Baseball is in full swing at Del Rey American Little LeagueBy Vickie Farmer
Baseball is king these days in Westchester and Playa del Rey!
Mother Nature has sure had her hand in a challenging start to the season with dozens of rain outs and reschedules, but the Del Rey American Little League (DRALL) has kept pushing forward to ensure that teams continue to play ball and have a full season of games.
With nearly 300 players back in action, DRALL’s spring season has been filled with so much already.
On Saturday, April 29 they held their annual Hit-A-Thon and Home Run Derby, which raised a record-breaking $46,000 to support the league! Players from all four divisions were invited to take part in the event to see how far they could hit the ball and to aim for prizes on the field, including gift cards and swag. It was an incredible day celebrating DRALL’s players and families.
Congratulations to the 2023
Home Run Derby Champion, Tenny
L. of the White Sox, and finalists, Julian K. (Royals), William U. (Yankees), Vance F. (White Sox) and Declan G. (Yankees).
DRALL has also been fortunate to have the amazing support of community partners such as their platinum sponsor, the Stephanie Younger Group, who sponsored a new scoreboard at the league’s American Field (located behind Our Savior Lutheran Church off Emerson and 77th Street in Westchester), and the Barba and Spicuzza families, who have been longtime supporters of the scoreboard at the Del Rey Lagoon Field. Thanks to the generosity of sponsors and local families, many capital improvements have been made at both fields, including replacing the announcer’s booth and storage facilities at the Playa del Rey field.
The regular season for DRALL’s Minors’ division wraps up the first week in May, and the playoffs begin
on Saturday, May 6. The Majors’ division will head into playoffs starting the following week, on May 9. DRALL looks to defend their Tournament of Champions and District 37 Titles, before heading into All-Star play coming in June! The league’s DRALL Ball, a fun event that gives parents a night out, is coming up on Friday, May 19 at the Westchester Elks Lodge, and the season will officially wrap up with the annual end-of-the-season picnic in early June.
Please follow the league at Facebook.com/delreyamerican and visit their website at drall.org to check out the playoff schedule and the upcoming Tournament of Champions and District 37 AllStars games. Once at the field, attendees can enjoy a classic piece of Americana: the excitement of a triple play, community spirit, and of course, a snack stand full of nostalgic treats.
Don’t forget to root for the home team!
“Rent” readies to open at Westchester Playhouse.
The rock opera “Rent,” presented by the Kentwood Players, will open at the Westchester Playhouse on Friday, May 12.
The story is loosely based on “La Boheme” and is set in New York’s Lower East Side in the late 80s/early 90s as the HIV/AIDS epidemic takes place. On Broadway, the production ran for 12 years and won critical acclaim, as well as several awards, including the Tony for “Best Musical.”
Performances run through June 17 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Beginning May 20, Saturday matinees will also be added. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at kentwoodplayers.org or by emailing boxoffice@ kentwoodplayers.org.
have the chance to view outstanding artwork from the school’s graduating students in every department, including fine arts, graphic design, toy design and fashion.
The opening reception takes place on Friday, May 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. A fashion show will take place on campus the same night starting at 8 p.m. Limited standing space is available. The Annual Exhibition continues on Saturday, May 13 from noon to 6 p.m. for the general public. Otis is located at 9045 Lincoln Blvd. in Westchester.
Learn more and RSVP at otis.edu/ olaunch.
Senior Center hosts luncheon.
The Westchester Senior Center is back to hosting events and activities, and staff and volunteers are inviting area seniors to join in on the fun!
Next month, the center will be holding a luncheon sponsored by the Rotary Club of Westchester that will feature lunch, door prizes and music. All those 50-plus are invited to attend. Membership to the center is also available by filling out an application and paying a $10 fee for the year to get access to all the center’s happenings.
The luncheon will take place on Wednesday, June 7 at noon. RSVP to attend by calling (310) 649-3319 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The center is located at 8740 Lincoln Blvd. in Westchester and is currently open Monday through Friday from 9
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Memorial Day Field of Remembrance Flags Display
Sponsored by the Woman’s Club of Playa del Rey (WCPDR) www.WCPDR.org
Volunteers needed for Kids Ocean Day. Since 1994, the Malibu Foundation has been hosting Kids Ocean Day to teach elementary school students about the ocean, sea life and the beach, in order to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards. This year’s event will take place on Thursday, May 25 and thousands of LAUSD students will travel to Dockweiler Beach for a massive clean up, where they will get a first-hand look at all the trash that ends up on shore. For 13 percent of the students, it’s the first time they’ll ever have seen the ocean, according to organizers. After the clean up, students and volunteers will assemble on the sand to create a massive piece of aerial art in the shape of an “ancient wave.” Organizers are looking for 150 volunteers to help during the event with registration, setting up the aerial art, assisting teachers, managing recycling stations and more. Visit kidsoceanday.org/volunteer for more info.
