Mayor Announces 2024 Keys to the City

Mayor to Honor Community Leaders for Philanthropy, Service at Special Ceremonies

Mayor Rex Richardson announced that comedian Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, Samuel “Skip” and Beth Keesal, and Rev. Dr. Leon and Paula Wood will be the recipients of the 2024 Keys to the City.

“Each of these extraordinary people represent the best of Long Beach, whether it be through philanthropy, service to the community, or representing our city to the world at large,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “We are thrilled to celebrate their contributions to our community.”

Iglesias will give a special free/low-cost performance at the Long Beach Terrace Theater on Tuesday, June 18 at 8 p.m. with comedian Martin Moreno as the opening act, where Mayor Richardson will present him with his key.

Youth 16-24 years old who are residents of Long Beach may attend the performance for free by requesting a ticket from their City Council Office (while supplies last).

Public general admission tickets will be on sale at noon on Tuesday, June 11 via Ticketmaster and available for $15. Partial proceeds from ticket sales will benefit The Mayor’s Fund for Long Beach in support of the mayor’s recently-announced S.T.R.O.N.G. Beach initiative.

The show will feature a youth-focused job and resource fair starting at 6:30 p.m., food trucks, and bars available for those over 21.

“I’m honored to be recognized by my hometown in this way, and I’m proud to be able to support Long Beach’s youth at the same time,” remarked Iglesias. “If you’re a kid growing up in a tough situation, you might not believe that there’s a whole other world out there waiting for you – but there is. I’m proof of that, and you can be too.”

Skip Keesal, Beth Keesal, Rev. Dr. Leon Wood, and Paula Wood will receive their Keys to the City at the City Council meeting beginning at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16.

For questions about the events, contact the Office of the Mayor at (562) 570-6801 or mayor@longbeach.gov.

About Gabriel Iglesias

Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias is one of the world’s most successful stand-up comedians. He recently became the second highest grossing touring comedian and is one of the most watched comedians on YouTube with over 1.1 billion views and over 25 million fans on social media.

Iglesias has been included in The Hollywood Reporter’s “Top 40 Comedy Players” issue alongside comedy giants Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock and Lorne Michaels. Last year he also was honored with the cover of Variety’s comedy issue. The comedian has had the distinct honor of being one of the few to headline and sell-out Madison Square Garden in New York, Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles and The Sydney Opera House in Australia.

In addition to his comedy series, Iglesias penned a deal with Netflix to release two stand-up comedy specials. The first, titled One Show Fits All, was filmed in front of a sold-out audience at the Toyota Center in Houston and debuted in January 2019. The second, Stadium Fluffy, premiered on Oct. 18 and was taped in front of a crowd of 55,000 fans at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, where Iglesias made history as the first comedian to perform at and sell out the largest MLB stadium in the US.

Gabriel Iglesias is the youngest of six children, raised by a single mother in Long Beach. It was during his childhood that he developed a strong sense of humor to deal with the obstacles he faced. In 1997, he set out to hone his comedic skills, and performed stand-up anywhere he could find an audience, including biker bars and hole-in-the-wall joints. Gabriel’s stand-up comedy is a mixture of storytelling, parodies, characters and sound effects that bring his personal experiences to life. His unique and animated comedy style has made him popular among fans of all ages.

About Skip and Beth Keesal

Samuel “Skip” Keesal was born in Chicago, Illinois, and was raised on a ranch in Tucson, Arizona.

Skip was named in Best Lawyers of America and has also been named by the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of “Los Angeles’ 25 Most Powerful Attorneys.”

Skip and Beth have dedicated themselves to the local and national communities by supporting numerous charitable and civic projects and have served on numerous boards of charitable organizations for many years and continue to do so with pride.

About Rev. and Paula Wood

Rev. Dr. Leon Wood is a founder and president of Success in Challenges, a non-profit grassroots social service agency largely serving the greater Long Beach Community. At various times in his life, he has been and still is a minister, educator, and activist. Reverend Wood has a long list of life experiences that have served as both important lessons and as a guide to how he lives that life.

Paula E. Wood is Executive Director of Success in Challenges. She has over 30 years of experience working with families and youth of all ages with such agencies as the Long Beach YWCA, Children’s Home Society of Long Beach, Christian Outreach Appeal, and the United Way.

Mrs. Wood is an active community member of various organizations such as Cambodian Prevention Coalition, African American Coalition for Violence Free Relationships, Freedom School, and Interval House. She has a passion for working with youth and through these organizations, she thrives to bring positive change to the lives of those she serves.

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