Applause fills the room as Christina Davis, President/CEO of the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce, calls the room to order. The surroundings are almost regal, with the newly remodeled ballroom at the Renaissance Los Angeles Airport Hotel sporting warm greys and indigo tones, the metallic shine of each cushioned chair balancing nicely with gold light fixtures. There are over 200 pairs of hands clapping this afternoon, and mixed in with the noise the crowd can hear sporadic laughter and radio chatter. The radio chatter might seem out of place for a luncheon with LAX Coastal community leaders, but it is a familiar noise to those who are being recognized: our local protectors.
It is 11:30 in the morning on Monday, September 25—and the 2017 Protectors Appreciation Luncheon has begun.
Hosted each year by the LAX Coastal Chamber, the Protectors Luncheon is an afternoon of celebrating those indispensable to our society that are often overlooked. In the wake of recent natural disasters across our nation, the importance of law enforcement and service agencies has never been more prominent. From hurricanes and floodwaters to fires and evacuations, we have watched brave men and women across America rush to the aid of citizens in need. Each department has done their part to fulfill a career promise to protect and serve, and now it is our turn to respond to the call of service by honoring these heroes—by inviting them out to lunch with entertainment and prizes!
This year’s entertainment was courtesy of an esteemed NFL team, the newly-appointed Los Angeles Rams. Kevin Demoff, the football team’s Executive Vice President and COO, spoke on the exciting developments within the Los Angeles region and the team’s eagerness to participate in the betterment of this community. Demoff’s speech drew laughter from the crowd, but his popularity went through the roof as he ended his appearance by drawing winning tickets from the Protectors Only raffle, sending a lucky few home with overnight stays to local hotels, gift baskets from local businesses, and even one grand prize of 100,000 United Airline miles (donated by Rainbow Acres Washington Blvd.). Protectors who did not have their tickets called didn’t have long to grieve, however, as our community generously donated enough items for each protector to take home something special as a token of our appreciation.
At the Protectors Luncheon, service men and women from Los Angeles Airport Police, California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles Fire Department, Marina del Rey Sheriffs, and more spend their lunch hour mingling with the business owners and residents they protect each day. Conversation is encouraged and engaging, and while their uniforms might be intimidating it’s the smiles on their faces that draw you in and help build rapport. It truly is an afternoon of celebration and respect, one that would not be possible without the generosity of the LAX Coastal community.
As such, we would like to once again extend our thanks to not only our first responders, whom this event is dedicated to, but also to those who made the 2017 Protectors Appreciation Luncheon happen. The LAX Coastal Chamber would like to recognize the following organizations:
Headline Sponsors: Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation, Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles World Airports.
Premier Sponsors: Gateway Los Angeles, HHLA, Jane St. John RE/MAX Estate Properties.
Supporting Sponsors: Cedars-Sinai, Hollywood Park Casino, KRB Flood & Fire Restoration, Marina del Rey Lessees Association, Marina Harbor Apartments & Anchorage / The Shores, Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club, Playa Vista / Brookfield Residential, SoCalGas, Southwest Airlines.
Donors: Benny’s Tacos & Chicken Rotisserie, Cantalini’s Salerno Beach Restaurant, Dave & Busters, Embassy Suites LAX North, H Hotel Los Angeles, Curio Collection by Hilton, Homewood Suites LAX, HHLA, Hornblower Cruises & Events, Inn at Playa del Rey, Jamaica Bay Inn / Pacifica Hotels, Jane St. John RE/MAX Estate Properties, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel, Melody Bar & Grill, Melody Pizza, Renaissance Los Angeles Airport Hotel, Residence Inn by Marriott Los Angeles LAX, Tony P’s Dockside Grill, Truxton’s American Bistro, Westchester Watch Works, Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel.
Photo credit Glenn Marzano Photography