In early November of this year (2008), Skål International Los Angeles organized the fourth “Charity Challenge” for a group of 40 youth from the Challengers Boys and Girls Club of Metro Los Angles. The requirements for the selected youth were good behavior and leadership skills, as well as good grades and attendance. Many of these kids had never traveled outside of their community, so you can imagine their excitement!
“We at Skål International Los Angeles are honored to have the opportunity to
partner with the Challengers Boys and Girls Club and expand the horizons
of our inner-city youth by introducing them to our grand National Parks and
our state Capitol. These kids have a zest for life and by exposing them to
environments outside of metro Los Angeles, we can be a catalyst for change
and improvement in their lives,” stated Jeff Karnes, president of Skål International Los Angeles and chairman of the Challenge Committee.
The first Challenge group took place in 2000 and was organized by Skål member
Albert Schmid, for whom this program is now named. The youth are taken with
a professional guide, Challengers Club chaperones, and a Skål representative in a luxury coach and experienced first hand our grand cities, national parks, receiving interpretive presentations by national park rangers and enjoying such events as Imax movies, museums, and, of course, some time to just be kids.
In the past, the groups visited the Grand Canyon, Route 66, Lake Havasu, and Joshua Tree National Park. This year, the group was taken to Sacramento, where they visited the Capitol (including Governor Schwarznegger’s office), continued to Mariposa for some gold panning, and on to Yosemite for native American presentations and hikes.
Skål International Los Angeles raises all the funds for the program through donations and organizes the complete program solely through volunteer hours on a no-cost basis.
Links: Skål International Los Angeles: www.laskal.org
Challengers Boys and Girls Club: www.cbgcla.org