed toward family entertainment, Fun Fridays will take place every other

Friday on the northwest parking lot of the Lakewood Center June 7, June 21 and July 19 from 5 to 9 p.m.

The night pop-up markets will feature an array of food vendors, arts & crafts, character meet & greets, raffles, a mini petting zoo, and so much more.

See you all at Fun Fridays!

Chamber of CommerCe welComes new member to board of direCtors

Over the last year, Brian Rodriguez, who owns Big Brian's Meats Catering with his wife Elena, has made a name for himself in the City of Lakewood after serving as the Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce's 2023 Summer Stampede's premiere food vendor.

Soon after Big Brian's Meats joined the Chamber of Commerce. He was then hired to cater the GLCC's annual 63rd Assembly District's State of the State luncheon - and the rest has been history.

After careful consideration of his time, work and family, Brian, late last month applied to be a member of the GLCC's Board of Directors.

By a unanimous vote at its last board of directors meeting, the 10-member board officially welcomed Brian to Chamber

"I am extremely excited to work with the board and chamber as a whole, to help bring more visibility to the Chamber within the community," said Brian, adding that joining the Chamber last year has helped his business grow exponentially. "Joining the Chamber was one of the best decisions I've ever made for my business and my family."

Brian and Elena, along with their kids Cora and Emiliano have lived in Lakewood for 11 years. "Lakewood is a fantastic city to conduct

business with plenty of opportunities for success; the Chamber of Commerce can play an integral role in that."

"Brian is a great example of a new business owner, feeling empowered and connected, that's what a chamber of commerce does for its members," said GLCC Director of Business Development Marisela Santana. "A Chamber of Commerce is supposed to work towards empowering its members and helping them grow, but at the same time, a business needs to also be present, for himself or herself, and for the community by getting involved, giving back and showing up for other fellow business owners. Brian is going to make a great Board Member. The community doesn't just love his food, but they appreciate his character, too."

Simultaneously, leaving the GLCC's Board of Directors, is Mike Hedges, who has served on the Board for 18 years. A longtime resident of Long Beach, and owner of Pacific Trux, Mike said he's loved serving on the GLCC's Board of Directors over the years. "Working with small businesses, a diverse and knowl-

edgeable chamber board and the access to elected officials that are proactive and understanding to the needs of the business [community] has always been motivating and rewarding," said Mike. "It has been a great experience, but it's time that someone more active in the community take on the role."

Thank you for your service, Mike.

Center Block Party

Family fun, a rockin’ good time, and a big, professional fireworks show return to Clark Avenue and the Lakewood Civic Center on Saturday, June 29.

The Lakewood Civic Center Block Party begins at 4 p.m. with the Family Fun Zone activity area for kids and families and the “On the Block” Food Court, showcasing local restaurants. Live entertainment from The MVPs start at 5 p.m.

Family Fun Zone 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Located in the parking lot south of the Angelo M. Iacoboni Library, the Family Fun Zone will feature carnival games and amusements

for kids and families, including a mechanical bull, giant slide, adrenaline obstacle course, bouncers, joust war game, rock climbing wall, radar speed pitch, bungee trampoline, wrecking ball, laser tag and more! No tickets for the

Family Fun Zone will be sold after 8 p.m., and all activities will stop at 9 p.m.

On the Block Food Court 4 to 9 p.m.

Lakewood eateries and specialty food trucks will be offering a wide variety of food, desserts and beverages. Sales will be handled at each booth or truck and no advance purchase of tickets is necessary. Most food vendors will accept cash, credit card, Venmo, Zelle, and Apple Pay—types of payment accepted will be posted at each booth/truck. An all-drink station that will sell affordable drinks such as water, coffee, and soft drinks will also provide

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Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce

is ready to celebrate the 4th

Volume 44 Number 6 June 2024
Last month, the GLCC welcomed newcomer Brian Rodriguez, above, to its Board of Directors, while saying goodbye and thank you to Mike Hedges, left.
of July this year? Come out and support the Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce's annual 4th of July Safe and Sane Fireworks Stand JULY 1-4, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Hosts Annual Fireworks Stand The GLCC Fireworks Stand is located at 2770 Carson St., Lakewood, CA 90712, in the Walmart parking lot, at Paramount Boulevard and Carson Street. All proceeds of the sales of the FIREWORKS STAND will benefit the GLCC's newspaper, the Lakewood Community News - which is the only newspaper dedicated to the City of Lakewood. If you're looking to purchase Safe and Sane Fireworks for your family, come out and show your support for the Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, meet the GLCC's Board of Directors, and GLCC staff members, hear some good music, and what's best, get $10 off any purchase of $60 or more with our 2024 COUPON! $ 10 OFF any purchase of $60 or more COUPON VALID JULY 1-4 ONLY AT GLCC FIREWORKS STAND 2770 CARSON ST., LAKEWOOD, 90712 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Greater Lakewood CHAMBER OF COMMERCE GREATER LAKEWOOD CHA OF COMMERCE One Coupon Per Customer Civic

Lakewood Celebrates Annual Pan Am Fiesta

Civic Center Block Party returns June 29

access to beverages with a shorter wait. Food orders will not be taken after 9 p.m.

Live entertainment 5 to 9 p.m.

ing will be on Clark Ave. in front of City Hall. Pre-show activities begin at 4 p.m. It’s festival seating, so bring your low-back chair or blanket.

Fireworks show 9:15 p.m.

Driving & Parking

The classic rock band The MVPs will rock Clark Ave. and the Civic Center starting at 5 p.m. with a variety of classic rock hits and patriotic music. Concert seat-

See a really spectacular, safe and legal display of professional fireworks capping off a wonderful day and evening at the Block Party.

