mychal's learning place

Kiwaniscoop: 2/21/17

The Kiwaniscoop is a longstanding tradition to keep members and well wishers informed of our actions and antics.

The meeting began quasi-promptly five minutes after our 6pm start time at Barsha Wine & Spirits. Jeff Wilson led us in the Pledge of Allegiance as always, however, soon thereafter, President Steve Carvel threw a major curve ball: we jumped into an ad hoc Board Meeting!

The business discussed at the emergency session of the Board Meeting was: should the Kiwanis Club of Manhattan Beach take control over the upcoming new version of the Manhattan Beach Santa Float. Much time was spent figuring out what our real name was--do we use "Club?" do we have an "Inc" at the end?--but after we settled on our official name, we discussed the pros and cons.

Pros: We would be able to continue our improvement of the management of the float and overseeing of the Santa Float website with more discretion and official recognition.

Cons: There may be additional liability.

The motion was passed unanimously including a vote from Larry Mitchell who added to growing national concerns over voter fraud by voting in a Board Meeting in which he is not a member of the Board.

Stan then announced that we're bringing back the raffle! This was not a motion; this was happening, like it or not. Stan went around the table giving out raffle tickets and collecting $2 from each member. It was unclear whether or not a raffle prize existed but there was something about Stan's determination that made questioning him seem unwise.

Steve then introduced our two guests: Melanie from Mychal's Learning Place and former Lt Governor, Jackie Acosta, who is here to talk about the Kiwanis Club of Carson's upcoming raffle.

Melanie then treated us a wonderful speech about the history of Mychal's and its role in the community. The focus of Mychal's is helping young adults with autism and learning disabilities to cope with the realities of everyday living. All of the things that many adults take for granted, the good folks at Mychal's take the time to help out those for whom it can be an ongoing challenge. The end goal is finding jobs for these amazing individuals.

Melanie also let us know about an exciting upcoming event, Mychal's Annual Luncheon and Auction. The event is on May 13, 2017 from 11:30 am - 3:00 pm at the Manhattan Beach Marriott. The Kiwanis Club of Manhattan Beach sponsored a table of ten last year and will decide whether to sponsor again this year at the next Board Meeting. Melanie confirmed that we were both the nicest and the first organization that she has spoken to since joining the Mychal's team.

Jackie Acosta then passed out a few forms from the Kiwanis Club of Carson. Their St. Patrick's Day raffle is coming up and it's their largest fundraiser of the year. Jackie reminded us that the Kiwanis Club of Manhattan Beach has traditionally done very well in the raffle, which made purchasing seem like a smarter bet. Between the entire table, enough cash was on hand to support this great cause (and hopefully win some money!).

Jackie invited us to join Carson for an inter-club meeting but Steve let Jackie know that our last inter-club didn't go so well. The Kiwanis Club of Manhattan Beach's notorious sticky fingers found their way to El Segundo's bell and the standoff was as contentious as it was hilarious. Jackie confirmed that Manhattan Beach was in the right and that it is a longstanding tradition in Kiwanis to teach proper bell security by stealing bells at every possible opportunity.

Jackie then went over her 2016 transparency report. Surely, a woman so principled as to share such detail was correct over her bell stealing recommendation. Long live the greatest LTG in Division 19 history!

Steve made a motion to approve the already spent 2016 budget. Michael Block seconded and then it was brought to our attention that there's no need to approve budgets from the previous year. Intentions seemed to be in the right place.

DeAnn then gave us a short update on the upcoming Toy Drive. The Kiwanis Club of Manhattan Beach has sponsored the LA Toy Loan program for years. This program acts as a library for toys for children in less affluent areas of LA County who may not otherwise have access. Families from the South Bay round up their new and gently used toys and donate them to this great program. We help facilitate the donation process at Mira Costa High School. We are finalizing a date for either March or April.

Steve then realized that the gavel was missing and went ballistic, making wild accusations of our most trusted members and even of our guest. Cindy and Melanie made their exit amidst the chaos. Things calmed down as Rick Block introduced additional confusion about Larry's wine bill. Sometimes, meeting confusion with more confusion can calm things down.

Steve then moved on to his topic of expertise: the Santa Float. Currently, Leadership Manhattan Beach is moving forward with renovating the float as their annual project for community enrichment. This project should yield a new, updated float of which we can all be even prouder. We're looking forward to a fantastic partnership with LMB. Donations can be made on their website. There was a bit of discussion around how many reindeer should be on the float. Jeff suggested twelve reindeer but was promptly berated by the group who preferred the more traditional "eight plus Rudolph" model.

Our President, Steve, then read aloud the entirety of a Beach Reporter article highlighting the exhaustive efforts of the Kiwanis Club of Manhattan Beach, LMB, and, of course, Steve himself (editor's note: Steve works his butt off, so we let him finish without giving him too much grief). Larry tried asking a question but was rebuked by the determined President. Misty made a similar attempt but cut through Steve's challenge, overruling his overruling. The fact that she had words of support for Steve's push to use the local love of the Santa Float to drive up membership no doubt helped her case.

The LMB fundraiser will be an auction and party at the Bo Bridges Gallery on Thursday, March 16th. We encourage everyone to show!

The night ended with the long awaited raffle. The door prize, a nice bottle of wine, was won by Misty, who accumulated all of Cindy and Melanie's tickets in the commotion of their early exit. The fine free ticket was won by... well, we'll find out next month!

Steve offered $20 to the Gavel Gods and they smiled up on. His gavel returned safely moments later. Jeff gave five happy dollars and regaled us with a story of his intrepid trip to Uganda where he lived among the chimpanzees. It wasn't until the final day of the trip that the chimpanzees realize that Jeff wasn't one of them. Steve gave five more happy dollars for the wonderful press that we received in the Beach Reporter

Thanks for reading the Kiwaniscoop! See you next month!