First Annual Pancake Breakfast with Santa a Big Success

The First Annual Pancake Breakfast with Santa was a major success and we were so proud to have been a part of helping Manhattan Beach kick off the Christmas Season. We had so many great volunteers who gave their time and worked their tails off to make this happen.

Our event chair, Suzanne Karger, led a tremendous effort that saw over 300 people served breakfast and over $3,000 in proceeds raised to benefit Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. We were also able to bring the Santa Float up to the Joslyn Center to allow people to take photos for their holiday cards with enough time to send them out before Christmas.

We hope to make this an ongoing, annual tradition in the community. Thank you to the citizens of Manhattan Beach for making this event so much fun and so rewarding!

Kiwaniscoop: 9/18/18

 Kaitlyn Sciarrino, Founder of Kindheartedly, joined as our keynote speaker

Kaitlyn Sciarrino, Founder of Kindheartedly, joined as our keynote speaker

New Meeting Night: We enjoyed another great meeting but this time on Tuesday night. The first big update under our new president, Cindy Carvel, is that we’re switching our meetings from the second Monday of the month to the third Tuesday of the month. Mark your calendars!

Kindheartedly Presentation: We were extremely fortunate to be joined by Kaitlyn Sciarrino, a senior at Mira Costa High School but, more importantly, the Founder and Executive Director of Kindheartedly. Kindheartedly is a 501(c)(3) charity focusing on improving the experience of female foster youths by creating “Kind Kits” (see picture above) that gives young women possessions to be proud of and to make them feel more normal in an often chaotic situation. To date, the primary beneficiary of Kindheartedly has been Maryvale Orphanage in Rosemead, CA.

Kaitlyn hopes to expand to additional orphanages as Kindheartedly grows and also begin to influence public policy. She raised over $10,000 in her most recent fundraiser and is looking for venues and volunteers for her next one, scheduled for January of 2019. Kindheartedly is off to a fast start, having won seed funding through a competition sponsored by the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. Kaitlyn shared with us her favorite quotation, which adequately sums up the mission of Kindheartedly:

We’ve had a police chief, a former fire chief, and many other impressive figures but Kaitlyn may have been our most impressive presenter to date. After she finished, our Kiwanians rushed to help her with her upcoming event, providing advice, support, and possible solutions to the resources she seeks.

Breakfast with Santa: We are confirmed for Saturday, November 24th at 8am at the Joselyn Center. We will be serving up pancakes as well as opportunities to take photos with Santa on the newly redesigned Santa Float. Tickets will be $10 each and there are sponsorship opportunities that range from $750 for bronze, $1,500 for silver, and $2,500 for gold. More info can be provided by Suzanne Karger and Doug Bermudez if you have questions. Thank you to you both for your hard work on this exciting new initiative!

Hometown Fair: The Hometown Fair is coming on October 6th and 7th and we need volunteers to help with the bike and stroller valet. We do this in an effort to provide a valuable community service, earn a few bucks through donations, and raise awareness for Kiwanis. Peter Yollin is on the Hometown Fair Board and can answer questions if you have them. A survey was just sent out to sign up for time slots, so if you didn’t receive it, please contact Michael Block.

Board Installation Party: We are planning our board installation party and dinner for October in lieu of our normal monthly meeting. We are still solidifying a date, however, October 25th is the current frontrunner. Jeff Wilson is running point and will be finding a venue that will work best for us. He’ll send an update soon, so stay tuned!

Social Night: On Friday, September 28th, Rick Block will be hosting a Social Night featuring Trivial Pursuit and adult beverages. Please bring a $10 gift certificate to a business of your choice so that we can add it to the list of prizes. The Evite went out on September 10th, so check your email to make sure you got it! Rick will information if you haven’t received it yet.

Happy Dollars/Sad Dollars: We had some great happy and sad dollars but I did a terrible job of taking notes. Suffice to say that everyone had much more happy than sad. Desiree is recovering nicely from a knee surgery, Misty was feeling a lot better after the recent car accident, Doug was celebrating being named a top 401k advisor, Michael was looking forward to his daughter’s third birthday, and DeAnn was happy to introduce Kaitlyn and Kindheartedly to us all.

See you next month at the Board Installation Party!

Kiwaniscoop: 8/13/18

 Former Manhattan Beach Fire Chief, Bob Espinoza, addresses the Kiwanis Club of Manhattan Beach

Former Manhattan Beach Fire Chief, Bob Espinoza, addresses the Kiwanis Club of Manhattan Beach

For today's meeting, we were happy to welcome guests from the Kiwanis Club of Hermosa Beach. Richard and Julie joined us to tell us about their upcoming event, Taste of the Beach. We hope that you'll be able to join!