SUN-WED 9:00AM – 2:00AM

THU-SAT 9:00AM – 3:30AM

The Block Party will stretch from the Civic Center parking lot (at Hardwick St.) southbound along Clark Ave. to Del Amo Blvd. Clark Ave. will be closed from Candlewood St. to Del Amo Blvd. before the start of the Block Party. Use Civic Center Way to

access free parking behind City Hall and The Centre. Plan ahead as parking for RVs and recreational trailers will not be available at Lakewood City Hall or Lakewood Center Mall.

For all the details, including the participating food vendors, visit www.lakewoodcity.org/BlockParty. Continued from Page 1

June 2024 Page 2 The Lakewood Community News is an official publication of the Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce. Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Jose Luis Solache 2024 GLCC Executive Board Chair Joanie Dixson Vice Chair Deena Henry Secretary Sherry Daisey Treasurer Travis Jackson Board Members Jonathan Byun Ulysses Carmona Glenn Curo Erika Parada Glen Patrick Brian Rodriguez Mike Segura Lakewood Community News Managing Editor Marisela Santana GLCC Director of Business Development & Member Value/ Interim President & CEO Administrative Assistant Kyle Henry The Lakewood Community News is printed once a month and covers the City of Lakewood and surrounding communities, with a strong emphasis on the business community. Both the GLCC President/CEO and Managing Editor have exclusive authority over the content that is published. For advertising or story inquiries, email us at: lakewoodchamberinfo@gmail.com Call: (562) 531-9733 For MEMBERSHIP Inquiries, please go to the Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce's website, at www.lakewoodchamber.com YOU CAN ALSO FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA @lakewoodchamberofcommerce Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce 24 Lakewood Center Mall Lakewood, CA 90712

City Spotlight

Teen Summer Kick-Off Party

Teens in grades 6-12 can start off the summer right by attending the free Summer Kick-Off Party at the Lakewood Youth Center, 4658 Woodruff Ave., on Friday, June 7 from 4-7 p.m. Drop in with your friends and enjoy free food, snocones, music, an inflatable, and more! For more information call the Lakewood Youth Center at 562-429-7472.

Summer Camps

Boys and girls looking for ways to stay busy this summer have several day camp options. Lakewood’s popular Summer Day Camp at Monte Verde Park is available once again, as well as other special topic camps – sports, arts and crafts, STEM camps using LEGOs, Mad Science, and dance camps – are offered throughout the summer.

Find these camps and many more in the Lakewood Recreation Catalog. You can pick one up at a Lakewood library, City Hall or any Lakewood park, online at www.lakewoodcity.org/ecatalog or call 562-866-9771, ext. 2408 for dates and details.

Finally It’s Friday

Lakewood’s long-standing commitment to fun and affordable events for families continues this summer with the “Finally it’s Fri day” event series. Programs run Friday evenings, beginning June 21 and running through Sept. 20. Activities include movies, game nights, a BBQ and “FUN-Tastic Family Night” events, which pair live entertainment with dinner. Registration is required for most events. Many are free. Sign up at www.lakewoodcity.org/ecatalog.

Friday, June 21

Movie Night under the Stars featuring Trolls: Band Together

Bring the entire family out to Monte Verde Park, 4626 Shade way Rd., for a Movie Night under the Stars featuring Trolls: Band Together on June 21. The event area opens at 7 p.m. and the movie begins at 8:15 p.m. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets! For more information on this event call the Recreation and Commu nity Services Department at 562866-9771 ext. 2408.

Go to www.lakewoodcity.org/

FinallyitsFriday for a listing of events planned for all Finally its Friday events, June through Sept.

How to register for the Project Shepherd Backpack Program

Lakewood residents who have school aged children ages pre school to 12th grade can register to receive a free backpack with school supplies for the upcoming school year. The registration period to receive help from Project Shepherd runs from Monday, June 24 through Monday, July 29. Visit www.lakewoodcity.org/PSBackpack for additional information.

Eligibility requirements: •Lakewood residents only.

June 2024 Page
FREE CAR WASH carwoodcarwash.com • (562) 421-9566 2729 East Carson St. Lakewood, CA SCAN HERE FOR YOUR FREE WASH! Or text CARWOOD to 411365

Free lawn signs to discourage illegal fireworks

The City of Lakewood is continually looking for new ways to discourage the relatively few residents who use skyrockets, explosives and other illegal fireworks that are very dangerous in a crowded residential community like Lakewood.

Illegal fireworks have caused fires in residential homes in Lakewood and other communities, often from embers falling from skyrockets shot off several blocks away that slowly burn on home roofs unnoticed by anyone for hours.

New last year, the city designed and purchased signs (shown above) in patriotic colors that residents can

get, for free, to place on their lawn with a message against the use of illegal fireworks.

Call City Hall at 562866-9771 ext. 2140 or email Service1@lakewoodcity.org to get a sign. You can then come by City Hall to pick up your free sign and metal stand to go in your lawn.

Lakewood is known throughout our region as a city that takes the strongest possible measures to combat the use of illegal fireworks, including:

•Issuing citations for illegal fireworks use, with a fine package that was increased in recent years to rise

above $2,000.

•Hiring extra law enforcement personnel to patrol city streets on and before July 4.

•Undercover operations to target the sale of illegal fireworks.

•Prohibiting block parties for three years if illegal fireworks have been used on that block.

“The problem of illegal fireworks use has grown in recent years throughout California and the nation, and it doesn’t matter whether a community allows or

disallows the use of safe-and-sane fireworks,” said McCormack.

The problem of illegal fireworks is the same in both types of communities, he said.

