Valentine’s Day in Southern California

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Valentine’s Day in Southern California will be marked Friday by a speed dating event on the Metro Red Line, a gathering in West Hollywood to seek justice for women who are victims of violence and rape, a blood drive and a Skid Row wedding.

Metro will conduct “Speed Dating on the Red Line” in an effort to assist riders seeking to find love while in transit. Registration will be conducted from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the speed dating will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Metro staff will be at the Union Station, Civic Center/Grand Park, 7th Street/Metro, Wilshire/Vermont, Vermont/Santa Monica; Hollywood/Highland and North Hollywood stations to register speed daters. Upon signing in, speed daters will receive a wristband to indicate participation.

Every Red Line train between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. will have one decorated Speed Dating Train Car for registered participants.

The designated Speed Dating Train Car will be the last car on trains heading to North Hollywood and the first car on trains heading toward Union Station. Once on board, Metro staff will explain the event guidelines for participants.
All participants must be at least 18 years old and are responsible for their own valid transit fare media. Participants must adhere to Metro’s Customer Code of Conduct.

More information is available on Metro.net/Valentinesday.

The Southern California regional kickoff for One Billion Rising, the global movement seeking to secure justice for survivors of gender violence, will be held at Sal Guarriello Veterans’ Memorial at Santa Monica Boulevard and Holloway Drive in West Hollywood from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The event will include comments by Oscar-winning actress Jane Fonda and Golden Globe-winning actor Dylan McDermott, West Hollywood Mayor Abbe Land and members of the West Hollywood City Council and representatives from One Billion Rising.

Flash Mob America will lead the crowd in a performance of the official campaign dance, “Break the Chain,” choreographed by actress-director- choreographer Debbie Allen. There will also be a special performance of an original song composed for One Billion Rising by recording artist Lili Hadyn.

“One Billion Rising for Justice is a call to survivors and their allies to break the silence — politically, outrageously, artistically — through art, dance, marches, ritual, song, spoken word, testimonies and other ways that best express their outrage, their need, their desire and their joy,” said playwright Eve Ensler, founder of One Billion Rising.
The movement gets its name from the claim that one in three of the world’s women will be beaten or raped in her lifetime, equating to one billion women.

Cedars-Sinai Blood Donor Services will hold a community blood drive from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., seeking people looking to give more than just love on Valentine’s Day.

Blood is always in high demand in the Los Angeles area because less than 2 percent of the population donates, according to Dr. Jon Kobashigawa, the director of the Heart Transplant Program at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. One donation can help save multiple lives of people with heart conditions, cancer, blood disorders, traumatic injuries and other conditions, he said.

Appointments can be made online at www.donatebloodcedars.org or by calling (310) 423-5346, although walk-ins are also welcome.

Cedars-Sinai Blood Donor Services is located in room 1690 of the South Tower of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Validated parking is available in Cedars- Sinai parking lots P1, P2, P3 and valet parking in P3.
Leonora McAfee and Mack Turnage, who met in San Julian Park in Skid Row in 2004 will be married there on Valentine’s Day.

“I came to downtown with my kids when I was homeless and I needed help,” McAfee said. “I met him and I got sanctuary. This is where we started and it seemed right.”

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