Community Council Seeks Nominations for 2021 ‘Citizen’ and ‘Sparkplug’ Honors 

This is how the median looked before Scott Cullum started planting, mulching and watering.

Nominations are now open for Citizen of the Year, Golden Sparkplug and Spirit of the Palisade Awards, sponsored by the Pacific Palisades Community Council. There were no awards in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The PPCC is asking for recommendations from Palisades residents and the deadline to nominate someone is 9 p.m., October 31. Below are the guidelines:

The Citizen of the Year award honors long-term, steady, reliable and continuing outstanding volunteer service as well as a recent extraordinary accomplishment by an individual that resulted in a substantial benefit to the Palisades community at large. The recipient must be an adult resident of the Palisades at the time the accomplishment and long-term services were rendered.

The Golden Sparkplug Award honors those citizens who ignite original ideas and projects into community action that benefit Palisadians throughout the community. The project must have been initiated, in progress or completed during the current or prior calendar year. Adults and youth are both eligible, and must either reside in, own real property in, or operate a business in the Palisades at the time the services were rendered. The project or accomplishment must have been voluntary and not related to a nominee’s business, profession or occupation.

Kevin Niles was honored as Citizen of the Year in 2019, and the Sparkplugs were Don Camacho, Lisa Glantz and Mike Lanning.

Here are Circling the News choices for this year. We hope these recommendations may prompt you to come up with somebody this editor has overlooked:




Circling the News puts forth Matthew Rodman, who has headed the Fourth of July celebration in Pacific Palisades for the past five years and has agreed to chair it again. He previously received a Sparkplug for his efforts at traffic control at Paul Revere. In 2020, in the midst of restrictive Covid regulations, he arranged for vintage World War II planes to fly over the Palisades the July Fourth, and last year he inspired the Palisades Americanism Parade Association to bring back the parade and fireworks. Prior to chairing PAPA, Rodman collaborated with the chairperson, Daphne Gronich.



CTN would like to see two people honored. One is Scott Cullum, who single handedly turned a Bowdoin eyesore — the median between Radcliffe and Temescal — into a lush, lovely strip. The resident, who works for JPMorgan Chase, planted the median in 2019 and then hand-watered until the drought-tolerant plants took hold. He continues to water the new plants that he installs, weeds and mulches. When people drive down Radcliffe and turn onto Temescal, they greatly appreciate how the fallow ground has turned into a place of beauty.

Marge Gold is once again serving as president of the Village Green Committee, which oversees this island of green at Sunset, Swarthmore and Antioch. The volunteer committee must continually raise money through private donations to pay for landscaping, repairs and trash removal. Gold, admirably assisted by her husband Bob, writes grant proposals and attends meetings in order to secure contributions to keep the park in great shape. (She also volunteers for PAPA.)


There are two groups that might be recognized as the Pride of the Palisades:

  1. The first group of volunteers refused to let a Palisades holiday tradition die in 2019. When the Chamber of Commerce said it no longer wanted to sponsor HO!HO!HO!, a community event in early December that let children talk to Santa for free, several residents, led by Lisa Glantz, with Robin Weitz, Lou Kamer, Rosalie Huntington, Rena Repetti, Barbara Edelman and numerous others saved the day by organizing a Hullabaloo in just two weeks. Last December , the group kept the Santa tradition alive by staging a drive through in Temescal Gateway Park. Volunteers are already starting to plan festivities for this December.
  2. The four men who co-founded Movies in the Park and who raise money every year to keep this nonprofit and Palisades tradition alive, should be honored. They include David Williams, Andrew Frew, Brad Lusk and John Wirth. Although the tradition took a break during Covid-19, for 17 years families have enjoyed free movies every Saturday in August. The group promises movies will return in 2022.

This is the same median after Scott Cullum planted and watered it.

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