“Lakewood residents can have a lot of fun with safe-and-sane fireworks,” said Lakewood City Manager Thaddeus McCormack, “and you won’t risk harming veterans, pets and neighbors in the process. Safe-andsane fireworks are approved by the state fire marshal and do not go in the air, explode or have sound that travels far. Please do your part to help, so our community can have a safe and peaceful July 4th holiday.”

Pan American Association

Honors 6 Scholars

The Lakewood Pan American Association's annual scholarship program invites high school seniors who reside in Lakewood, regardless of where they go to school, to apply for scholarships ranging from $1,500 to $3,500 to help pay for future college or trade school costs.

This year, the Pan American Association honored six high school seniors from Lakewood who have: demonstrated good citizenship and respect for human values; volunteered in their community and school; and have a sincere desire to complete a post high-school education, and have excelled academically. The 2024 scholarship recipients are (in order from left to right):

Scholarship winners served as Pan American Ambassadors during Lakewood’s week-long celebration of Pan American friendship in early May. “Congratulations and best wishes to each of them,” said Mayor Todd Rogers.

The Lakewood Pan American Association is a longstanding civic organization that provides diverse cultural and educational opportunities for residents of Lakewood. Since its creation,

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Isabella Ochoa (Mayfair High School) Leah Facterman (Millikan High School) Alexia Quijada (Saint Joseph High School) Rudy Perez (Mayfair High School)
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LGBTQ Pride Month

Pride Month recognizes and celebrates the culture, contributions, history, and future of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community and the City of Lakewood joins the federal and state governments and hundreds of public and private organizations in paying tribute to this important commemoration.

The term “Pride” (or “Gay Pride” earlier) was coined by Thom Higgins, an activist in Minnesota along with several other prominent gay-rights activists in

Swim Lessons

the late 1960s. Common symbols of Pride include the rainbow flag, the lowercase Greek letter lambda (λ), the pink triangle, and the black triangle.

A key element of Lakewood's Community Dialogue on Race, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) is celebrating the diversity of people and cultures that Lakewood is proud to have as part of our community. The City of Lakewood has issued a proclamation paying tribute to LGBTQ Pride Month, which can be viewed at www.lakewoodcity.org/


The Los Angeles County Library has created a comprehensive Pride Page filled with resources and materials to inform and celebrate the LGBTQ community. There are booklists for all ages and many events in which to participate. For details, go to www. LACountyLibrary.org and search there for resources and materials available at the two county libraries in Lakewood: George Nye, Jr. Library and Angelo M. Iacoboni Library.

The City of Lakewood invites residents to “Connect with Public Safety” meetings held in June and July at local parks.

Community meetings will be held at 6 p.m. on:

June 18: Burns Community Center

July 24: Palms Park At the community meetings, you will meet and hear from Traf-

fic Safety Deputy Sheriffs, a Graffiti Abatement Public Safety Specialist, and Sky Knight pilot and Deputy Sheriff observer.

The final free Lakewood Sheriff’s Station tour is set for Wednesday, July 10 at 6 p.m.

Pre-registration is required on a first-come, first-served basis for up to 20 residents. To sign up, visit https://tinyurl.com/ConnectwPSStationTour.

Swim Lessons

Page 6 June 2024 Group
YMCA Private Lessons are a one-on-one lesson format for all ages and abilities Lessons are designed to give participants individualized attention to improve or master their swimming skills and water safety. YMCA Swim Lessons are offered in a group format using learn-to-swim progression Participants learn water safety skills and stroke development in a fun and supportive environment Group Swim Lessons are offered: Monday-Thursday between 3:30pm-6:30pm Saturdays between 9am-12pm Private Swim Lessons are offered in packages: 6 Semi-Private Lessons (2 people) 6 Private Lessons 8 Semi-Private Lessons (2 people) 8 Private Lessons 2024 SWIM LESSONS LAKEWOOD FAMILY YMCA LAKEWOOD FAMILY YMCA 5835 E CARSON ST LAKEWOOD, CA 90713 LBymca org | 562 425 7431 Financial Assistance Available Connect with Public Safety in June/July
Alzheimers Care Meal Prep & More 24-Hour Care Ayanna & Dwayne Armstead OWNERS-License #013790 In-Home Care Services Ayanna Cares Cell: (562) 576-3893 ayannacares@yahoo.com www.ayannacares.com

There's room at the table for everyone, is how Jon and Sarah Ramos saw Lakewood's Restaurant Row in scouting locations for their second Roll-Em Up Taquitos fastcasual restaurant.

"Who wouldn't want to be on Restaurant Row," said Jon. "There's five different chicken places right here next door to each other and they're all doing great. Lakewood is proof that there's always room at the table for all of us anywhere, and we're excited to open in Lakewood."

Franchise owners, Jon and Sarah are excited to open their second restaurant in Lakewood, after opening their first in the City of Bell Gardens. Everything on the Roll-Em Up Taquitos menu is fresh, said Sarah, when asked

what sets them apart from other taco-inspired restaurants. Aside from not selling hard-shell tacos, at Roll-Em Up Taquitos, every taquito 'enrollado' is rolled and handmade daily. "Our taquitos are made fresh with every order," said Sarah. "Everybody loves fresh taquitos; they are a food that we all wish we had time to go home and make for our family, but we don't and that's why we're here to fill that void."

Are they like your grandma's taquitos, "no way," said Jon. "No one makes taquitos like our grandmothers used to make, but ours are pretty close."

From both the OC and the Whittier areas, Jon and Sarah said that it was the fresh elements of the menu that sold them on investing in Roll-Em Up Taquitos.

