Viewpoint: Making the Community Better

By Editorial Staff

In the midst of all the divisiveness in our country, Pacific Palisades has not been immune to caustic political incidents on social media.

Fortunately, some residents have taken a different approach by working for the good of the community and we want to recognize them here.

Let’s start with Kenneth Davis, the new Palisades Lutheran Church pastor, who brought the nonprofit Feed My Starving Children to the Palisades. This group distributes food to nations in need, and Davis needed 160 people to work two-hour shifts in three time slots to pack high-nutrition MannaPack meals.

Pastor Kenneth Davis

Davis reached out to Palisades High School, his congregation, his fellow clergy and the the community at large to gather volunteers—and Palisadians stepped up.

On November 4, 164 volunteers worked from 9 to 11 a.m. and assembled 29,592 meals. From noon to 2 p.m., 99 volunteers put together 22,248 meals and from 3 to 5 p.m. 171 volunteers assembled 36,720 meals.

One man’s dream to help others, combined with help from almost 500 local volunteers, resulted in 88,560 meals ready to be sent abroad.

At a recent celebration of community service at Calvary Christian School, speaker Samuel Polanco asked the age-old question, “If God always provides, why are there so many with no food and living in poverty?”

The answer? “God provides, but we are not always willing to share.”

Kudos to Pastor Davis and all the volunteers who shared their time and helped provide to those in need.

Recently, the Pacific Palisades Community Council announced its annual awards honoring residents who go above and beyond. Bruce Schwartz was recognized as Citizen of the Year.

Nancy Klopper was recognized as Pride of the Palisades for her efforts to help not only “The Pretty Blonde” homeless woman, but all of those in the village who are service resistant.

The “Pretty Blonde” left behind a diary.
Photo: Nancy Klopper

The four Sparkplug winners include:

Matt Rodman, who was recognized for his efforts to ease traffic gridlock and improve the environment by reducing vehicle trips around Paul Revere Middle School.

Marie Steckmest (“Miss Marie”), who works with Marquez Elementary students to grow a robust vegetable garden, teaching them where food comes from and about healthy eating.

Debbie Warfel, who has actively pursued ways to keep airplane noise to a minimum, and Tom Creed, who saw the mounds of trash left at homeless encampment sites and organized numerous cleanups.

Look for stories about these exemplary honorees in a future issue. They will be honored at Gladstone’s on Thursday evening, December 14. For dinner tickets ($85), email

As we move to the holiday season, let us remember President John F. Kennedy’s words, “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” He challenged every American to contribute in some way for the public good. Let’s do it.

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