Community activist Holt to receive YWCA Crimson Award

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Loyce Holt, a longtime community worker and retired Recreation Department director for the City of Gardena, will be one of two recipients of the 2016 YWCA Crimson Award April 15 at the Holiday Inn Harbor Gateway.

Crimson honors this year will also go to Gardena City Clerk Mina Semenza. They are among 20 recipients of the honors since its inception in 2010.

Holt refers to herself as a desert rat, growing up in Lancaster.  She graduated from Antelope Valley College before transferring to Cal State University, Los Angeles.

Loyce Holt, a longtime community worker and retired Recreation Department director for the City of Gardena, will be one of two recipients of the 2016 YWCA Crimson Award April 15 at the Holiday Inn Harbor Gateway.

Crimson honors this year will also go to Gardena City Clerk Mina Semenza. They are among 20 recipients of the honors since its inception in 2010.

Holt refers to herself as a desert rat, growing up in Lancaster.  She graduated from Antelope Valley College before transferring to Cal State University, Los Angeles.

She worked with the County of Los Angeles for a few years before moving to the Houston, Texas area where she witnessed many NASA events during the early years of the Space Program. Holt graduated from the University of Houston before leaving Texas to return home to California.

Unable to find work in the Recreation field, she took a job in retail during the Christmas rush. Of course, as soon as she did, she received a call for an interview in Gardena. So impressed with her resume, Les Phillips, the Recreation Superintendent in Gardena at that time, recommended her to Al Nash, the Director of Recreation. Nash interviewed Holt, then told her to report to work the next day.  Her ascent within the City of Gardena is nothing short of phenomenal, o colleagues said.

Within four months, Holt moved into the position of Recreation Supervisor in the main office in Gardena.  During those years, she worked with special events, helping to initiate a number of activities, including many still operating, such as the Koi Show, Christmas Bazaar, Senior Citizens programs, and the Heritage Festival.  The department was moved from the old building into its present location. The facility was named The Nakaoka Center after Ken Nakaoka, Mayor Emeritus, which quickly became and remains today the hub of city activities.

Loyce retired as the director of Recreation and Human Services in 2000.

Since then, she has been very active in community service, donating her time and energy to senior, and special Gardena activities.  She served on the YWCA Board of Directors as President and Secretary.  She is involved with the Gardena Friends of the Library (FOL), having served as President for many years.  Loyce was one of  the first of 5 women invited  to join the El Camino LIONS Club where she currently is serving as Vice President for the third time.

Holt will tell you that Gardena and its history has given her a new introduction to life and its prospective for people and life all over the world..

The Crimson Awards will be presented Friday, April 15 at the Holiday Inn from 6:30 to 9 p.m.  Dinner for one is $55; for two or more $50; a table of 10 is $500.  Reservations are due April 11, with choice of entrees  steak, salmon or veggie. For additional information, please call Jane at 310 327 5356.

Community activist Holt to receive YWCA Crimson Award