Roll-Em Up Taquitos

New taquito spot rolling into Lakewood

"Sarah is a hard sell," said Jon about Sarah's taste in food. "She doesn't like just anything. But she tried it and loved it and so she tried it again to see if she'd like it a second time, and she was sold."

Not only was the timing perfect to invest in a restaurant as a family now that their children are grown, but the market for specialty food restaurants has also grown exponentially over the last couple of years, said Sarah.

After Covid, people honed in on their specialty crafts, desserts, foods, products, and the world responded. "We love specialty foods, especially when they're homemade or handmade," said Sarah. "Roll-Em Up Taquitos is exactly that - we've honed in on hand-rolled, fresh, delicious taquitos and families love them."

Working from what is called a 'focused menu', on average, RollEm Up Taquitos estimates making approximately 3,500 taquitos every day. Signature menu items are taquitos with five filling options, beef, chicken, potato, cheese and avocado, in either corn, or flour tortillas. Located near the intersection of Candlewood and Clark streets in Lakewood, Jon and Sarah are anticipating a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for their Lakewood restaurant in June or July.

The husband and wife team love that the Roll-Em Up Taquitos menu brings a different Mexican food flair to Lakewood.

"Lakewood has a mixture of everything, but there's nothing like eating freshly made golden brown, delicious taquitos like your grandma used to make. I believe that's what's going to make us stand out."

Jon and Sarah are excited for Lakewood's opening day. "We're not even open yet, and we are already feeling the love and support from the community." Jon said he can't wait to meet everyone. "Lakewood is going to love RollEm Up Taquitos, I just know it."

Jon and Sarah both come from retail backgrounds. In fact, Sarah's family used to own La Quebradita stores in the East L.A. region. "We always knew we wanted to start our own business, but we didn't know what, until we found this," said Sarah. "I grew up very community oriented and so in finding a business for us, it needed to have a community feel to it."

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Opening Soon Sarah Ramos can't wait for Lakewood to try Roll-Em Up Taquitos

UC Design Studio Generational Wealth Builder

If you're a homeowner looking to invest in other properties, Ulysses Carmona suggests you look at investing in your own property first.

From helping you with a remodel, addition or building an accessory dwelling unit on your property, Ulysses can help guide you through it all.

Owner of UC Architectural Design Studio, Ulysses said he wants to help people see the potential their own properties have.

"People have been adding onto their own properties for years, but it wasn't being done legally," said Ulysses. "With new state laws, there are ways that families can add to their properties legally. Adding to your property can generate additional income families today need desperately. I'm here to help families do it the right way, the permitted way, the legal way."

For years, people have been looking to invest in additional properties in hopes of building generational wealth for their families. While he can also help with that, Ulysses explains that a lot of people aren't sure how to invest in their own properties.

"State law requires cities to allow additions, remodels and ADUs on residential properties, but individual cities can impose strict guidelines," said Ulysses. "Every

city is different. Just because the state says you can do it, cities retain local control on some level. Whatever the case is, I'm available to help you figure out how you can invest in your own property."

An ADU is a legal dwelling unit with no separate address that requires building permits from your City. Not only will Ulysses help you design and coordinate your project, and submit it to the City, but he will also guide you through possible financing options, such as construction loans, home equity loans or refinancing.

"So many people don't know that because of state laws, cities are now open to permitting unpermitted or illegal structures on residential properties; cities are more open to legalizing what already exists on properties," said Ulysses. "A lot of times, people are afraid to seek help because they don't know what's going to happen if they ask questions."

That's where Ulysses comes in. "I want to help families do what I'm doing for my family," he said. "I'm building generational wealth for my family, for my daughters. More people deserve to be able to do this for their families, too, they're just afraid to ask how."

A lifelong lover of architectural design, Ulysses has a BA in architecture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. While he started as an architecture designer, Ulysses, who recently also got his real estate license, just started his own construction company called Alliance Design Build.

graduate of Wilson High School in Long Beach and has lived in Lakewood since 2012.

"I want to be able to help families from the very beginning, I can help sell, I can help them buy, or I can help them build on what they have," he said. "I want to help them through all of it. This element to real estate investment is still very new; not too many people know about the process and what it takes to get structures permitted." Lately, he said, he's been contacted by families who are buying new homes and finding themselves stuck with illegal structures and fees. "That's why I got my real estate license, too. If you're interested in buying, I'd be happy to come and help you see the feasibility of your property so that you're making a good investment for your family."

Ulysses, who is also a GLCC Board of Directors Member, is a

"Housing is the highest cost of living everywhere, right?" he said. "As a parent, I want to make sure that my daughters never have to worry about rent. People invest in the market all the time, investing in your own property or in additional properties, is a sure way to build something tangible that protects your children in the future."

One thing, though, Ulysses said he is going to make sure your project is 100 percent legal. "I'm not here to cut any corners, I'm here to make sure that your project is done right and is in full compliance with your city," he said.

Whether a client is looking to remodel, add an ADU as a rental property, or build from the ground up, Ulysses' ultimate goal is to make sure people are happy with his work. "People are always looking to invest in new properties because they don't know how to invest in their own properties. I'd love the opportunity to show them how."

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Ulysses Carmona From Remodels to Additions to ADUs, he's here to help!

OJ's Submarines Celebrating 40 Years

When Patricia Ponce started working part time at OJ's Subs in Lakewood 25 years ago, she didn't know that one day she'd own it.

OJ's Subs, a fresh sandwich and salad deli located on Paramount Boulevard and Carson Street, this year celebrates its 40th year anniversary in Lakewood. "I can't believe I started working for Tina, the original owner, back when I was 22 years old," said Patty. "Honestly, I can't believe that OJ's is turning 40 this year."

