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Jet to Jetty Run Benefits Westchester Mental Health Clinic

It takes some sweat to keep a counseling service up and running.

Airport Marina Counseling Service, which serves Westchester, nearby communities and Loyola Marymount University students, is holding the 25th annual Jet to Jetty 5K and 10K Run to raise operating funds. Last year, more than 900 participants helped bring in nearly $40,000 for the clinic. This year’s race will be Saturday, Aug. 22, with registration opening at 6:30 a.m. The course is along Vista del Mar at Dockweiler State Beach.

Kathleen O’Leary Lefferman, executive director of the clinic, said this year’s event might attract even more runners. “Our sign-ups are ahead of last year,” she said. LMU organizers hope to get together a team of 20 runners and walkers.

AMCS is a nonprofit, community-based mental health clinic that was founded in 1961. “AMCS’ mission of social justice responds to the needs of those with limited resources and limited access to help,” said O’Leary Lefferman. “The majority of clients have no medical insurance and fees for service are set on a sliding scale basis and depend on the client’s ability to pay.”

About 100 volunteers usually turn out to help the event run smoothly. This year’s grand marshals are John and Polly Garstka, who have been involved in the event from the beginning a quarter century ago. Polly Gartska, chair for this year’s run, was a member of the first committee.

The run is one of two major fundraising events for AMCS. In the spring, the clinic organizes a gala; last year's fundraiser featured a mystery dinner theater and in the three previous years the clinic hosted tribute dinners at Loyola Marymount University.

Jet to Jetty major sponsors include the William H. Hannon Foundation, the Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation, Playa Vista, and the Westchester Mental Health Guild, among others. 

Posted Aug. 17, 2009