In mentioning the awards that the Pacific Palisades Community Council is currently seeking nominees, CTN left off “Pride of the Palisades.”
The first award under that category was given to Roberta Donahue in 2013. Since then five other individuals Bill Bruns, Bob Benton, Nancy Klopper, Arnie Wishnick and George Wolfberg have been honored.
In 2015 the award was given to the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness and in 2022 the Historical Society received the award.
This year this editor hopes that the PPCC committee will consider the Palisades Ho!Ho!Ho! committee. All are volunteers and have managed to keep the holiday celebration that started in 1949, alive.
They have already started planning and meeting for the 2023 event, with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus set to fly from the North Pole to Simon Meadow on December 9.
In November 2018, the Chamber, which had held the event annually decided it no longer wanted to host it.
That would mean a 69-year tradition would become extinct and there would be no Ho!Ho!Ho! for the kids and shoppers.
In just a few weeks, community volunteers were able to line up performers including Gerry Blanck’s Martial Arts, Fancy Feet dancers, various school choirs and the local Oom PaPa Band. The event was held at the Rec Center instead of on Antioch Street.
A year later in 2019, the celebration moved to Simon Meadow in Temescal Canyon and volunteers continued to organize and host Ho!Ho!Ho!
Alas, Covid tried to stop the event in 2020, but volunteers were ingenious and put Santa and Mrs. Claus on chairs in Temescal, parents and kids were able to drive by in cars and wave. They also started an online pet photo contest.
At last year’s Ho!Ho!Ho!, under Alpha Elf Lou Kamer, a raffle to ride atop Station 69 Fire Truck was implemented to great success. There were “reingoats” and even 175-pound turtle named Tiptoe, which were enjoyed by about 600 people, who attended the event.
This Ho!Ho!Ho! committee should be honored for keeping a tradition alive and bringing the community together in December. This group epitomizes Pride of the Palisades.