Patty may have started working for Tina almost 25 years ago, but eight years ago, when Tina decided to retire, Patty, with the help of her mother, decided to invest in OJ's.

"I couldn't let it go," said Patty, who pretty much raised her three kids at OJ's. "And even though Tina had other buyers, she knew too, that I would love OJ's as much as she did. She knew that I would keep OJ's going. The sentimental value never leaves you when you're a business owner. I feel it now, too."

How did it feel working part time for someone else for 16 years, to suddenly being a business owner and your own boss?

"At first, it was overwhelming but empowering," said Patty. "I had three kids and I was a single mother, but I knew I could do it. It wasn't easy though; for 16 years I worked the counter, I helped prep and make the orders, but I never handled the paperwork, that was the hard part, but eventually I got the hang of it."

Today, eight years after taking ownership, Patty knows all of her customers, and she knows exactly how much inventory to order every week.

"At first, I didn't know how to run a business, I had no clue," she added. "But I figured it out. As a business owner who was just starting, I wasn't going to let myself, or my kids down, so I figured it out. A woman who

sets her mind on something, always figures it out."

One thing is for sure, that if not for the community, and for the City of Lakewood, OJ's Subs would not have survived the pandemic. "Honestly, I don't know how we're still here, we never closed, I just cut our hours, but I couldn't close, it was all that I had," said Patty. "It was the community that saved us via curbside pickups, and the City of Lakewood, they would order food from all of the small businesses to feed the essential workers who had to work through the Pandemic. The City of Lakewood helped a lot of us for months, they kept us afloat, we wouldn't be here today, if not for them."

In Lakewood, everyone helped everyone during the Pandemic. "The community came through for us," she said. "It's hard to say that knowing that so many of our fellow small businesses didn't make it."

Being a small business owner is not easy. Thankfully, OJ's Subs has had loyal customers for 40 years now, thanks to the quality of the meats, cheeses and its baked breads.

In fact, surprisingly, said Patty, the OJ's Subs Menu has not changed in 40 years. "My baker is the same, and my menu is the same," said Patty. "And the Italian Cold Cut has been OJ's biggest seller for 40 years. I guess it's true what they say, good things never change."

"People always suggest that I change the menu, but I have not been able to bring myself to make changes to the menu," she said. "It's not up to me, really. My customers love the menu the way it is. I tried adding new items to the menu over the years, and people were happy to try things, but they would end up ordering from the menu anyway."

What's her secret? "Buying quality ingredients," she said. "Someone once told me that if I bought cheaper ingredients, then I would see more profit. But that wasn't me, I told him. I told him that I'd rather see less profit

than serving cheaper ingredients in my sandwiches or salads. That's never happening at OJ's. I'm never going to do that to my customers."

Still, Patty considers owning her own business a blessing. Not only did OJ's help her raise her children, but now, her two daughters Mayleen and Michelle are grown up and they've learned to run the deli, especially "when mom needs a break." Patty said. "They grew up watching me work tirelessly for someone else, and now they watch me work for me and for them, and they're here by my side," Patty added. "They know how to handle everything, I couldn't be more proud of them. If they've learned anything from me, it's that being your own boss takes a lot of sacrifice, but the rewards are beyond beautiful."

Patty and her daughters are working on plans to celebrate OJ's 40th Anniversary in August. Go to OJ's website for their full menu.

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Patricia Ponce With daughters Mayleen and Michelle, Patty serves up the freshest subs & salads!
NO APPOINTMENTS NECESSARY. REAL TELLERS IN OUR BRANCH. F&M BANK. MEMBER FDIC Some things will always be. Visit us at the corner of Del Amo and Lakewood or call 562-766-3156. Page 11 June 2024
June 2024 Our Members Meet Some of Page 12 GREATER LAKEWOO CHAMBER OF COMM Lakewood Walmart kicked off its Grand ReOpening last month with a community celebration, honoring its longtime employees, and handing out several Spark Good Local Grants to local non-profit organizations. The Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, along with City of Lakewood officials, including Mayor Todd Rogers, were on hand for a ribbon cutting ceremony. Congratulations on your Grand Re-Opening Lakewood Walmart, and welcome to the Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce. We look forward to working with you .
Wienerschnitzel 4111 Woodruff Ave., Lakewood (562) 425-2535 L.A.'s Finest BarberShop 4172 Woodruff Ave., Lakewood (562) 421-1140 MC Landscaping 5780 South St., Lakewood (562) 259-9460 American Legion Post 496 5938 E. Parkcrest St., Long Beach (562) 618-3160 Community Family Guidance Center 10929 South St., Cerritos (562) 865-6444 Options for Youth 2001 N. Long Beach Blvd., Compton (310) 885-1477 Lakewood Blvd. & Del Amo Blvd. ShopLakewoodCenter.com GET READY for squad goals
4TH FRIDAY OF EACH MONTH NEW TIME: 3PM CENTER COURT Featuring a Hawaiian Day theme with crafts, activities, and hula dancing! SCAN FOR DETAILS LAK-24124 A1 June LCN Ad.indd 1 5/16/24 9:48 AM
Live Better

MAY MIXER Alas Toxicas in the City of Cerritos, and one of our newest members, hosted the Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce's May Mixer. Great music, great people and great food! Alas Toxicas specializes in hot wings, burgers, asada fries and homemade pizzas. We encourage you to go out and try their many hot wing flavors and tell us which is your favorite!!!! If you're looking for a new spot for hot wings and fries, Alas Toxicas, is your place to be!!! Thank you Alas Toxicas for joining our Chamber, for hosting our May Mixer and treating us with your most popular appetizers! #WeAreChamberStrong

