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Rotary, Kinecta Present 'VetFest' Checks

Feb 07, 2019 08:54AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

The Rotary Club of Manhattan Beach and Kinecta Federal Credit Union presented $7,500 checks to UCLA Operation MEND, Team Rubicon, and Bob Hope USO

The Manhattan Beach Rotary Club and Kinecta Federal Credit Union on Monday presented a total of $22,500 to local veterans' organizations - the result of an extraordinarily successful first-time "VetFest Beer-B-Que" Veterans' Day event. 

Three checks, each for $7,500, were given to the veterans-related charities Team Rubicon, Bob Hope USO, and UCLA Operation Mend. The monies reflected the proceeds from the November 11 event honoring veterans, active duty serviceman, and first responders.

"We created VetFest in collaboration with Kinecta to honor our veterans and to raise money for worthy causes," said Manhattan Beach Rotary president Ken Deemer. "These three local organizations were chosen for the impact they have created with their programs."

The Veterans' Day event featured craft beer tasting hosted by Rock & Brews, a Texas-style barbecue feast, Cream'wiches from Fishbar, and music from the popular "yacht rock" band Yachty by Nature. It was held outside the Kinecta offices on Rosecrans.

"Kinecta Credit Union and Manhattan Beach Rotary have had an excellent relationship over the years. Our missions to serve our communities are very similar," said Latrice McGlothin, Kinecta's manager of community engagement. "Veterans, because of their selfless service, are so important to us, to this community, and to the country. When Rotary turned to us for partnership in building VetFest, we quickly agreed to help."

The well-attended event drew crowds from around the South Bay, and also featured a surprise appearance by Gene Simmons, the KISS frontman who is a partner in the Rock & Brews restaurant chain.

"We were delighted with the turnout in 2018 and are looking forward to seeing it grow in the years ahead," added McGlothin.

Deemer noted that the Rotary Club supports a variety of different groups, and has identified veterans as an underserved population with unmet needs and opportunities. "Many of our members are veterans," he said. "We have made a strategic decision to direct some of our financial and volunteer resources to supporting them."

"Based on the success of this first effort, we hope to make this an annual event and to raise even more money to support veterans causes," he added.

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