Palisadian Stuart Kaiser was honored during an October 25 gala at the South Park Center in downtown Los Angeles for his support for the Optimist Youth Homes. More than $158,000 was raised to benefit education and treatment programs for at-risk children.
Founded in 1906, the youth homes have become one of the region’s largest education and treatment centers for juvenile offenders and at-risk children. These homes (and a charter school) give many teenagers a fresh start and a second chance, while keeping them out of the penal system.
Kaiser, who is active with the Pacific Palisades Optimist Club and the Optimist Foundation, received the Mentor Award. The award is given to an individual who serves as a role model for the youth served at the Optimist Home in Highland Park (Eight other locations are in Los Angeles County including Pacific Lodge Youth Services in Woodland Hills).
Spokesperson Andy Coscarelli said Kaiser was selected because of his consistent and generous financial support of the nonprofit organization. “He has repeatedly inspired others to do the same through matching grants and leading by example,” Coscarelli said.
At the November meetings, members donated $11,550 for items at the Youth Home. “Through the guidance of dedicated Youth
Home staff, youth are working to rebuild their lives and become productive members of our community,” said Kaiser, who is matching the donations, so the total given to the home will be $23,100. “My matching contribution will be used specifically to purchase essential items for promising youth transitioning to living independently. These youth typically are working and also attending a community college or learning skills in a vocational training school.”
Kaiser earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in business administration from USC. He is a former naval officer and a Vietnam veteran.
A certified public accountant, Kaiser was the managing director and chief financial officer of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, before his retirement in 2010.
He and his wife, Janice, have lived in Pacific Palisades for 31 years, where he enjoys making wine. He has been a home winemaker for 20 years, purchasing red wine grapes from selected Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley and Paso Robles vineyards. “My favorites are our cabernet sauvignon wines made over the years,” he said.
The couple’s sons are Ryan and Greg, both attended local schools and are Troop 223 Eagle Scouts.
“Our actions can impact and change the lives of troubled youth,” Kaiser said, pointing to the success of the Optimist Youth Homes. He has been a member of the Optimists for 23 years.
For information about the Youth Homes, call 323-443-3023 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
To become a member of the Palisades Optimist Club and help support youth programs, attend the weekly Tuesday breakfast meeting from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Aldersgate Lodge, 925 Haverford Ave. Every week, the optimists have an guest speaker. (There is no meeting on the fifth Tuesday of the month.) For more information here, contact Chuck McGlothin at email@example.com.