Nominate your favorite local businesses for our 2023 Best Of List!
The Hometown News will launch voting for its 12th Annual Best Of List in June, and we’re inviting the community to nominate their favorite local businesses, service providers, restaurants and more by May 26.
When voting launches, community members will have the opportunity to vote for their top picks in more than 90 categories and show their support for their most cherished local spots and people they do business with!
Nominations should be sent to email@example.com with the subject line “Best Of Nomination.”
Voting details will be shared in our June 1 edition and on our social media. The results of the poll will be revealed in our August 10 edition!
Last call for parade participants and national anthem singer.
The LAX Coastal Chamber is ready to celebrate an “Ultimate Summer” with thousands of community members at the 23rd Annual Fourth of July Parade! Applications to participate as an entry in this year’s
event are due by Friday, May 5. Potential parade entries–nonprofits, community groups, businesses and schools–are encouraged to create floats that showcase what their dream summer plans would be with no limits. The parade committee encourages all those interested in participating to apply and share their vision!
The parade will take place on Tuesday, July 4 starting at 11 a.m. and expects to bring together 50 entries, including marching bands, floats and other entertainment that will make its way down Loyola Blvd. from Westchester Park to LMU.
The committee is also looking for its 2023 national anthem singer. Those interested in auditioning will be asked to upload a video of themselves singing the anthem.
To receive a parade participant packet or information on the national anthem, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more at laxcoastalonparade.com.
Have info to share about your business or nonprofit? Email us at email@example.com for a chance to be featured.
WCPDR will again be offering tribute flags for $10 for their “Field of Remembrance” which will be on display Memorial Day weekend. A dedication service will be held at their clubhouse located at 8039 W. Manchester Avenue, at 11:00 am on Monday, May 29th.
Proceeds to benefit the Battleship Iowa in San Pedro and affiliate Los Angeles Veterans Peer Access Network (VPAN). Honor a friend or beloved family member. DONATE TODAY!
5 QUESTIONS WITH... ROBIN ZACHA
When you first meet Mary-Catherine Micka, you can’t help but notice her big smile and welcoming spirit, which has helped her excel in both her personal and professional life.
Born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana, Mary-Catherine, or as her friends call her, MC, enjoyed attending festivals, Mardi Gras, and trying all the wonderful food groups of the south, which she jokingly explains are, “sugar, fat, salt and alcohol.”
After graduating from Louisiana State University with a major in broadcast journalism and a minor in theater, MC had plans to be a newscaster. Fresh out of college, she headed to Washington, D.C. to work at some of the nation’s top news outlets where she had a chance to cover the White House, State of the Union Addresses and interview politicians. Eventually, she landed a job as a weekend news producer for a bureau that sent news clips to stations across the country. Deciding what news stories would get sent out nationally was an exciting, but often depressing role for the 24-yearold. When the bureau closed, MC was ready for a change of pace and jumped at the opportunity to head to L.A. to work in comedy. With her infectious laugh, and Southern charm, MC was a hit with
comedians, actors and musicians alike and worked as a talent manager for celebrities like Paula Poundstone. During the same time, she started working as a T.V. producer. One of her early shows, “Home Movies” helped launch the start of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. As a freelance producer, she also found success developing a variety of reality and talk shows, including one for Sharon Osbourne.
Like many people, the pandemic gave MC time to think about her next chapter, which led her to try something new a little closer to home. On a whim, she took a part-time job at the LAX Coastal Chamber, and is now their Director of Business Relations where she puts her friendly demeanor and knack for connecting people to good use.
“I’ve always been involved in the Westchester/Playa community,” says MC who is a Del Rey resident. “My kids went to WNS, played in DRALL and did AYSO at Nielsen Field. Once I started at the chamber, I realized I already knew so many people! I love hearing from our businesses and doing all I can to help.”
We recently sat down with MaryCatherine and asked her to share her thoughts, so here is “5 Questions With... Mary-Catherine!”
What is the most rewarding and challenging part of your job?
The most rewarding thing about my job is definitely the people! With more than 625 businesses as members, we deal with thousands of people, but it’s really like a big family. I have made so many great connections, relationships and friendships, through the chamber. There are so many amazing people in our community. I have learned so much about every kind of business you can think of, and I love helping them achieve their goals.