Our keynote speaker was Chief Bob Espinoza, formerly of the Manhattan Beach Fire Department. Joining him was, Mike Boyd, current Battalion Chief at MBFD. Bob shared with us some fascinating facts about the fire department. There are 3 shifts per day with 9 people per shift. 66% of the call volume is for EMS services and MBFD records over 3,400 calls/year. They also deal with ALS, advanced life support (paramedics), and BLS: basic life support (EMTs). Everyone from Captain and below are paramedics. At MBFD, they transport patients but not all depts are able to. For any house fire, MBFD needs 18-19 firefighters which often means drawing resources from other departments. With about 100 fire call/year, this means that mutual aid is a necessity. Right now, as expected, many of California's resources are tied up with fighting wild fires, where they send teams in to be relieved after they have spent time fighting the wildfires. 

After the keynote, we did our election of new officers. We'll be posting those results shortly!

Suzanne Karger then presented her ideas for the upcoming Pancake Breakfast. We are hoping to use the Joslyn Center and we're getting a discount for being a 501c3. We're hoping for over 150 people to attend and Cindy is doing a lot of the admin work. The proposed date is Sunday, November 25th. Ashley and Brandon Oates doing marketing and we'll be pitching the event on November 16th. Doug Bermudez donated $1,500 to the cause! Big thanks to Doug! Tickets will be $10 with a possible discount for city employees. 

We then went into Happy Dollars, where members give donations to speak about positive events in their life. Stan gave happy dollars because he was glad to see Tiger Woods competing again. Steve gave happy dollars to welcome the new officers and to thank Bob Espinoza for coming. Desiree gave some HDs because she was grateful that her kids were back in school. Tom gave HDs because he was happy to with all his friends at Kiwanis. Bob gave HDs for getting a free meal! Ashley gave a HD for becoming a new member. Cindy and Misty gave HDs for some new open house opportunities. Rick ($40 HDs) and Mike ($6) gave HDs to recognize their respective wedding anniversaries in August. Doug gave $25 to recognize his daughter going off to high school and not having to carry the fine pot anymore. 

We were really happy to have had such an engaging meeting and we hope to see you with us in the future!

Tour de Pier 2018 Recap

 DeAnn, Rick, Suzanne, Craig, Steve, and Mike ready to rack some bikes at the 2018 Tour de Pier

DeAnn, Rick, Suzanne, Craig, Steve, and Mike ready to rack some bikes at the 2018 Tour de Pier

We were all out in force on Sunday, May 20th, participating in another great Tour de Pier at the beautiful Manhattan Beach Pier. Our club provided a great community service by parking and guarding all the bikes and strollers brought to the event, which numbered in the hundreds yet again!

The event itself raised thousands of dollars for cancer research and we were so honored to have played our role for another year. If you have interest in making an impact on your community while also having a great time with a group of civic minded individuals, we hope you'll consider coming to one of our meetings or joining the club!

Kiwaniscoop: 5/14/18

 Chief Abell addresses a rapt audience of Kiwanians and their guests.

Chief Abell addresses a rapt audience of Kiwanians and their guests.

Our May meeting, we were honored to host Chief of Police for the city of Manhattan Beach, Chief Derrick Abell. Chief Abell gave a fascinating presentation about how he leads the department, about the state of policing in Manhattan Beach, and about how you can make yourself and your possessions less likely to be on the wrong side of a situation. Chief Abell is focusing his tenure as Chief on three main areas:

  • Succession planning
  • Strategic planning
  • Crime fighting/quality of life issues

Chief Abell encourages his team to think progressively and, rather than thinking outside the box, forget about the box altogether! If there are innovative ideas out there, he wants to hear them. He hopes to empower his people to use reason and make decisions on their own. He also aims to build on his partnership with the community to be an extension of his eyes and ears. Chief Abell's talk was full of great anecdotes and real data and he was cheered on with a standing ovation when he finished.

In addition to the Chief, we were also happy to welcome additional guests to dinner who, hopefully, will be our future members! We had a packed house of members and guests as we followed up Chief Abell's informative session with updates about our upcoming volunteer events, including the Older Adult Health Fair and the bike and stroller valet at Tour de Pier

Our big fundraiser at the Comedy & Magic Club is also coming up! Tickets are just $20 each and the event will be on Thursday, June 14, 2018. We hope to see you there!

We gave a recap of our fun social night at Jeff's place and announced that our next social night will be at Misty's house with a date still pending. Whenever we get together, though, it's always a great time!

Lastly, we have officially set up our scholarship fund on Amazon Smile. If you buy things on Amazon, please consider buying the exact same thing on Amazon Smile and selecting the Kiwanis Club of Manhattan Beach as your charity. Here's how you do it: just go up to Change Your Charity and search for "Manhattah Beach Kiwanis Scholarship Fund" and hit select. 

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It only takes a minute and a portion of your purchases will go to a great cause!

Thanks for joining us in May. We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on Monday, June 11th! If you're interested in joining, please just click here

7th Annual Toy Loan Drive

On Sunday, April 21st, with the help of many generous members of the community, the Kiwanis Club of Manhattan Beach ran another successful toy drive for the LA Toy Loan Program. The LA Toy Loan Program is a wonderful program that allows kids in less affluent areas of Los Angeles to borrow toys and return them, similar to a library. When a child returns the toy successfully several times, he or she gets to keep it! It's a program that teaches responsibility and provides great toys to children who otherwise might not have access. 

