HAWTHORNE : Merchant's Gift Allows Rescheduling of Parade

Kiwanis Club officials in Hawthorne said they will stage a parade that had been canceled for lack of city funding.

A $5,000 donation from a local auto dealer will allow the club to hold its 47th annual parade on Hawthorne and El Segundo boulevards and Prairie Avenue. The event, scheduled for July 30, was canceled last month when the city did not approve the club's funding request.

Traditionally, the city has divided the cost of the parade with the Kiwanis. This year some council members expressed concern that the city could not afford the expense. A 2-2 vote by the council March 14 denied the club's request. Mayor Larry Guidi, a Kiwanis member, abstained.

Club officials canceled the parade, then reversed their decision after Guidi successfully appealed to a local auto dealer for a donation. South Bay Ford of Hawthorne gave a $5,000 check to the club on April 6, parade chairman David M. York said.

Although the city will not pay for the parade, it will provide free police and maintenance services for the event, which includes a fair April 27-31 at Hawthorne Memorial Park.

In the past, providing those services cost the city up to $18,000 annually, City Manager James H. Mitsch said. This year, Mitsch said he expects the cost to be $2,000 or less because many employees are volunteering or preparing for the parade during normal work hours.

"In the past, we've gotten groups to participate from all over Southern California," York said. "Now, we're going to have fill the parade with more local groups and more youth groups."

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