The Santa Monica Lions are ready to make 2020 are best year yet.

The first activity of the SM Club was to celebrate the charter of our new newly formed Leos Club on January 22nd.  Last year, students from Pacific Palisades High School wanted to start their own service club.   According to Co-President Scarlett Klein, they “wanted to be more active in the community and wanted to be part of a larger organization.”  After researching the various youth service organizations, they selected Lions, reaching out to the Santa Monica Lions Club. The students meet Wednesdays at lunch and are hoping to focus on homelessness.  Co-President Layla Chambers had done a school project on the issue and in sharing it with her classmates, inspired them. They have plans to volunteer at homeless shelter, get donations and learn more about how they can be a apart of the solution.

With the recent wildfire scare in the Pacific Palisades, the Australian wildfires have struck a chord. Growing up in Southern California, which faces numerous fire threats each year, the Leos feel a responsibility to help.  They are putting together plans to go to the Palisades Sew Shop and make blankets for the koalas, along with clothes wings for the bats that have been injured.

The SM Lions started off the year with a program focused on health. At the January 26th meeting we were pleased to host Drs. McEwen and Kaiser from the Pacific Brain Health Center, a part of the Pacific Neuroscience Institute associated with the St. John’s Health Center and the John Wayne Institute.  The topic was brain fitness and healthy aging.  One of the most prevalent fears people have is of mental decline, be it for family members or themselves as they age.  The presenters were amazing and prompted an engaging discussion.

Next, the Santa Monica Lions, along with other clubs throughout California, will be holding the first rounds of our annual student speakers contest. The topic this year is, “Homelessness in California: What is the Solution?”  The student that makes it through all levels of the contest will have accumulated $21,500 in scholarship money. If you would be interesting in hearing the thoughts and perspectives of our Westside students, we will be holding the first round at the Santa Monica YMCA on Thursday, February 20 at 6:30 p.m. with coffee and desert to be served following the speeches.  Please contact Carole Mullaney at carolemullaney6@gmail.com or (310) 399-7604 to RSVP.

If you are a person who is interested in serving the Santa Monica and Westside communities, please consider joining us for a meeting.  We have community service projects planned for March, April and June.  Please contact Marilynn Schalit at marilynnschalit@yahoo.com or (310) 903-8819 or Yoriko Fisher at yorikofisher@gmail.com or 443-883-1101, to learn more about becoming a Lion.

Susan DeRemer