We are honored to serve a community that continues to fill up the truck year after year after year!

Kiwaniscoop: 4/9/18

On Monday night, April 9, 2018, Stan, DeAnn, Britt and Suzanne opened the back room at Lido Restaurant promptly at 5:30 p.m.  Our substitute President, Steve Carvel, appear shortly thereafter and inquired as to the current start time of the meeting.  It is now 5:38 p.m., and still no call to order....

Jeff Wilson appeared with wonderfully printed flyers about the APRIL 12, 2018 MB KIWANIS GAME NIGHT at the home of he and his lovely, patient, wife, Karen.  Game Night starts at 6:00 p.m. and those not attending MBMS Open House have no excuse not to attend.  The idea is that every quarter or so, a member will host a social event in order to give the club an opportunity to get to know each other outside of the meeting space. 

By 5:48, when Mr. Block Jr. strolled in, no call to order — and discussion ensued with regard to when and why we had switched the call to order from 6 to 5:30 p.m.  We discussed the possibility of changing the call to order back to 6 p.m. — and possibly changing the day of the evening meetings from Mondays to Tuesdays to accommodate our Leadership Manhattan Beach colleagues. 

Call to Order at 5:49 p.m., by the clink of a fork on a glass of the house Cab.  Desiree Brown, with dues not quite paid, is our newest member and was introduced to the concept of the Fine Pot.  MB Kiwanis fines are voluntary and collected into the Fine Pot.  Tradition calls for fines being imposed for “fun activities,” such as vacations, new car purchases and a portion of gambling winnings.  

The newest and happiest “New Business” was the story of the wonderful adoption of Maddox Baylynn Frasier, born approximately a week ago Saturday, the happy, healthy baby girl newly-adopted out of Seattle, Washington of Misty and Patrick Frasier. 

Everyone is encouraged to come out to the Toy Loan toy drive on APRIL 21, 2018, 9 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Mira Costa High School turn-around in front of the administration building, and to spread the word for people to bring LOTS OF TOYS!!!  New and gently-used toys, games, books and stuffed animals are welcome.  A flyer is available so ask DeAnn if you need any information and the flyer. 

Suzanne shared the news that what-is-old-is-new-again with the idea of a Pancake Breakfast with Santa in November as a fundraising event. Suzanne will contact venues and report back in June.

JUNE 14, 2018 was announced by Stanley Ralls as the night of the Comedy & Magic Club Fundraising Event.  The Club keeps all of the ticket sales money of $20 per ticket, and the Club benefits from the two-item minimum.  Therefore, it is imperative that the people to whom tickets are sold ACTUALLY ATTEND THE EVENT. Contact to get your tickets!  It is always such a fun event!

On MAY 14, 2018, we are excited to announce that the new Chief of Police, Derrick Abell, will be our featured speaker for our Membership Event.  Every member is required to bring AT LEAST ONE POTENTIAL MEMBER to the Event.  

We are also looking for volunteers on MAY 20, 2018, to work the bike valet for Tour de Pier.  We will be signing up shifts starting at 7:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Please let DeAnn know by e-mail at

On June 11, 2018, we will have featured speaker, Judy Hirsch, as our guest speaker.

Desiree started off Happy Dollars, with a Sad Dollar that Spring Break is over and a Happy Dollar that the sun is out and she is fired up for Summer!  Next, a Happy $5 from Mike Block for a trip to Vancouver for “a bit of a vacation,” and substitute President Steve Carvel bumped it up by a $1 fine for a vacation.

Suzanne also did $4 Happy Dollars for Maddox, Misty and Patrick, along with $1 for a “road trip” to Santa Barbara and the “Funk Zone.” 

Steve started a new tradition of an IOU for a $5 Happy Dollars for Maddox, Misty and Patrick, and Stan popped in another $5 Happy Dollars for the same happy event, plus that he got a chance to hold the Baby - simulating the weight of the baby, he convinced Desiree to relinquish the fine-basket — but, she was given a Mulligan (which apparently is a golf term for a do-over). 

Britt’s wallet has been “leached” and he contributed his last dollar with a video of his 1-year old daughter who just started walking holding hands with her cute, 3-year old daughter.

The meeting adjourned at 6:55 p.m. with a resounding version of “Hail Kiwanis.”

Signing off,

Kiwanis Scoop Reporter, DeAnn Chase

Santa in the Park

 MB Kiwanis Director, Stan Ralls, helps kids on and off the Santa Float during an impromptu visit to Polliwog Park

MB Kiwanis Director, Stan Ralls, helps kids on and off the Santa Float during an impromptu visit to Polliwog Park

We had a wonderful weekend in Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach for our second annual Santa in the Park event. This event allows parents to snap photos of their kids with Santa in the beautiful confines of the park in daylight so that Christmas cards can be ready to go and looking great for the holiday season. 

This was also the debut event for the new and improved Santa Float! We're so grateful for the investment that Leadership Manhattan Beach put into the float. The new look is fun, beachy, and much more inviting and with brand new parts, this float should last a good long time. After giving it a test drive through the park, wee can't wait to take it for a spin this winter!