The most challenging part of my job is that there are not enough hours in a day. Between growing our membership, helping our current members in a variety of ways, running committees, planning networking opportunities, writing for our annual magazine, and the non-stop activities–mixers, meetings, conferences, workshops, galas, parties, ribbon cuttings, breakfasts, annual large signature events, etc., etc.,–I need more time!
2 3 4 5
What is the most rewarding thing about volunteering with community groups?
The most rewarding thing about volunteering with community groups is feeling like I made a difference and am doing my part to make the world a better place. There are so many worthy and great causes that need help, whether it be people, the environment or animals. I have been blessed in my life and I want to give back to others. Running the Network for Change Committee and being a member of the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club gives me many opportunities to volunteer with interesting nonprofits and charities. I love helping the world and meeting so many great people who are making a difference at the same time!
If you were a member of the city council what issue would you want to tackle?
Homelessness is such a problem in our area and all of Los Angeles. I know there is no easy or perfect answer, but something needs to be done to help both the unhoused and the residents who live in the area. We need to conquer the issues of homelessness. I am grateful that Mayor Karen Bass and Councilwoman Traci Park have both made the issue a top priority.
What are some goals for your organization in 2023?
We plan to grow our diverse membership even more, with companies large and small. We will continue to be a champion for small businesses, and we have a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility. We will continue to listen to our members and address their needs. We want to do whatever we can to help our entire business community thrive.
What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the neighborhood over the years?
I moved to this area in 2001, so I remember when Playa Vista was just wetlands. Not one thing was built on that land. Needless to say, Playa Vista has completely changed over the years!
Cool Fact Cool Fact
MC loves a good pun and is famous among her friends and colleagues for her witty word play.
As a mother of a child with Type 1 Diabetes, MC is an advocate for the condition, and helps raise money and provide support to fellow families that are also impacted.
I LOVE MEETING NEW PEOPLE, LEARNING THEIR STORIES AND ABOUT THEIR BUSINESSES. IT’S LIKE A NONSTOP PARTY!
MAY 17TH AT 11 AM
MAY 24TH AT 11 AM
MAY 31ST AT 11 AM
Class of 2023!
Congatulaios to our 2023 eches o te ear!
As the LAX Coastal Chamber commemorates our 40th “RUBY” Anniversary of the Teacher Eddy Awards, this yearʼs celebration takes on a special meaning. PASSION and FIERY RED will be at the forefront of this magical evening of recognition and appreciation for our local educators.
Looking to support our educators? Please attend and/or sponsor this outstanding event. LAXCOASTAL.COM
Local moms make a difference in their families and communitiesBy Shanee Edwards
Whether it’s running the kids to sports, working to make ends meet, supporting their communities in the best way they know how, moms are the busiest, most involved, most sacrificing people we know. It’s amazing there’s only one day a year to officially celebrate them! In honor of all the great moms in Westchester/ Playa, we want to spotlight three local women who somehow find the time to give back and go the extra mile when it comes to their families and the community.
Sylvia Wilson: Lawyer, Community Volunteer, Mom
Sylvia Wilson is a mom of three (11-year-old twins, Spencer and Alaina, and 5-year-old Skylar) and is
a devoted leader in the Westchester community. When she’s not working as a lawyer for the County of Los Angeles, she’s volunteering her time on the board of the Westchester Family YMCA, where she recently helped organize the Battle of the Bands event to raise money for the Y’s Teen Center (opening in June). She’s also a member of the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa, and is working with the Emerson Avenue Community Garden Club to raise money to beautify the Cowan Elementary School grounds. Besides all this, she is an active and engaged admin for the “Parenting Sisterhood in Westchester, PDR and PV” with fellow moms Debbie Ramirez, Aisha Harris, Rosy Mendelsohn and Sharon Vuong.
As busy as Sylvia is, she’s incredibly mindful about how she interacts with
the community. In addition to her role models, Mary Ellen Cassman and Karen Dial, she cites three guiding forces in her life that influence everything she does. The first is the wisdom she gleaned from her mother, Odessa Johnson.
Growing up in Modesto, in California’s Central Valley, Sylvia’s mom was eager to give her daughter fun and educational experiences.
“She would take me to San Francisco, and we’d go shopping, but we’d also go to the art museum or to see an orchestra performance,” says Sylvia. “She would always find a way to give me culture, but also have fun.”