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it Up
FRIDAYS Join us in welcoming Angel City Markets to Lakewood! The Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Lakewood Center, has partnered with Angel City Markets to kick-off the summer months with a Fun Fridays at the Lakewood Center pop-up market, taking place every other Friday night of the month, from 5 to 9 p.m. on the northwest corner of the Lakewood Center parking lot. Taking place through July 19, Fun Fridays at the Lakewood Center will be themed towards family entertainment. Please follow Angel City Markets on Instagram for more information on our Fun Fridays at the Lakewood Center! For Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce Membership Inquiries, Call (562) 531-9733 Thursday, June 13, 2024 from 6 to 8 p.m. 4172 Woodruff Ave., Lakewood, CA 90713 HOSTED BY JUNE MIXER You’re Invited to the Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce’s GREATER LAKEWOOD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NETWORK GROW EMPOWER L.A.’S FINEST BARBERSHOP LET’S CELEBRATE FATHER’S DAY MAKE NEW CONNECTIONS TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS! BRING YOUR BUSINESS CARDS TO EXCHANGE WITH OTHERS!
June 2024 Page 14

Little did 16-year-old Doug Lowe know that buying his dad's 1968 Ford Mustang for $300 back in 1975 would bring him a lifetime of happiness.

Fast forward to 2024, Doug still believes that his Ford was his lucky charm.

Not only did he marry the love of his life, Laurie, in his Ford back in 1984, but upon their retirement from both of their respective corporate jobs, the husband and wife team, didn't know that the same car they got married in, would continue to be a big source of their happiness nearly 41 years later.

"We grew up in this car," said Doug. "Back in the '80s, we knew this car was slowly becoming a collector car, but we never thought it would become a retirement project for both of us."

For years, the car sat on blocks in his grandmother's garage, Doug said. Then in 2016, after his retirement, "I thought to myself ... I want to make it beautiful, again."

Today, Doug and Laurie's 1968 Ford Mustang is considered a classic, restomod car and is worth more than $300.

"This car is our baby," said Laurie. "We got married in this car and now that we're retired, we get to enjoy our lives in it."

While both Doug and Laurie have regular cars, the Lowe's and their award-winning, Deep Metallic Blue Ford have become staples among the region's car culture.

What people may not know about Doug, is that he retired from Shell Oil, where he worked as a mechanic. for 31 years. Taking after his dad, who also worked at Shell Oil, Doug has worked on cars his whole life, said Laurie. "All the restoration and modifications to the Ford, Doug did them himself," she said, adding that car enthusiasts love hearing about Doug's love for working on Mustangs. Af-

Lucky Charm

ter his retirement, Doug also found himself working for Mustang Country International for about seven years.

"Honestly, we never imagined living our lives around this car," Doug said. "Not only has it made us appreciate Southern California's large scale car culture, but we have also met some incredible people, and made new friends, thanks to our involvement

with zero shortcuts," she said. For Doug and Laurie, the emotional attachment to their 1968 Ford has led them to their life today.

"We love going to car shows and making new friends, and seeing other people's beautiful cars," said Laurie. "But most of all, we love driving our beautiful car to places that make us happy."

Doug and Laurie are, in fact, members of the local Chariots of Southern California Car Club.

The Lowes enter their 1968 Ford in about 27 car shows a year, plus an additional 15 car shows that are not related to the Chariots in the region.

Driven by Love

the car would change my life."

Doug said that he owes it all to his dad, Richard.

"To this day, I thank him for teaching me everything I've known about mechanics," he said. "If not for him teaching me everything he knew, we wouldn't be here right now

talking about a restored 1968 Ford Mustang. I'm here, able to enjoy my life, with Laurie, in my community, today, thanks to everything that my dad taught me. Never in my life, did I ever think that this car would keep adding to my life in such a beautiful way."

in car shows throughout the area." Every weekend there's a car show somewhere, said Laurie. While she loves going to car shows, she also loves taking long drives up and down the coast.

Classic and vintage car enthusiasts are hard to find nowadays, said Doug. "Classic car interest is dwindling nowadays among younger generations, but it's there, but it isn't what it used to be," he said. "I've met so many people who regret selling their classics over the years, it makes me sad, but those were different times. I'm just glad that I didn't sell mine."

Restoring a car takes a lot of time and investment, said Laurie. "Doug put a lot of love and dedication into this car,

"We love it," said Doug. "Classic cars are a car enthusiast's life ... we love being a part of the car culture in our community, we love promoting the car shows and talking about cars, we love the camaraderie and meeting new people ... and it also gives us all an opportunity to give the community a place where they can reminisce, and enjoy the outdoors, and appreciate beautiful, classic cars." When the Lowes first bought their home in the City of Lakewood 41 years ago, little did they know that Lakewood would become an epicenter for local car culture enthusiasts.

"Who knew that this many years later, Lakewood, the City where we decided to buy our home, would itself become our family because of our car," Laurie said.

Upon his retirement, Doug said that he figured he would restore the car so that he could drive it, but never thought that it would enrich his life the way it has. "All I wanted to do was to make it beautiful again," he said. "But I didn't know that it would give me a sense of belonging in my community, I never thought that restoring

June 2024 Page 15
Married in 1984, Doug and Laurie Lowe are celebrating their 40th Wedding Anniversary this year in their 1968 Ford Mustang, winner of 2023's Summer Stampede Car Show.


Take a walk through history

It was during the Civil War in 1863 that President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves held in Confederate states. In reality, however, it went unenforced for many places still under Confederate control. That day of freedom finally came to the last enslaved people in the South on June 19, 1865 when Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas, and announced that the more than 250,000 enslaved Black people in the state were free.

in paying tribute to this important commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. A city proclamation honoring Juneteenth can be found at www.lakewoodcity.org/Juneteenth.

