May 14, 2013
From the ocean to the wetlands, creeks and hillsides, our city is blessed with a variety of ecosystems teeming with natural beauty. So it's no coincidence that we also boast a diverse community of people devoted to preserving our natural assets. And for decades Pacifica's Environmental Family has brought these people together and helped them to make a difference.
Although many Pacificans have still never heard of PEF, almost all have participated in some of its projects. That is because PEF is the non-profit fiscal sponsor of groups such as The Pacifica Beach Coalition, Pacifica Gardens, Vallemar Conservators and the Pacifica Shorebird Alliance. In other words, rather than each of these groups individually going through the tedious process of becoming non-profits, they maintain their non-profit status as projects of PEF.
In addition, PEF sponsors many of its own activities, notably their annual fundraiser, the Kahuna Kupuna Surf Contest. It is the only surf contest specifically for older surfers, featuring surfers from 40 to 80 years of age and up. This year's contest will be held at Linda Mar Beach on July 20th.
PEF also sponsors educational events such as the upcoming screening of the documentary Chasing Ice at the Mildred Owen Hall on Friday June 7th, and a new lecture series, which kicked off with a talk on Climate Change by Carlos Davidson last month.
On May 4, PEF celebrated over 25 years of facilitating environmental causes, as well as the election of a new slate of officers at a lively party at the Longboard Margarita Bar. With local band The Offshoots performing in the background, outgoing President Roy Earnest was thanked for his hard work steering PEF into a new era. Roy, who will remain on the board as a member, congratulated incoming President Marj Davis, Vice-President Ian Butler, Secretary Sherry Flumerfelt, Treasurer Mia Liban, and member-at-large Margaret Goodale.
"I'm proud to have been president of PEF, and all the great groups it has sponsored over the years, and it's my hope that we can sponsor additional groups in the future." Said Roy. "I would also like to see us sponsor more environmental educational events such as the screening of Chasing Ice."
Incoming President Marj Davis was ready to take on her new role. "I am excited, honored and proud to be given the opportunity to assume the role of President of PEF." She said. "I hope to humbly follow in the footsteps of people such as Roy Earnest, Jeri Flynn, Shirley Suhrer and Clark Natwick, and continue to build PEF."
On a final note, readers may have noticed that there is more than one PEF in town. Five years ago, the Pacifica Education Foundation was formed to help fund our schools. Although Pacifica's Environmental Family has been using the PEF acronym for decades, they have no problem sharing their initials with such a worthwhile cause. "Our PEF fully supports the Pacifica Educational Foundation." Said Roy Earnest. "One PEF is for the environment and one is for education, so it's pretty easy to tell them apart. It's not rocket science!"
To learn more about PEF, or get tickets for Chasing Ice, please go to PacificasEnvironmentalFamily.org
-- Ian Butler