Sylvia says she tries to do the same thing with her own kids.
“I’m a big kid myself, so I love planning activities and trips with them,” she says. “Whether it’s for their birthdays or just some random day where I’m like, ‘You know what? Let’s go to Dave and Busters’ or, ‘Let’s go on a little trip to San Diego,’ or just doing something fun together.”
The second guiding force for Sylvia is always giving people the benefit of the doubt. This comes in handy when moderating the Facebook group Parenting Sisterhood in Westchester, PDR and PV, a place for local moms to connect, swap resources and share information.
“Because of the online format, I feel like it’s really easy to be misunderstood. People can’t read your tone in a Facebook comment, so the easiest thing I found when there is miscommunication–if you can’t talk in person or on the phone–the best thing to do is just assume people have the best intentions,” Sylvia says. She says it comes down to evidence.
“I’m a lawyer. So, you don’t just assume you understand what a person meant by a comment they made,” says Sylvia. “Maybe there’s a back story, maybe there’s something behind why they feel the way they feel. But if you start to assume negative things, it could quickly drag you down, and our Facebook group is all about supporting other women, lifting each other up and really being sisters to each other.”
Sylvia’s third guiding force is to always put out positivity–something she constantly reminds her children.
“I’m sure my kids are sick of hearing it because I’m always telling them to be positive, don’t put things out in the universe that are negative,” she says. “Whatever you put out is going to come back to you!”
Between her Facebook sisterhood, all the places she volunteers, and the families she helps as a lawyer, the local community is stronger, better functioning and has a lot more positivity because of Sylvia Wilson.
Kellie Fell: Business Owner, Motivator, Mom
Kellie Fell is the mom of 8-year-old Holden and 5-year-old Lillie. She and her high school sweetheart husband, Josh, moved to Westchester in 2008. As a TV producer, she had planned to return to work after her first child was born, but soon realized it made
more sense to stay home with him and pick up work as a freelance writer. But after six months, she was feeling a bit isolated, so she tried out a fitness class where moms work out in the park with their babies in strollers.
The “Stroller Strides” class was part of a group called FIT4MOM Westside, and there she was able to find the encouragement and support she needed.
“I loved it! I met so many of my mom friends that I still have now through that class. When my son started going to preschool, I kept going without him because it was just so fun to work out with the other moms,” says Kellie.
When she was pregnant with her daughter, she found out the owner was selling the franchise. She wondered if this could be the next phase of her life. But without a fitness or business background, she was scared to move forward until her husband made a PowerPoint presentation highlighting all the pros and cons of pursuing this career path. With
his support, she decided her passion for this community outweighed any downsides, and she bought the business!
Though Kellie was nearly nine months pregnant, and her daughter was due any day, she wasted no time getting started. She planned a huge pop-up event with Athleta in Playa Vista and on that very same day, she went into labor.
“I put all this work into the event and then I texted my instructors and said, ‘You guys are going to have to run it without me because I’m on my way to the hospital to have this baby,’” she said.
Owning the FIT4MOM Westside franchise is more than just a job for Kellie. She’s helping to build a powerful, much-needed community where she gets back twice as much as she gives.
“I don’t want to sound too sappy,” says Kellie. “But giving moms a place to come and feel seen and know they aren’t alone is so important to me. Motherhood can feel very lonely, even though you literally have a person stuck to you all day. So having a community you can roll up to with spit-up in your hair and vent about anything from teething to sleep regression to potty training means everything.”
Kellie says she understands how daunting getting out of the house with a baby for the first time can be.
“It’s not even the workout that’s the hardest part. Taking that first step into a group that you don’t know can be so scary and so hard, especially when you’re carting around this new little being,” said Kellie, who this month is expanding her business from Westchester/Playa to include Culver City. “So once you get there, I want you to feel like it was worth it.”
Because moms are always giving, giving, giving, she says that sometimes it can feel like their cups are empty.
“I feel like they need something poured into them because moms pour out so much. So, it’s our job as instructors to pour into these moms and give them some positivity. I want them to come as they are and let us help them get through the day. Or at least through the morning and into naptime!”
Thank you, Kellie, for investing in both the physical and emotional needs of our local moms.
Luriko Ozeki: Healer, Educator, Mom
Luriko is the mother of 12-year-old Octavio, and though she’s been living on the Westside for three decades, (continued on page 18)
Moms make a difference (continued)
(continued from page 17) she and her husband Thomas decided to start their family in Westchester 13 years ago.
She discovered her passion for Eastern medicine a few years earlier, when she worked at a Japanese supplements company, which set her on a path to study traditional Chinese medicine.
