A picture from the 61st Annual Lions Club Pancake Breakfast.

Each year at this time the Santa Monica Lions focus on giving back to the community they serve with grants from two fundraising events, the pancake breakfast in September and the Kentucky Derby Day in May.

This year we are happy to provide grants to 10 organizations that serve the Santa Monica area, two Santa Monica High scholarships, two Santa Monica College scholarships and three Lions Clubs projects.

What is particularly exciting this year is that several of these organizations are new to the SM Club. Before coming to speak at a club meeting, or applying for a grant, we had never known how important they are to our community. If you are part of an organization that would like to be considered for funding next year, please check out Club Projects on our Santa Monica Club website to learn the guidelines and download an application. Grants are received throughout the year, but are only reviewed once a year, in May.

Another wonderful part of the May is the Youth Leadership Award that we are able to give out for community service project student have worked on in the past year.  This spring we are congratulating Janaya Feiner, Nicholas Daglas and Antonia Sterns, with silver awards for 50 hours of community service; and Benjamin Indeglia, with a gold award for 100 hours of community service.  All students are from New Roads School.  Any junior high or high school student is eligible, just contact Susan at santamonicalion@gmail.com or 310-442-9513. The deadlines for applications are November 1st and May 1st.

The Lions have elected new officers for the 2017-18 year. Our new president will Linda Levee, with Gail Litvack returning as vice president, Pam Andrews and Alan Parr returning as co-treasurers, Carole Mullaney returning as secretary, Kingsley Fife will become our lion tamer and Gaby Schkud will be our tail twister. I have enjoyed serving as president of the SM Club for the past two years, but am happy to move to IPP and have Linda take over.

As a reminder, we are currently meeting at the El Torito on Ocean Park Blvd on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month from 12:15 – 1:30 PM.  If you think you might want to become a Lion, please contact at 310-442-9513 or santamonicalion@gmail.com.