A Shout Out to the PaliHi Football Team
People who have just moved to Pacific Palisades or those who visit on the Fourth of July to enjoy the parade are usually unaware of just what goes on behind the scenes. This year’s parade has been praised as one of the best yet by attendees, but here’s something they probably didn’t know:
The entire production, from planning and fundraising to arranging for parade entries/floats/bands and handling all the logistics, is done mostly by volunteers.
Not only do volunteers do the planning, they are also responsible for raising the money to pay for permits, grandstands, insurance, police (required) and fireworks. Almost $200,000 was needed this year for the parade, concert and fireworks.
About 10 years ago, to save money, the parade decided to try to find local volunteers to carry the banners that announce each entry or to alert people to the sponsor who has paid for that entry. Before that, people from outside the area were paid to carry the banners through the parade. This reporter remembers arguing that there were enough Pacific Palisades residents who would surely volunteer.
I was wrong. I learned that carrying banners is one of those jobs no one wants. It was a constant struggle to find people to volunteer.
About seven years ago, parade organizers were excited because Kings College students who were visiting Pepperdine agreed to carry the banners. In fact, they were excited to walk in the parade and for two years they carried the banners, supplying more than enough help.
When they were no longer available on the Fourth, parade veteran Sylvia Boyd, who was responsible for finding volunteers, had to scramble.
A plea went out to all local groups, schools and Scouts. Since schools were out, and the Scouts generally march in the parade, there was a shortage of volunteers.
Then, local heroes stepped up to save the day: members of the Palisades High School football team walked the parade route carrying banners and have continued to do so for the past five or six years. This year, 29 players volunteered as banner carriers, which is more than twice as many as last year.
The Pali Quarterback Club finds a jersey for each player to wear as he walks down the route in the distinctive blue. This year’s players included Adam Cravens, Adam Sadigh, Daniel Anoh, Eli Ghodooshim, Eli Manheim, Erwin Barillas, Forrest Brock, Gage McCloskey, Isaias Alegria, Jack Babala, Jakob Brown, Jared LaViolette, Jaxon Bell, Jeremy Mirkin, Joe Huff, Johnny Babala, Josh Eastland, Matt Fahn, Mattew King, Nick Calcaterra, Noah Ghodooshim, Ricardo Abrego, Jr., Sylvan Holman, Jr., Tomas Huttepain, Tommy Cutrono, Tommy Meek, Vernard Harris, Waka White and Xavier Whitfield.
Boyd wrote Circling the News in a July 7 email: “The team did indeed pick up the slack and has been one of the highlights of the parade, when they appear in their uniforms. They deserve a shout out!”
Their first home game this season is a scrimmage at 7 p.m. against El Camino Real on August 16. The first regular season home game is September 13 against Reseda at 7 p.m. Visit:http://palifootball.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2019-Schedule-Final.pdf.