Since becoming a licensed acupuncturist in 2008, Luriko has embraced her calling to help others. And there’s more to her practice than just needles! There are many methods she can employ to help treat everything from allergies and anxiety to digestive issues and menopause, including cupping, gua sha, herbal prescriptions and diet recommendations.
Luriko specializes in treating the whole family, but she’s also a pioneer in the emerging field of Pediatric Acupuncture and Asian Medicine.
“I use small hand-held tools that mimic the effect of acupuncture and provide a lot of manual therapy to children who might be afraid of needles,” says Luriko, who adds that traditional acupuncture is only used as a last resort.
Part of Luriko’s holistic philosophy includes the understanding that while it may only be the child who is ill, the family exists in a symbiotic
relationship. The healing the child experiences affects the parents, too.
“Moms start to see hope that their child is getting better. And when the mother has hope, she becomes more invigorated and empowered to make changes for the child to become healthier,” she says.
Once the child becomes healthier, the mother might sleep better, too, for example, improving the health and wellbeing of the whole family.
“I try to educate both the parents and the child on what it means to be healthy so that they start to make
healthier choices,” says Luriko. “I treat many moms, and luckily, a lot of them have started to really understand how to avoid being sick by taking preventive measures and how not to get so stressed and have less anxiety.”
When COVID hit, Luriko was able to quickly pivot her business to a telehealth model to provide treatments for many who were suffering with symptoms of the novel virus. She says that because Chinese medicine has been around for more than 2,000 years, the practice has developed a very sophisticated understanding of
how viruses and bacteria enter and affect the body through every stage of disease. She’s grateful she was able to successfully treat so many patients in the community dealing with symptoms of COVID-19 during the early days of the pandemic, and now, those dealing with long COVID.
While Luriko is very humble when she speaks about the impact her work has on local families, she continues to find ways to make a difference and help. She currently runs an acupuncture Facebook group, where members can discuss best practices and have a space to share. She is also an active volunteer at her son’s school and serves on the Parent Group Board and the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Committee.
“I’m hoping I’m making a little drop in a pond, but I know there are other acupuncturists who are also doing wonderful work within the community,” she says.
Thank you Luriko, we all know every drop counts.
This year, Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 14 and we encourage you to let the mom in your life take a breather, cook her a great meal, make a small contribution to your community on her behalf, or simply tell her you love and appreciate her. Happy Mother’s Day!
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19TH ANNUAL SPRING INTO WELL-BEING CELEBRATION
THANK YOU 2023 SPRING CELEBRATION SPONSORS!
JANE ST. JOHN Westchester Mental
2023 COMMUNITY BUILDER
Thursday, May 18, 2023 | 6:00pm
Drollinger Family Stage @ LMU
Join Airport Marina Counseling Service as we honor Justin Erbacci as the 2023 Community Builder in this special celebration at Loyola Marymount University!
DINNER AUCTIONS ENTERTAINMENT
Tickets and more info at: one.bidpal.net/amcs2023/
MASTER OF CEREMONIES
Janie Guthrie Skjervem and Mark Skjervem
Diane Barretti and Larry Plotkin
Judy and Daniel Dews
Global Bridge Foundation
Inn at Playa del Rey
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Linda Peterson and Gene White
Airport Terminal Management
C & S Companies
Cantalini’s Salerno Beach
The Hometown News
International City Bank
The Luboviski Family
The Parking Spot
Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club
Erika Puzik & Associates, Ameriprise Financial
Rotary Club of Westchester
Law Office of Edgar Saenz
Birdi Systems, Inc.
Burns & McDonnell
Environmental Science Associates
William H. Hannon Foundation
IPCT JV (MARRS/LENAX)
LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce
Los Angeles Marriott Business Council
Loyola Marymount University
Make Good Company
Jill and Terry Marcellus
PSM Squared, Inc.
Quigley and Miron
Christa and John Ramey
Red Brick Consulting
Rotarians Fighting Human Trafficking
RTI Consulting Inc.
John and Judy Theuer
Vanir Construction Management, Inc.
How fitness changes after 40By Jeff Blair
Opinion: While many fitness media images focus on those under 30, the reality is fitness becomes more important after we pass 40. Due to various changes that occur over the years, physical activity becomes more of a health necessity than it might have been in our early 20s. This month, I will explain some of those changes and what they mean for your health and wellbeing.
