On August 22, 2020, Long Beach lost an active member of its community to COVID-19. John Kemmler and his family moved to Belmont Heights in 2009, and it didn’t take long for them to realize the amazing community that they were now a part of.
John loved being involved in the community and seeking out areas where he thought he could make a change. Working in the television and film industry, safety was a number one concern, and that concern carried over into his involvement in his community service. On any given school day, you could find him at the Fremont Elementary School morning drop-off serving as valet, opening car doors for the students, and making sure they arrived at school safely. He contacted the City of Long Beach incessantly regarding the need for a crosswalk on Broadway, so that students walking to school could safely cross this busy street. It took many years and many phone calls, but he was successful in having a crosswalk put in at Belmont and Broadway.
Every December, you could find John volunteering with Boy Scout Troop 14, at Christian Outreach in Action’s annual Christmas Party and toy distribution for the children of Long Beach. It was the one event that John looked forward to every year. He loved seeing all the kids’ smiling and excited faces.
He was saddened by the number of bike thefts in our beach community and wanted to do something about reuniting bike owners with their stolen bikes, so he organized a bike registration event. He partnered with the Belmont Heights Community Association, Belmont Heights United Methodist Church, Project 529, Councilwoman Suzie Price, and Jax’s Bike Shop to educate the community on the importance of registering your bike and on bike safety. With the help of volunteers, he registered over 115 bikes that day.
When there were reports of a suspect who was sexually harassing and stalking young women in the neighborhood, he asked the Belmont Heights Community Association for help in arranging a Q & A session with Commander O’Dowd of the Long Beach Police Department. Ultimately, connecting victims and witnesses with police investigators resulted in an arrest of the suspect.
John felt his community gave so much, and he sought ways to give back twice as much. Long Beach and Belmont Heights are better for John having been a part of it.