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Malibu Rotary Club President Bianca Torrence (far left) poses with Malibu students who received gift cards from the Rotary on Dec. 18 in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Malibu’s Emergency Fire Relief Fund. Margo Neal/Malibu Rotary Club
Barbara Burke, Freelance Reporter
1:48 pm PST December 21, 2018

The Woolsey Fire and its consequences notwithstanding, life in Malibu goes on, as does the holiday season.  

For those who lost everything, making efforts to begin life anew is daunting enough, let alone trying to have some semblance of a festive yuletide.

Recognizing these difficulties, The Rotary Club of Malibu partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of Malibu’s Emergency Fire Relief Fund to support students who lost their homes.  

The Rotary provided 23 Malibu Middle and High School students at Malibu High School $500 gift cards at a Dec. 18 event at the Boys and Girls Club. More than $11,000 was given to the Malibu Rotary Club by the Playa Vista Venice Sunrise Rotary Club, according to Teresa LeGrove, Malibu Rotary Club vice president elect and youth chairwoman. 

“Howard Pollack raised the funds by putting a sign up at his store, Rainbow Acres – Natural Food Market,” LeGrove said. “His sign said he was collecting money for fire victims through Rotary and that he would match the amount raised.” 

Malibu High School counselors Luke Sferra and Katie Dahm recommended student recipients to the Rotary after consultation with Kasey Earnest, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Malibu.

“The gift cards helped the student recipients have a good holiday,” Sferra said. “I’ve received quite a number of emails from appreciative parents, and this effort helps the students a lot because, in any crisis, returning to normalcy as quickly as one can is a great goal.” 

The students receiving the gift cards were extremely grateful. 

“We are so thankful to the Rotary Club for this generous gift,” said Lauren Carr–Reed. “With the money, I am planning to buy lots of new clothes, school supplies and carrots for the starving deer who live up by our burned house.”

Lauren’s brother, Spencer Carr-Reed, was touched by the Rotary’s gesture.

“I appreciate all the Rotary Club has done for Malibu and MHS,” Spencer said. “Offering gift cards to the victims really helped us out just in time for the holidays.” 

Christie Carr, Lauren and Spencer’s mother, was overwhelmed by the Rotary’s gifts to her children. 

“We are so appreciative of the nice, generous and kind gifts from the Rotary,” she said. “The kids were awesomely surprised and so happy and Spencer is hoping to buy an amp that burned in the fire, whereas Lauren, if given the choice, would spend it all on clothes.” 

If Lauren and Spencer sound familiar to readers, it is because the duo has been rocking the music scene in Malibu at the Chili Cook-Off and other venues for quite a few years, most recently appearing as Violet Saturn (formerly Lulu and the Frantic Shrimp). 

“Because of the fires, our music video looks a little different now!” Lauren said. “It’s all OK, though, because now it is a tribute to the kindness of Malibu.”

For more information on donating to Woolsey Fire victims: 

Web: https://bgcmalibu.org

Email: emergencyrelief@bgcmalibu.org  

Phone: (424) 388-9862