If your first thought when you hear “muscle” is a huge body builder, you are missing the bigger picture. Throughout our youth, muscles stay strong through regular physical activity. Riding bikes, running around a playground and playing sports are common and regular activities for kids and teenagers. The 20s tend to bring a dramatic slow down in physical activity for most Americans. This slowdown in activity usually produces muscle loss, beginning somewhere around 30-yearsold.
As muscles weaken over the years, movement can become more difficult and even painful. Muscles allow your body to move freely and consistently. If our muscles become too weak, move-
ments that elevate our heart rate will become challenging. Stronger muscles help us climb stairs, ride bikes or just go for a modest hike.
In addition to mobility, posture is largely controlled by muscle. Muscles in the mid-upper back, mid-section and lower body can impact posture. When we see an image of a stereotypical elderly person crouched over, this condition is largely caused by muscle loss over many decades. The gradual slide into poor posture is sometimes described as the “long, slow fall forward.” Muscles in your trunk, legs and core area are also responsible for stability of the spine. This is one reason when people experience lower back pain, physical therapists often focus on strengthening muscles around the spine. The stronger these muscles are, the more protected the spine will be from various stresses in our daily lives.
Joint pain after 40 is often due to muscles weakening over time. When muscles cannot do the work they once did, the stress of physical activity shifts into joints like the knees, back and shoulders, causing pain. Arthritis and other medical conditions can also be at play, but strengthening muscles can even help manage those situations.
Osteoporosis and osteopenia are medical conditions which impact tens of millions of Americans over 40. After a certain age, bone can break down faster and this can lead to bone density issues. Half of American women over 50 will develop osteoporosis. Strength training can provide good stress for bones and that can slow or even reverse bone loss.
While this article might remind you of a neighbor complaining about their aches and pains, it is about to take a turn. Doctors and healthcare professionals are fully recognizing the benefits of consistent strength training for making life after 40 more enjoyable and less painful.
Medical organizations as varied as the American Heart Association, the American College of Sports Medicine and the Mayo Clinic recommend full body strength training twice per week. Strength training takes many forms such as bodyweight exercises (think pushups), bands, machines, dumbbells and other tools. One way is not necessarily superior to the others and some individuals might respond better to different approaches. It is recommended to get professional guidance (from a certified personal
trainer or physical therapist) on proper form. A warmup that lasts between five and 10 minutes is recommended to decrease injury risk and increase results.
While some people notice changes within a workout or two, most people see or feel results within a few weeks. It is important to understand people follow very different fitness paths after 40. The process is not one size fits all. Some might live almost completely sedentary lives while others exercise almost daily. I regularly observe people looking 10 years (or more) younger than their peers by making just a moderate commitment to a fitness routine. A few hours per week can go a very long way. Committing to strength training can also provide a sense of autonomy and control over physical health that others might not experience. It is hard to put a dollar figure on that feeling!
Jeff Blair (M.S, CSCS) started the SoCalSport Personal Training Studio in Westchester in 2011. He is a certified personal trainer, author and focuses on strength training for those over 40. He has been featured in various fitness publications and on ABC. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get Your Fine Wine, Spirits, & Dining Out Drawing Tickets Now!
Tickets Are Going Fast
We are just a few weeks away from our signature fundraiser, the “Spring into Well-Being” Celebration, and this year’s Celebration will include a spectacular wine, spirits, and dining out basket drawing!
AMCS is selling 50 tickets for $100 each for a chance to win an amazing collection of wine, spirits, and more! The value is more than $2,000! The winning ticket will be drawn at the event.
This is just a sample of some of the truly special items in this year’s basket:
$100 restaurant gift certificates to restaurants like Porterhouse (a NEW restaurant opening in in El Segundo); The Rex Steakhouse in Redondo Beach; and Paul Martins in El Segundo as well as local favorites like Cafe Pinguini in Playa del Rey; Sapori in Fishermans Village; and more!
• Gin - Monkey 47 Gin (1L)
• Scotch - Lagavulin 16 Year Old Single Malt Scotch (750ML)
• Tequila - Clase Azul Plata Tequila (750ML)
• Tequila - Tears of Llorona Extra Anejo Tequila (375ML)
• Champagne - Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2011 (750ML)
• California Red - Dominus Estate 2019 (750ML)
• White Burgundy - Chablis Les Clos William Fevre 2020 (750ML)
• Grand Puy Lacoste 2005 (750ML)
So, get your tickets today! You need not be present to win.
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by emailing Bill Morgan at bmorgan@AMCShelps.com or calling (310) 670-1410.
