All Donations, Big or Small, Sought by PAPA

Matt Rodman (left) accepts a $40,000 check from the Ronald Reagan American Legion Post 283, which is presented by Kevin Niles.  Photo: Bart Bartholomew

American Legion Post 283 Donates $40,000

At the parade/concert/fireworks planning meeting on May 13, Kevin Niles, representing Ronald Reagan American Legion Post 283, presented a check for $40,000 to Matt Rodman, president of the Palisades Americanism Parade Association.

“Our neighbors at Post 283 have been our most generous supporter for many years. They believe that they have a duty to recognize the significance of July Fourth in our country’s history, and are putting their money behind the beliefs,” Rodman said. “We hope that their substantial contribution inspires others in our community to give as well. Thank you to the brave men and women of the Palisades American Legion who have sacrificed to keep our country safe from adversaries.”

The annual Fourth of July parade was started by Legion Post 283 in 1961 while Russel Olsen was commander. The parade (and fireworks show) were turned over to the Chamber of Commerce in 1965 and the nonprofit PAPA was formed in 1967 and has organized the events ever since.

In August 1983, President Ronald Reagan (who lived in the Palisades before his election) addressed the national American Legion convention. “Legionnaire Ronald Reagan, Pacific Palisades Post 283, reporting for duty,” he said.

“One of the great lessons of life is that if you set high standards and do your best to live up to them, you won’t go wrong. The Legion has set high standards for itself and for our country. And as long as America lives up to your standards, America will not go wrong,” Reagan said.

(Editor’s note: The National American Legion approved adding Ronald Reagan’s name to Post 283 in April.)

So Pacific Palisades residents, let’s set high standards for ourselves.

The Fourth of July is the biggest day of the year in our town. The Will Rogers Race, the parade, the concert and the fireworks combine make this the best place to be. Everything is right here!

Now the catch: Although the parade is free to spectators and admission for the evening’s concert and fireworks is modest, the day’s events are expensive to produce. Volunteer community members spend months planning for the Fourth, but actual costs hover close to $200,000.

PAPA must pay for police, traffic officers, street services, grandstands, insurance, cleanup, production costs, talent, fireworks and much more throughout the day and the evening.

Others who have already contributed to this year’s festivities include Donald & Nancy de Brier ($5,000), Rick Caruso ($5,000), Pacific Palisades Woman’s Club ($4,000), Palisades Optimist Club ($2,000), Joan Sather and Susan Montgomery ($1,500), the late Arnie Wishnick ($1,000) and Haldis Toppel ($1,000 in memory of her late husband Curt).

All donations are welcomed, big or small. Please visit:  Palisades4th.com. for donation information.

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