Carmel Magazine

CM Winter 2016 Issue

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 123 of 227

122 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • W I N T E R 2 0 1 6 C omedian Jay Leno, former host of "The Tonight Show," is familiar with the elegant venues of Monterey County. A major car collector, Leno is a frequent par ticipant in the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, where he has emceed the charity raffles and filmed car events for his show, "Jay Leno's Garage." But Leno is also more than aware that others are not so fortunate, and for the third time, this March, he will headline the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County's major fundraiser, Comics for Kids. CEO and President Donna Ferraro says that Leno makes it known he is an advocate for the nonprofit, and auctions off tours of his garage as part of the fundraiser. "He will say when we are standing on the 18th hole in Pebble Beach on a beautiful day, 'It's hard to believe that 10 miles away, there's poverty.'" Ferraro points out that the Boys & Girls Clubs provide a safe place for children to come after school, serve meals and offer mentoring to help them succeed in their classwork and in life. "Our county is higher than the state and national average of poverty for children," she says. "We are in seven sites and are serving almost 900 children per day….Last year we served over 150,000 meals." Comics for Kids raises almost $300,000 a year to help kids with academic success, healthy lifestyles, good character and citizenship. "This is a very giving community," Ferraro says. "They really believe in the future of these chil- dren and the economic viability of our commu- nity. We are working really hard to provide kids with the tools to help end the poverty cycle." Carmel Magazine: How are you? Jay Leno: Ah, you know. I'm telling a few jokes, trying to make a living. CM: Seems like it's working out for you pret- ty well. JL: Yeah, I can't complain. CM: Well you are coming up here in March for the Comics for Kids event for the Boys & Girls Clubs, and I wanted to start with asking why you think it's so necessary to have these services in the community. JL: It's funny, people always ask why one char- ity is better than the other, and they're not. They're all important. It just seems like nowa- days you have so many kids who are abandoned or have single parents who don't have time to spend with them so they don't have a place to go. I was lucky. I think I only came home from school twice my whole life when my mother wasn't at home. It was like, 'Oh!' And then you just get into trouble. You just do stuff. You try to cook something, you light the stove, or other kids want to go in your parents' liquor cabinet. There's always something that happens. I was lucky. I had a parent who was always home. It "I'm old enough to be where [fixing a car] was part of your survival," Leno says. "Modern kids now have no idea how to change a tire." Photo: © 2015 NBC Universal Media, LLC

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Carmel Magazine - CM Winter 2016 Issue