Broaden your perspective for healthy relationshipsBy Fay Craton
Opinion: When was the last time you walked into a room and heard only part of what was being discussed? Did you use your imagination to fill in what you missed? Did you ask what was being talked about, only to be told it wasn’t all that important or some other deflecting statement, so the people involved in the conversation didn’t have to repeat their conversation? Or worse, were you told false information so they didn’t have to tell you the truth? At this point, most people will start to imagine what was being discussed, filling in information gaps not actually heard. For some folks, what was imagined becomes real. A day later, if asked, you might describe what you heard and what you imagined as the truth of what was being discussed. What you believe to be true is a narrative–a story–which probably is missing crucial pieces of information or is fully incorrect.
Right now, you might be saying, “Yes. I have done that, but I know the people involved in that conversation. What I filled in was correct.” Hmm...Do people who know you always accurately imagine what you are thinking? Or accurately fill in what you said when they haven’t actually heard you? Probably not! There is a pretty good chance you, too, sometimes misunderstand pieces of information you missed. It could be what you heard and imagined has left you feeling offbalanced, annoyed or possibly even angry. As time goes by, the incident could be forgotten, but a block upon which you build conclusions is now distorted.
Your understanding of the world is dependent on what you have learned. If what you learn is distorted, your perceptions are distorted. Or, if what you have learned is incomplete, your perceptions are incomplete.
Days, weeks or even years later, incomplete or incorrect information can become part of the process in how you make decisions. A time comes when you are in a stressful conversation with your spouse or another significant person when you jump to a conclusion unconsciously, using the distorted perception built in the past. It could be that the conclusion is so strong, you are unable to hear what the other person is attempting to say to you. Both of you are now annoyed. If this happens frequently, your relationship deteriorates, leaving you upset and angry.
So, what do you do to get your relationship back on track? You pause and take a few deep breaths and long exhales. Clear your mind. Take note of what is around you. Be sure you are clearly focused on the present moment and not thinking about the past or the future. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish. Do you want to prove
you are “right?” Do you want the other person to grovel? Or do you want a long-term loving relationship? Happy, meaningful lives are built on healthy relationships with others and with yourself. Proving yourself “right” or expecting another person to grovel does not build a happy, meaningful life.
If you want long-term loving relationships, it is time to make some changes within yourself. What does this mean? It means it is time to enlarge your perceptions to include more than what you currently know. It also means learning to be present in the now and letting go of ruminating thoughts about the past or future. It means you learn what is within your control and what is not within your control. You evaluate your values and what is important. It does not mean you accept demeaning comments or other forms of abuse. It also does not mean you stop expressing your own strengths and unique qualities. By doing this, you open yourself up to the possibility there can be more than one way of viewing a situation. Consider the possibility that one person does not have to be wrong when there are disagreements. Both people are seeing the situation based on past understandings. I encourage you to strive to quiet your own thoughts and listen to what the other person is saying. You may be able to find paths that work for both of you.
I find the practice of gratitude to be very helpful in all situations. When learning and/or going through changes, gratitude is especially important. An attitude of thankfulness helps me find patience and uplifts my attitude. As experiences change, a good attitude helps to offset any unsettling feelings created by something new.
You may wish to think about the changes as building new habits. When building a habit, you keep your goal in your awareness. What have you found in the past that works for you when focusing on a goal? Some people might create affirmation cards; others may create a collage, and some may journal their progress. Support in making changes is important. I encourage you to find a therapist or a support group to help you.
My wish is for you to have loving, supportive relationships with others and with yourself. Making the effort to broaden your perspective increases the quality of your connection with others. The question becomes, “Are you willing to grow?” My experience tells me the experience is worth the effort.
Fay Craton, M.A. is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (mfc40011), which is the psychology license specializing in relationships (with ourselves or with others). She has an office located in Westchester. If you have any questions, please contact Fay at (310) 645-6762.
In loving memory Laura Histed
Laura Belle Histed passed away March 29 in Los Angeles. She was a beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and mother-in-law, and an active member of the community throughout her life.
Laura was born in July, 1916 to James S. and Louise Cowell and enjoyed a loving upbringing with her sister Hazel. She married the love of her life, Charles F. Histed, and began a family that eventually included 2 daughters and a son.
Friends and family remember her cheerful demeanor, fierce loyalty, charitable spirit, and enthusiastic participation in family and community events. She was a Girl Scout leader and a Cub Scout den mother, a catalyst for kindness in her church activities, and a hopeful golfer. She played Canasta and Bridge with vigor, and she participated in an organization that granted scholarships to local students. Her home was always full of friends.
