PACIFIC PALISADES—The Pacific Palisades Community Council has announced the winners of the 2016 awards for citizens who show outstanding service to the Palisades community.
The Pacific Palisades Awards Selection Committee reviewed the nominations and decided on the winners for Citizen of the Year, Golden Sparkplug Awards and the Pride of the Palisades Award.
The Citizen of the Year was awarded to Daphne Gronich, who has served as Chair of the Palisades Americanism Parade Association for the past three years. The award is for a Palisades resident who has had a long history of continuing volunteer service, as well as contributing to an effort that has benefited the community at large. Gronich showed her commitment to the Palisades by raising more than $100,000 while simultaneously serving on the boards of PRIDE and the Paul Revere Charter Council. She also organizes volunteers to facilitate the town’s iconic Fourth of July Parade including the VIP luncheon, the parade lineup of floats, bands and VIPs as well as the post-parade concert and fireworks display.
Chair of the Awards Selection Committee, and former honoree as well as a prior PPCC Chair, George Worlfberg, informed Canyon News that the Pacific Palisades Community is like a small town itself in the greater Los Angeles area and the sense of volunteerism has strengthened since the early 1970s.
“By recognizing the dedication and incredible accomplishments of our inspired neighbors, the annual PPCC awards enhance the sense of community and our small-town ethos,” Worlfberg said. “The participation of our local elected public officials further strengthens and validates the endeavors of these hard-working volunteers.”
The Golden Sparkplug Award is for honoring the efforts of Palisades residents, property owners or business operators who have originated ideas or projects that resulted in an original contribution that benefits the Pacific Palisades community. This year, it was awarded to Sylvia Bond, Patrick Hart, Amy Lundberg, Karen Stigler, and Veslemoey Zwart. All of these citizens have in their way affected progress in the town in varying ways.
“Opportunities for volunteerism abound including the iconic Fourth of July parade, 5K/10K runs, concert and fireworks; the many youth-centered activities such as baseball, AYSO soccer, scouting and the YMCA,” Worlfberg said. “Residents see things that need to be done and, if no one is doing it, mobilize to do amazing, great things.”
Although not given every year, the Pride of the Palisades Award was given to Bob Benton this year. He served as the volunteer Commissioner for the Pacific Palisades Baseball Association for more than two decades and coached numerous sports teams. He also served on the Park Advisory Board and worked on fundraising efforts for the Field of Dreams at the Palisades Recreation Center.
The awards event will take place at the Pacific Palisades Community Council annual holiday party at Gladstones on December 8. The community is invited to celebrate with the awardees.