Meet the Winners of PPCC’s 2023 Holiday Awards

With the theme of “sparkle and shine”, the Awards Took Place at The Draycott

By Zach Armstrong

With the theme of “sparkle and shine”, the Pacific Palisades Community Council 2023 Holiday Dinner was held at The Draycott to recognize those who have contributed work to help make the Palisades a supportive community. 

The council thanked the honorees, guests, presenters, its board, its Awards Selection and Event Committees (Sue Kohl, Jenny Li, Beth Holden-Garland, Daphne Gronich, Ryan Craig, Diana Danielle, Chris Spitz, Cindy Simon & Kimberly Bloom), and the PPCC President to make the occasion possible. Assemblymember Irwin and Councilwoman Traci Park were in attendance along with 100 locals to honor the awardees.

These are the 2023 winners of the awards:

CITIZEN OF THE YEAR – Cindy Kirven

Cindy was Co-President of the Village Green (2022 to 2023), and is now the sole President until September 2024 as well as Vice Chair of the Palisades Forestry Committee. She created a special 50th Anniversary Celebration of the founding of the Green, and a succession plan for an organization with an aging Board which involved meeting community volunteers that donate their time to Village Green. 

Cindy is most proud of her contributions in two projects. After approval to plant a memorial tree at Palisades Elementary School for Elle Nedelkovski, an 8-year-old student who passed from pediatric brain cancer, Cindy drove out and acquired a Jacaranda tree from a nursery and then dug the hole at the school. The second project was researching and writing the first draft of a position paper on restrictions on tree types planted in Los Angeles being discussed by the City Council. The paper was presented to the PPCC, who passed a motion and sent a letter to city representatives objecting to the motion. 

GOLDEN SPARKPLUGS –  

Laura Schneider 

Laura has been recognized for reviving the Palisades Branch Library as the President of the Pacific Palisades Library Association. Since the pandemic, Laura spearheaded the return of library programming and use of the library Community Room for use such as art shows and the Youth Writing Contest, and even celebrity talks (including from Martin Short and Eugene Levy).

John Dwight 

A long-time resident of an apartment complex on Sunset Blvd., John has taken up the effort to clean up and beautify the bus stop at the Sunset/Bienveneda corner by adding flowers to the planters around adjoining trees, weeded and cleaned the planters and refreshed them. He is also a retired Revere school teacher. He continues to volunteer with community activities and serve as the self-appointed Sunset/Bienveneda beautification captain.

Sara Marti 

Sara is the Social Media Lead for Resilient Palisades, creating content for Resilient Palisades’ social media accounts including Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, Twitter, Nextdoor and Threads, amounting to approximately 360 posts and reels to date. When Sara took over Resilient Palisades’ social media in 2021, the organization had a following of less than 50 which has grown to over 2,500. She participates in the regular meetings of Resilient Palisades’ teams and collaborates with local organizations such as the Palisades Village Green which she is now helping create an online presence for. 

Steve Cron

A resident of Palisades Highland, Steve has been honored for his duties as PPCC Area 2 Representative – staying on top of the City, 3 State, County and California State Coastal Commission. He appeared at the Commission hearing to make sure awful conditions at the Temescal Ridge Trailhead restroom were addressed. Also, to make sure facilities were beautified and that the restroom would be reinstituted for full use. Work is now underway to repair and clean the Trailhead restroom. 

PRIDE OF THE PALISADES – Palisades P.R.I.DE. 

P.R.I.D.E. stands for “Protect and Renew our Identity and Environment.” and does so by making sure the Palisades has TLC in its common places and supporting the community and PPCC. Thanks to P.R.I.D.E., “Eyesores” like garish rooftop signs dating back to the ’40s have been all but eliminated. Tacky advertising benches at bus stops in and around town have been swapped for comfortable ones. Streamlined trash containers have replaced concrete. It is also responsible for the Village’s nearly two dozen new trees and more than a dozen antique-style lamp posts.

For more information about the awardees, go to https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Awards-Honorees-2023R.pdf.

in Hard, News
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