Optimists Donate $30,000 in Grants

By SUE PASCOE, Editor

 

The Pacific Palisades Optimist Club has awarded $30,000 in grants to local nonprofits.

The money came from a symbiotic relationship among local residents, the Palisades Will Rogers 5 & 10K Run Foundation and the Optimist Club. When residents register to run in the Fourth of July Will Rogers 5/10K Run, they pay a fee that is used by the Foundation to pay for City permits, medical, security, sound system, t-shirts and timing.

Prior to, during and after the race, Optimist members register racers and hand out water and t-shirts. For that volunteer work they receive money from the Foundation. This arrangement started about 39 years ago, when the Optimist’s Chuck McGlothin and the Foundation’s Brian Shea came up with the win-win solution.

The Optimist Club then began asking local nonprofits, dedicated to youth, to apply for grants. This year’s committee, composed of Optimists Bill Skinner, Bill Snyder, Don Scott and Stu Kaiser and Foundation member Michael Sullivan, met to discuss the applicants.

Thirty-six organizations asked for funding that totaled $143,000. “We wish we could have funded everybody the total amount they asked for,” said Optimist Grant chair David Peterson. “It was very difficult to decide the recipients.”

They gave the money in varying amounts to 24 nonprofits that benefit youth and community, with almost no group receiving the total amount it had requested.

Community groups receiving grants included Palisades Village Green, Movies in the Park, Palisades Beautiful and PAPA (Palisadian Americanism Parade Association).

The group supported youth sports by sponsoring a Pacific Palisades Baseball Association team, Palisades High School wrestling team uniforms and the Palisades tennis team.

Paul Revere received funding for a cello case and its Road to the Future speakers program. Palisades High School received funding for the same program, plus money for scholarships for two seniors, ELSA (a program for special-needs students) and Better Angels, Inc. (for low-income students).

The YMCA received money for its annual track meet, the Chamber of Commerce for its annual teen contest and Bryan’s Smile for its drug prevention program.

Other recipients included the Crayon Collection, California Poets (elementary schools) and the Palisades Charter Schools Foundation, which annually honors teachers for innovative and best practices.

The Optimist Club also supports a youth home/high school in the Eagle Rock area. These youth basically have no family to support them and the club ensures they have a place to stay and can receive a good education.

 

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