Anyone will tell you that planning an event is a time-consuming process.  The Santa Monica Lions are already working on our 65th Annual Pancake Breakfast, to be held on Saturday, September 28 at the SM Boys and & Girls Club. We are excitedly working through all the details. While many things such as the delicious breakfast remain the same, each year we offer new family activities in addition to kid-tested favorites.

But one of our favorite parts of the event is the fundraising we do to help the many community organizations that serve the Santa Monica and the Westside.  So, while we are making plans to make this the best event ever, I will share information in the next two articles about the nonprofits you help when you buy tickets or sponsorships for the Breakfast.

Step Up was started by Susan Dempsay in 1984 when she was seeking mental health services for a loved one and couldn’t find any. Initially housed in a warehouse providing limited services for 10 people a day, the organization evolved to meet the needs of the expanding homeless population, offering permanent supportive housing, vocational training and placement services and member-driven supportive services. Today Step Up has a total of 650 permanent supportive housing developments and serves thousands of individuals every year, free of charge.

The Santa Monica Breakfast Club was started in 1935 by 12 passionate, influential women who saw a need for dental care for disadvantaged children in our Santa Monica schools. Poor dental hygiene is attributed to slowed growth and development, reduced self-esteem, speech development issues and trouble learning. The SM Breakfast Club members volunteer their time and efforts through community outreach, assist in dental screenings and have provided more than $500,000 to help thousands of children.

Meals on Wheels West is more than a hot lunch and light dinner delivered to homebound seniors, the disabled, veterans and the chronically ill. They provide daily health and wellness monitoring during their deliveries, have an emergency preparedness program and provide referrals to other services that promote independent living and wellbeing. They have been serving Santa Monica the LA County coastal communities since 1974.

If you are inspired to help with our Pancake Breakfast or attend a lunch meeting the first and third Thursday of each month, please contact Marilynn Schalit at or (310) 903-8819 or Yoriko Fisher at or (443) 883-1101.

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