Last Thursday Ana Zeledon Friendly, MPH, Associate Director of the Venice Family Clinic, presented a $20,000 check to the City of Santa Monica for the purchase of exercise equipment for the Santa Monica Police Activities League (PAL) Youth Fitness Gym.
Friendly told those gathered for the presentation that the funding was made possible by the Salton Health and Nutrition Grant and that the money will be used “to purchase cardiovascular fitness equipment” for the PAL Gym. “The Gym will offer an array of fitness programs to complement the existing Santa Monica/Malibu Unified School District fitness and nutrition curriculum designed to prevent obesity in young people.”
She went on to say that the Venice Family Clinic plans “to develop programming together with the City using the Park facilities that will be a place where young people — and all our community – can come together and enjoy an active life.”
The grant followed several years of negotiations between the City and the Venice Family Clinic “to strengthen our relationship and help more low-income families get access to exercise and fitness programs and equipment.”
The total grant from the Attorney General’s Salton Settlement Fund was $105,000. The balance, $85,000, will underwrite preventive pediatric care for childhood obesity at the Venice Family Clinic.The remodeled and expanded Virginia Avenue Park is scheduled to open later this month with a preview on November 12 to welcome the return of the neighborhood Farmers’ Market. A festival and dedication ceremonies will be held on December 4. People may preview park programs in November and December through City sponsored workshops and seminars. Most programs won’t begin until next year.