The monumental news was cause for much celebration, and the tradition of commemorating June 19th has occurred annually ever since, becoming known as Juneteenth. The City of Lakewood joins the federal and state governments and hundreds of public and private organizations

Teens aged 13 – 17 are invited to Iacoboni Library in Lakewood on June 18 from 4 to 5 p.m. to learn about the history of this long-celebrated holiday and tap into their creativity by designing a Juneteenth bumper sticker expressing their thoughts, feelings and messages of empowerment.

Registration is required at LACountyLibrary.org. The library will have book displays commemorating Juneteenth for children, teens, and adults.

This year, in honor of the holiday and in the spirit of celebrating equality, diversity and inclusion, the City of Lakewood has partnered with Iacoboni Library in co-hosting a special outdoor event on Saturday, June 22. Join for a StoryWalk® which engages families in a walk around Lakewood’s Civic Center reading pages from a young children’s Juneteenth book displayed in a unique manner. StoryWalk® was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont.

Lakewood’s Juneteenth event will kick off with a short program with Lakewood City Council Members beginning at 1 p.m. directly outside the Iacoboni

Library. Light refreshments and treats will be available while supplies last, along with some giveaways to mark the occasion.

Library staff will engage with guests on the walk until 2 p.m. The StoryWalk® display will remain up until 6 p.m. and can be self-guided.

For more information, visit www.lakewoodcity.org/JuneteenthEvent

Please note, all L.A. County Library branches will be closed on June 19 for the holiday, but an abundance of Juneteenth-related resources and multimedia options can be found on LACountyLibrary.org/celebrate-juneteenth.

Juneteenth StoryWalk®:

Saturday, June 22 starting at 1 p.m. outside Iacoboni library (4990 Clark Ave.). No registration is required.

Summer swimming opportunities

Swim Lessons: The first session of summer swim lessons will take place Monday, June 17 to June 28 at Mayfair and McCormick Pools. Online swim lesson priority registration for residents begins June 8 at 7 p.m. Non-residents may register online beginning June 11 at 7 p.m. Participants may sign up at www.lakewoodcity. org/ecatalog.

Recreation Swim: Summer recreation swim will take place at Mayfair and McCormick pools daily beginning June 15 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and 2:45 to 4:15 p.m. Resident fees are $1 for children and $1.50 for adults (age 18+). Non-resident fees are $2 for children and $3 for adults. Aqua Aerobics and Aqua Zumba: Aqua Aerobics classes will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:40 to 7:30 p.m. beginning June 18 at Mayfair Pool. Register at www.lakewoodcity.org/ecatalog using activity #28265 for Tuesdays and #28267 for Thursdays. Family Swim Nights: Themed Family Swim Nights are offered at McCormick Pool every Friday, beginning June 21, with a Family Day Special. Admission is $3 per Lakewood resident and $5 per non-resident. Must show valid adult ID and proof of Lakewood residency.

For a complete list of all swim lessons and aquatic events, visit www.lakewoodcity.org/ecatalog.

June 2024 Page 16


with “Stone Soul,” a Motown/Soul band. The concerts happen every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. through August 8 (with the exception of July 4).

The concerts feature a changing variety of music styles, providing residents with a relaxing evening of family fun in the grove at Del Valle Park at the intersection of Woodruff Avenue and Arbor Road. Woodruff service road will remain open until 5:30 p.m. for patron drop off.

Dinner and refreshments will be sold, or attendees may bring their own picnic basket. Lawn chairs and blankets are encouraged. Pets, barbeques and alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

Concerts in the Park are solely supported by generous area businesses and concert patrons.

Platinum Level Sponsors:

Admiral Pest Control

Dave Smith RE/MAX


H&H Nursery

Kenny’s Auto Body & Towing

Lakewood Family YMCA

Lakewood Heating & Air Conditioning Inc.

Lakewood LIONS Club Lakewood Pan American As-


LBS Financial Credit Union

Piazza McDonald’s Family Restaurant Rotary Club of Lakewood

Gold Level Sponsors:

Forest Lawn

Lakewood Women’s Club

Law Office of Sandra Diaz

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Sky Zone Cerritos

The Rinks – Lakewood Ice VCA Lakewood Animal Hospital Water Replenishment District

Bronze Level Sponsors: In Honor of Linda Plooster

Swan Nails

TGIS Catering Services, Inc.

West Coast Arborists, Inc.

This summer’s band schedule:

June 13 – Stone Soul (Motown/Soul)

June 20 – Hollywood U2 (U2 Tribute Band)

June 27 – Smith Country Band (Country)

July 11 – Smokin’ Cobras (Classic Rock)

July 18 – Stevie Nicks Illusion (Fleetwood Mac Tribute)

July 25 – The Eagles Ronstadt Experience (Eagles & Linda Ronstadt Tribute)

Aug. 1 – The OC Groove (Funk/Soul/R&B/Blues)

August 8 – Knyght Ryder (80s)

Visit www.lakewoodcity.org/ Concerts to see each week’s food concessions. Manna Kettle Korn will be sold at every concert. For more information, call 562-866-9771, ext. 2408.