Laura traveled often for leisure and to visit family members. Her calming and optimistic manner made her a welcome presence on trips to Hawaii, Europe, a lakeside cabin in Michigan, and to visits with grandchildren in Connecticut and Colorado.
Laura also loved dogs and was often seen around her neighborhood walking her rescue Jack Russells–Mingo, and later, Sissy. She also looked after family dogs: big, happy white and black labs, Shelties, Bulldogs, and an energetic GSP.
Laura was predeceased by her husband,
sister, and two beloved sons-in-law. She is survived by her children: Louise London, Kristine Terrill, and Richard Histed; six grandchildren: Matthew Terrill, Scott (Daniella) and Laura (Alessandro Presti) London, and Travis (Anna), Colin, and Graham Histed; and two greatgranddaughters: Delta Lee and Delaney Bell Histed.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 6, at 11 a.m. at the Westchester United Methodist Church, 8065 Emerson Avenue in Westchester.
Donations in Laura’s memory may be sent to Marycrest Manor nursing home, 10664 St. James Drive, Culver City, CA, 90230. We thank Marycrest for the compassionate care given to Laura in her final year.
DIANNE DELL’AMICO memory of IN LOVING
On April 5, 2023, Dianne Dell’Amico succumbed to cancer, after a three-year battle. Dianne was a longtime resident of Westchester for 65 years.
She graduated from Westchester High School in 1960. She was married to Gary Dell’Amico (Westchester High School class of 1959), and they were married for 60 years.
Dianne was blessed with 3 children, 8 grand children and 1 great-grandchild.
Denise & Mardy Grossman
Matthew & Samantha
Justin & Maya
Steven & Judy Dell’Amico
Amanda, Michael, Megan
Keven & Malin Dell’Amico
Emma & James
Dianne, you will be missed by all. Especially by me! I will miss you forever! Until we meet again, please watch over us.
Love you, Gary
NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL OF WESTCHESTER / PLAYA
New NCWP Board to Take Seats in July
Following the March 26, 2023 Neighborhood Council Westchester / Playa election, the newly elected board members will be officially installed at the July meeting. Below, please find the final and official electon results (candidates
begin a four-year term in July):
“If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools.” CWP~ Plato Next
Need Help Paying Your Gas Bill?
Fans of live music were not disappointed by the talent and tunes showcased at the Battle of the Bands on Saturday, April 8. The inaugural event was hosted by the Westchester Family YMCA as part of its commitment to create new and fun opportunities for the community’s youth to demonstrate their talent, gain leadership skills, build self esteem and participate in unique activities.
More than 200 neighbors, parents, teens and rock fans showed up at the afternoon show in front of the YMCA Annex to listen to the 10 participating middle and high school bands that had signed up to perform.
Once the first riff was played, the audience was hooked by the musicianship and confidence of the
teens, who played original and cover songs, including the Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind?” and Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” To add to the festivities, The Book Jewel also set up a pop-up booth with music-themed reading, while food vendors sold pizza, burgers, waffles and more.
In the end, the panel of judges, made up of YMCA leaders and entertainment industry professionals, named San Diego county’s Trueblood as the 2023 winners. The middle school rock band was awarded a check for $500.
The crowd also had a chance to participate in the judging and voted for local high school Indie Rock/Pop band L!kewise to take home the trophy for the People’s Choice Award.
The event was made possible thanks to presenting sponsor the Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation and sponsors AT&T, Stephanie Younger Group, Rotary Club of Westchester, KVG Insurance, Westchester Pharmacy, realtor Cory Birkett, Gerber Kawasaki, Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary, Geslin Law and the Hometown News
As the Y gets ready to head into summer, they will be offering youth, ages 12-18, free memberships. Starting June 15 and running through August 15, teens can sign-up to receive complimentary access to the location’s fitness classes, academic support, volunteer opportunities, social gatherings and more. The “Get Summer” initiative comes at an
opportune time for the Westchester Family YMCA, which will celebrate the unveiling of its new teen space in the coming weeks.
1. Community members, sponsors, YMCA board members and staff pose for a photo.
2. Rock band, XEN, takes the stage.
3. Grunge band, Cherrypool, plays to the all-ages crowd.
4. Attendees enjoy the Battle of the Bands at the YMCA Annex.
5. Inside Voices kick off the day’s performances.
6. Trueblood takes home the top spot, and a cash prize, at the competition.
7. L!kewise gets recognized as the crowd favorite with the “People’s Choice Award.”