TCC Fundraiser Was a Success but More Help Is Needed

The Topanga Community Center raised 52 percent of its $65,000 shortfall in 2020 this Giving December. 

“With big and small donations from many people in our community throughout the month of December, the TCC’s end of year plea was heard!,” the TCC board writes. “The board of the TCC is so grateful to everyone who stepped up to support this very special hub of our community.” 

The pandemic has hit everyone very hard, and the TCC is no exception. This 11 acre property cannot just shut down completely, even though it cannot be open to the general public. 

The TCC caretaker still lives on the property, and since March, not knowing how long this would last, the board has been continuing to fulfill its mission to maintain the property. Which means there are many overhead costs that still must be paid, including utilities, insurance, ball field maintenance, property taxes, and much more. 

“And because the TCC does not receive regular County funds from our taxpayer dollars, we are forced to constantly fundraise, ask people to join as a member, and rent out our property. But with Covid, those rentals have had to stop, and all of the wonderful events that the TCC usually hosts from Topanga Days to Square Dances, and Disco Nights have been canceled as well. Your donation has allowed the TCC to not have to worry about fundraising for the next few months so that we can continue to focus our attention on our community!”  

One might ask, what’s the TCC been doing for Topanga? TCC’s summertime Meal Program for community members negatively impacted by Covid-19, helped keep neighbors in need supplied with nutritious meals. The program was sponsored by a CDBG Grant from Sheila Kuehl’s LA County Supervisor’s office. In the fall, the TCC was able to have Drive In Movie Nights for members. The TCC has also hosted 2 Red Cross Blood Drives (in March and October) as well as being a polling location for the November Election. 

The Board has also worked hard to still bring joy and aid to the Community, starting with the Drive By Easter Bunny last April. In May, they hired a Mariachi Band to go to different neighborhoods in the Canyon. Their special Christmas gift to the community was a Santa Drive Thru at the TCC.  

“Even with its doors closed, your community center has been trying its best to still DO for its community. And because of your generosity, the TCC is still able to do so!”  

If you are interested in learning more about your community center, please visit our website, sign up for the newsletter and consider becoming a member. https://topangacommunitycenter.org

One of the Scavenger Hunt tasks: Take a picture of hugging a tree and tell us why you love it

Topanga’s First Ever Community Scavenger Hunt 

The Topanga Community Center continues its mission to bring activities to the community and has partnered with Topanga Enrichment Programs at Topanga Elementary Charter School to get you OUTSIDE in 2021. They’ve highlighted things to do and places to go in Topanga this month with your mobile phone and some simple tasks. In order to be entered to win one of our 3 prizes, all you have to do is complete 10 of the 15 challenges listed at topangacommunitycenter.org and upload your photos via the Google Form on the website.

Three fun prizes go to the lucky winners who complete at least 10 tasks and send in their selfies before February 1. Winners will be chosen at random from all of the qualifying entries.

The prizes include:

  1. A one-year family membership to the TCC (or extension, if you’re already a member)
  2. Topanga Elementary Charter School gift basket with goodies from the school spirit shack
  3. 2 TCC water bottles and a $25 gift card to Rocco’s Cucina in the Palisades

Some of the challenge activities include Visit any Topanga Business on Topanga Canyon Boulevard; Explore a Cave; Mail Something from the Topanga Post Office; and, Hug Your Favorite Oak Tree. Be sure to visit the website topangacommunitycenter.org for details. Good Luck!

Briefly Unmasked! (l to r back) David Carbo, Paul Grzymkowski ,Joseph Rosendo, Richard Brody. (l to
r front) Mohamed Alsi, Yurik. Photo by Joanna Gunst Grzymkowski

Topanga Trash Warriors Featured in CalTrans Article

Trash Warrior Joseph Rosendo writes to let us know that the Topanga Canyon Boulevard Trash Warriors were featured in the most recent issue of CalTrans District 7’s quarterly newsletter News @7. 

“It’s quite an honor to be featured in their newsletter and it illustrates the kind of relationship the community has long been working to establish with Caltrans,” Joseph writes. 

“The TCB Trash Warriors have been cleaning the Boulevard from a mile north of PCH to Mulholland (with the exception of the 1 mile piece from Topanga’s southern town limit to the south side of the bridge in town) since before the Adopt-A Highway program was reinstated on Highway 27 through Topanga in 2017. We maintain more than nine miles of the road (including the Scenic Highway section) and have done so for six years, collecting more than six tons of trash and debris (Caltrans’ estimate, not ours). We clean the road on a weekly basis — every Sunday — (Caltrans only requires Adopt-A-Highway sections to be cleaned twice a month).”

The Topanga Trash Warriors meet at the Topanga Post Office, 7 a.m., every Sunday. Volunteers welcome.

The West Basin Water District’s Annual “Water is Life” Student Art Contest 

“West Basin fosters student creativity and innovation throughout its service area by hosting the annual art contest. Student artists help inspire their communities to support water conservation as a way of life by creating thought-provoking water-smart pieces of art,” a press release states. Submissions on the theme of water stewardship are due via regular mail or e-mail by Friday, March 19, 2021. 

“We encourage 3-12 grade students in our local schools to participate in this year’s West Basin art contest,” said West Basin Board President Gloria D. Gray. “Last year, we received about 500 creative entries from students, and we hope to see those numbers go up this year with the added flexibility to submit artwork electronically or through the mail.” 

Fifteen student winners (one grand prize winner and four honorable mentions in each elementary, middle, and high school grade category) will be selected by a panel of judges in April. Each winner will receive a new Apple iPad, and Grand Prize winners will also win a digital stylus pen and $25 Apple Store gift card. 

The contest is a collaborative water education program in partnership between West Basin and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Metropolitan). Winning artwork from West Basin’s local contest will advance to Metropolitan’s regional competition and may be featured in the agency’s 2022 student artwork calendar. 

For more information please visit www.westbasin.org/waterislife

Theatricum Gardens

Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum Receives Grant

Topanga’s beloved Theatricum Botanican has been a repertory company for 47 years, bringing socially relevant, artistically excellent classical and new American plays to its audience every year, and teaching theater skills to students of all ages. Only once, in nearly 50 years, has the company been forced to cancel a season, and that was in 2020, due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis that has shuttered theaters worldwide. 

Despite the challenges, the Theatricum Botanicum has still worked to keep its programs and productions alive via Zoom and other socially distanced media. Now, the company has received a special $125,000 grant to help produce the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

“Because of this remarkable generosity, we can today announce the Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum 2021 and 2022 Repertory Seasons, sponsored by the S. Mark Taper Foundation. While the best and safest way to produce theater in the summer of 2021 remains to be seen and decided, we know we will be here under the oaks again,” a press release states.

“This incredible gift from the S. Mark Taper Foundation is, in one word, extraordinary.”

“The freedom afforded by the S. Mark Taper Foundation’s remarkable generosity will allow Theatricum to build on our exemplary track record to create our most daring, diverse, entertaining, culturally artistic and significant Repertory season yet,” writes Ellen Geer, Theatricum’s producing artistic director.

Theatricum began as a small workshop of classical plays with educational sessions and has grown to become a highly respected summer repertory union theater that offers intern opportunities for all ages and a year-round Academy of the Classics that serves students of all ages and all backgrounds from all over Los Angeles. Theatricum is also a major part of the Topanga community, opening its doors for community events like the annual 4th of July picnic and Halloween festivities each year, providing a cultural touchstone for the canyon.

For more information, visit https://theatricum.com