June 2024 Page 17 Join us for our monthly “In-Person COFFEE CHAT” on Saturday, June 8th, 2024 at Granny’s Donuts, 5550 Woodruff Ave., from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and enjoy FREE COFFEE and GOODIES! Visit Us anytime at: www.ApplesTeam.com KATHY “APPLES” Berkshire Hathaway H.S.C.P Call or Text (562) 884-1863 Email Kathy at kathyapples@gmail.com “Like” us on 5618 Pepperwood Ave., Lakewood 5 Bedrooms, 3 Baths ▪ 2-Stories, 2 Family Rooms, 2 Fireplaces 2 Bedrooms Downstairs, and Much More! $1,049,000 284 Park St., Long Beach 3 Bedrooms, 2 Baths ▪ Belmont Heights Beauty Plus a 1 bedroom, 1 bath ADU Detached oversized garage, as well sold $1,200,000 NEW LISTING! (562) 884-1863 Great Price $699,950 4356 Maury Ave. • 3 Bedrooms, 1 Bath • This home needs some tender loving care! • Build your own equity! Concerts in the
Park begin June
series this summer will kick off June 13
in the Park

Enjoy a Boba Tea with a Deputy

Come enjoy a refreshing boba drink with Lakewood Sheriff Station Deputies and Lakewood’s Public Safety Department staff at Bobuzz on Del Amo Boulevard near Studebaker Road on Tuesday, June 11 at 4:30 p.m.

The first 25 people to attend get a free boba drink. Raffle entry for a $50 gift card to Bobuzz (must be present to win).


A great time for all!

Boba with a Deputy is part of Lakewood's ongoing work to provide lots of opportunities for residents to meet with and get to know Lakewood Public Safety Department personnel and LASD Deputy Sheriffs serving the Lakewood community.

Bobuzz is located at 11126 Del Amo Blvd. All ages are welcome.

June 2024 Page 18 LAKEWOOD OFFICE: 4943 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, CA 90712 (562) 634-2500
AREAS IN DENTISTRY: Implants, Invisalign Ortho, Root Canal, Mini-Implants, Gum Treatment, Cosmetics, Denture/Partial, Crowns/Bridge, Extraction and Pediatric
Open Saturdays - Early and Late hours! NGUYEN DENTAL BetweenCVS& SocialSecurity
Dental is a family-run dental office. We use the latest DIGITAL technology and provide quality dentistry at an affordable price.

Low-cost pet care event

now at Mayfair Park

Lakewood’s pet-friendly summer tradition, Bow Wow and Meow Day, moves to Mayfair Park on Friday, June 21 from 4 to 7 p.m.

Patrons and pets can line up on the walkway in the area next to the parking lot off Fidler Avenue. The one-stop event offers required rabies vaccinations as well as:

Discounted vaccination packs.



Parasite prevention.

Physical exams.

Information regarding lowcost spaying/neutering and health care for dogs and cats will be available.

Cash, checks and credit cards are accepted. Dogs must be on leashes and cats in secure carriers to ensure safety while in the walk-up line. Prior medical records not required but recommended.

Visit www.lakewoodcity. org/pets for more information about pet services, licensing and pet adoption.

Officials warn, warm weather also brings us Mosquito Season

As warm weather returns after a wet winter, the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) reminds residents to take precautions to eliminate any standing water in their homes and yards. Common sources for standing water include plant saucers, buckets, tires, pet water bowls, recycling bins, trash cans, and even trash hidden in bushes.

•Cover all water-filled containers with tightly fitting lids.

Since disease-spreading mosquitoes can complete their life cycles from egg to adult in about one week, water collected in containers should be used or “tipped and tossed” immediately.

Rain barrels and containers must be tightly sealed to prevent mosquito entry. And green, unmaintained pools should be cleaned.

If you need to store water in any container longer than a week, take these steps to ensure they are mosquito-proof:

•Screen all openings such as downspouts from roof gutters with 1/16 inch fine mesh to keep mosquitoes out.

•Check for holes in screens monthly to prevent mosquitoes from entering the container and laying eggs.

•Use natural mosquito control products containing Bti in water that must be kept for longer periods.

“Mosquito eggs only need a teaspoon of water to complete their life cycle,” said Anais Medina Diaz, of GLACVCD. “By eliminating mosquito breeding sources around your house, you protect your family’s health as temperatures warm up.”

For more information or to anonymously report green, unmaintained pools, visit www.glacvcd.org, or call Lakewood City Hall at 562-866-9771 ext. 2140.

Senior Health Fair

Lakewood's Senior Health Fair will be held Friday, June 21, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Weingart Senior Center at 5220 Oliva Avenue (just south of Candlewood Street and west of Lakewood Boulevard).

Health-related information and free screenings will be available throughout the morning. The event is free and open to the public. Call the senior center at 562-630-6141 for additional information.

Lunch is available for those 60+ provided by the Human Service Association at the usual donation of $3. For a lunch reservation, call 562630-6210 after June 14.

Why the Living Trust is so IMPORTANT

Living Trusts are an efficient and effective way to transfer property, at your death, to the relatives, friends or charities you’ve chosen. Essentially, a Living Trust performs the same function as a Will, with the important difference that property left by a Will must go through the probate court process. In probate, a public court proceeding, the deceased’s debts are paid. Then after a year or more at tremendous expense to your heirs, the remaining property is finally distributed to them.

By contrast, property left by a Living Trust can go promptly, privately and directly to your heirs. Living Trusts are created while you’re alive and are “revocable.” You can revoke or change them at any time, for any reason. You can abolish the Trust, alter its terms or change the beneficiaries.

As the original trustee, you can do whatever you wish with your assets - manage them, sell them, or give them away. Upon your death, the successor trustee takes over the estate immediately without going through probate, then distributes the assets and terminates the Trust.

For more information, contact

at Law

June 2024 Page 19
Elizabeth Vozzella Attorney
(562) 426-9876 www.vozzella4law.com



June 2024

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