Meet the LAX Coastal Education Foundation, supporting local schools & education

Nov 7, 2022

The LAX Coastal Education Foundation (LAXCEF) was launched in 2017 to support all schools—traditional public, private, charter and parochial—through grants, outreach and strategic partnerships. After a three-year hiatus, the nonprofit is excited to once again host the Rock Roll & Run at LMU in 2023, and will open sign-ups for 5K and 1K runners in the new year. After recently awarding STEM grants (through a partnership with SoCalGas) and art grants, the foundation is seeking new corporate partners to work with to support the 26 schools in LAXCEF’s footprint, which includes Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista and Marina del Rey.

This month, LAXCEF President, Lory Sarlo, is readying to display student artwork in the Westchester Triangle as part of the foundation’s winter fundraiser to support the arts.

Q. What are some of the programs or initiatives that you’re most proud of for 2022? What are some goals for 2023? A. In 2020, we started an art show and competition for the area schools for grades TK through 12. Thanks to the generous sponsors of this event, we’ve been able to offer $1,500 grants to support the arts at the foundation’s schools. We held our show and competition in March, and this fall, we were able to award a total of $12,000 to seven different schools that submitted grant applications. This competition grows each year with the number of schools participating and it is a fun opportunity for the community to see student artwork, which we display at businesses like The Book Jewel, Ayara, Tanner’s, and more.

For 2023, we are most excited to be able to host the Rock Roll & Run. Save the date for March 4, 2023. We have had to pause this event due to COVID, so we can’t wait to be back at LMU to fundraise.

Like at previous events, we’ll have a fun run 5K, kids’ 1K and vendor booths. This is a win/win event because each school can raise funds by signing up in-person and virtual runners. It also allows the foundation to raise money from sponsorships that we can then offer back to the schools in the form of grants in the future.

The foundation will host its major fundraiser, the Rock Roll & Run, on March 4, 2023. Photo by Zsuzsi Steiner.

Q. How is your nonprofit having an impact in Westchester/Playa and beyond? A. There are 26 schools located in the foundation’s geographical footprint. Over the past five years, we have funded more than $350,000 in grants to support crucial programs, supplies, and more.

Already for this school year, we’ve handed out checks for $63,000 in STEM and art grants. This month, we’re funding more than $5,000 in transportation grants to help offset the increased cost of buses for school field trips. It is rewarding to see our schools enhance their curriculum or add an art program as a result of this needed funding.

Q. What is the best way for people to support or get involved with LAXCEF? A. We would love to see the whole community come out and participate in the Rock Roll & Run on Saturday, March 4! It is a great morning to either run or walk through the LMU campus. Following the run, there will be a pancake breakfast, music and booths hosted by sponsors for everyone to enjoy. The more people participate, the more money we raise for education! For businesses, we’re offering sponsorship packages for this event, along with the art competition, which is being held at the end of November 2022. 

Q. What’s the number one thing the community should know about LAXCEF? A. Our foundation is unique because we support all public, private, magnet, charter and parochial schools located within our geographical boundaries. Through fundraising and events, we have funded STEM, art, transportation, professional development and campus beautification grants over the past five years.

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