A Sizzling Start to Summer at Penny Lane

July 3, 2023

Penny Lane Summer Carnival for Our Families

On a beautiful Friday in June, our families were able to enjoy a carnival type event hosted by three wonderful organizations:  Ares Management, Houlihan Lokey, and Wedbush Securities.  What an amazing day it was! The joy and laughter were some of things that the donors were able to appreciate as they saw the faces of the children, youth and families in attendance. Dancing and playing games with DJ Max, arts and crafts with the volunteers from these organizations were just some of the activities of the day.  The families were able to take home give aways such as prizes, pictures and their own picture frame which they created at the Arts and Crafts table. This event was also an opportunity for our families to enjoy positive and healthy interactions and build or create relationships with each other.  

Ares, Houlihan, and Wedbush are three wealth management companies.  Their staff and the leadership are dedicated to “giving back” to communities. They strive to do good and make a meaningful difference through volunteering and philanthropy that helps improve peoples’ quality of life. When families fall on hard times, they need to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. This event helps families and individuals stand tall, briefly put aside their trauma, and know that people care. Penny Lane focuses on helping families by providing the tools they need to transform their lives.  Partnerships with these organizations and others allows for combined resources and services help to create a pathway to success.

Penny Lane Centers thanks our community sponsors Ares, Houlihan and Wedbush for making this day possible. A special thanks goes to Katrina, Anthony, Lee, Danielle, Mahoganie, Jennifer and the committee/volunteers that worked so hard to make this event a fun day for our families and helped to create happiness in the lives of those who attended. The donors, volunteers, and the committee were energized by the joy they felt that day and look forward to hosting this event again next year.

If your company would like to sponsor an event or volunteer, please email Nydia Barakat at nbarakat@pennylane.org.

-Nydia Barakat, Penny Lane Centers

Day of Service at Penny Lane Centers

"Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve, you only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love." -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On June 13th, Penny Lane Centers hosted our 2nd Annual Day of Service.  The day exemplifies Penny Lane’s commitment to our clients and the communities we serve.  On a daily basis, PLC serves hundreds of families and individuals  through therapy, housing, case management, and other service.  On June 13th we served by putting together care packages with much needed items for those in need in our community.  

The  leadership team gathered at the North Hollywood facility and put together care packages filled with toiletries, bedding, shoes and more.  All of the items were donated by generous donors such as Sole4Souls, Allied and others.  We thank them for their contributions which helps us transform lives.  Due to their generosity over 300 households will benefit.  

That afternoon the North Hills office welcomed more than 50 families to the Rainbow Room where they received the care packages.  Word spread fast as neighbors told their neighbors of the giveaway.  Parents and children gathered and were greeted by PLC staff who gave the families toothbrushes, diapers, blankets and, in some cases, purple sparkly high top tennis shoes!  The smiles and gratitude were palpable as the families received the donations . . . giving them hope for better days. Our locations in Lancaster and Commerce will mirror the efforts of North Hills by distributing bags in their communities in upcoming days.

Penny Lane Centers is committed to engaging our staff in tangible ways to serve our community and our neighbors.  We thank you for giving your time, love and commitment to the children, youth and families that we serve as well as our communities.  A special thank you to our maintenance staff and support staff for helping during the day of service.

-Nydia Barakat, Penny Lane Centers

Antelope Valley Chess Tournament

In honor of mental health awareness month, the AV Outpatient Clinic held a chess tournament for their youth on June 8th, 2023. The turnout was great, and several youths were able to attend and put their chess skills to the test against other youths!

Some therapists in the AV Outpatient Clinic have worked with their youth to teach them the game of chess as there are many benefits to playing chess. The website healthyoptions.com states; “Playing chess results in better brain function, improved memory and cognitive abilities, strategic thinking, attention improvement and can even help prevent dementia.” The website chess.com also lists other benefits of playing chess, including, building confidence, helping you remain calm under pressure, teaching kids how to win and lose, and developing problem solving skills.

AV Chess Club president Steve Custodio attended the event to provide a basic chess tutorial to those interested in learning how to play the game of chess.  The event had different youths of all ages participating against each other in a round-robin style tournament. The youth shook hands before their matches and shook hands after their matches showing respect to the game and each other no matter if they won or lost. The families of these youths were able to cheer for their children as they enjoyed some pizza and beverages!

The first place and second place winners were thrilled!  They were awarded beautiful wood chess sets and they couldn’t wait to start playing with them.  We hope to hold another tournament later this year as the feedback from the youths and families that participated was great!

-Mario Cruz Martinez, Penny Lane Centers

Check out some more photos below!

Bingo & Pizza Night with the Optimist Club of Sherman Oaks

The Optimist Club of Sherman Oaks volunteered at Penny Lane Centers.  They hosted a Bingo and Pizza night for children and families living in the Rayen Apartments. The children were jumping for joy as they played  Bingo while enjoying delicious pizza and cookies provided by the members of the club.  The Optimist volunteers genuinely bonded with the children, while learning many of their interests.  This interaction created a connection between them that will last for a long time. The volunteers relished their time with the children and would like to reconnect with our families for some future events.  .

The Optimist Club members participate in community service programs that are dedicated to bringing out the best in youth. Part of their objective is to aid and encourage the development of youth, in the belief that the giving of one’s self in service to others will advance the well-being of humankind, community life and the world.

For volunteer opportunities at Penny Lane, please contact Gabriela Segura at gsegura@pennylane.org  For information about our programs or to donate please go to www.pennylane.org

-Nydia Barakat, Penny Lane Centers

Check out some more photos of the bingo night below!!

Sheriff's Academy and Firework Buy Back Program

On the 24th of June we had a very good turn out for the Sheriff’s Department’s open house. We are looking forward to hosting another Sheriff’s Academy like we did in 2018 that was open to our clients and the community. The Sheriff Department really appreciates the efforts we do at Penny Lane to have Community outreach programs where our clients and the community can be involved. We look forward to doing some more Community Outreach with the Sheriff's Department in 2024!

Additionally, this past weekend we participated in LA County's Firework Buy Back Program at Brand Park. This event was sponsored by the Council Office of Monica Rodriguez. It was a great event to help stop the use of illegal fireworks in LA County. Every person that turned in fireworks received a gift card for their donation and commitment to safety!

-Erik Ingebrigtsen, Penny Lane Centers

Check out some more photos below!!