On May 7 the Santa Monica Lions Club held their first annual Kentucky Derby Day at St. Monica’s Grand Pavilion. The event was unlike any event that our guests had attended before. In addition to the video-taped horseracing from Del Mar, beautiful gift baskets for the raffle and silent auction, and a Kentucky Derby hat contest, the event culminated in a live feed  of the Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs. In between the Del Mar races, guests received updates on the rainy weather and track conditions at the Derby, while bidding on auction baskets and items donated by Bubar’s Jewelers, J. Crew, Lady Chocolate and Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge. They were also entertained by Phil Brock, our emcee throughout the event. Southern California horse, Nyquist, was the Derby winner.  To join in the fun next year, save the date of Saturday, May 6, 2017 when the Santa Monica Lions host the 2nd Annual Kentucky Derby Day.

Part of the joy of being a Lion also comes with the community pride we share with other Santa Monica service organizations. Our club was fortunate to be invited to a Kiwanis’ meeting to hear about the Santa Monica Downtown Master Plan and meet several Kiwanis grant recipients. It is always inspiring to learn about the nonprofits that work to help our community, as well as to see the generosity of the Kiwanis.

This month the Santa Monica Lions are proud to announce that for the first time in our 93-year history, we are home club to the Lions District 4-L3 district governor! Lion Carol Ann Emmitt, was elected to the post at the District Convention in Oxnard. Emmitt has been a long-time resident of Santa Monica and was the first woman to become a Lion, when the club changed its policy of accepting women. Today we have more women than men in the club!

Our service project for May is a walk for the Veterans on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30 at 8 a.m. at the VA in Westwood. To join us in support of the valiant men and women who have served our country, you can register online at http://www.walkforwarriors.org/, look for the “Lions Across California” team. If you have any questions, please contact Susan at (310) 442-9513 or at santamonicalion@gmail.com.

Susan DeRemer is President of the Santa Monica Lions Club.

For more information about the Lions Club visit www.facebook.com/smlions, http://e-clubhouse.org/sites/santamonica, call (310) 623-4499 or reach them at PO Box 3435, Santa Monica, CA 90408.