Marguleas Donates $5,000 to Village Green
In 2013, realtor Anthony Marguleas asked Bill Bruns, who was then the editor of the Palisadian-Post, to suggest a worthy cause to support in the community. The editor suggested the Village Green, which sits in the heart of the town’s business district and relies entirely on donations from residents, businesses and organizations.
Marguleas stepped up and made a $5,000 donation, which he has continued to do every year since then.
On Tuesday this week, Marguleas, the founder/owner of Amalfi Estates, presented his latest check to Village Green Board President Marge Gold in a ceremony at the Green.
Many residents don’t know that this private nonprofit park at Sunset/Swarthmore/Antioch is not a City park, and that it receives no City money for either repairs, maintenance or trash pickup. All income is generated from donations and fundraisers, which is why Marguleas’ $35,000 contribution over the years has been so important.
“We are so appreciative of Anthony’s very generous donation,” said Gold, who has a 13-member board. “It is nearly a third of our annual budget and gives us a head start on fundraising in 2019. We can’t thank him enough!!”
In prior years, the Village Green board operated on an annual budget of about $12,000, but this year’s budget has climbed to $14,700.
Expenses include a gardener, insurance, DWP, property taxes, pest control, trash removal and website fees. There are also maintenance items, such as bench refinishing, electrical work, fountain expenses, sprinkler repair and tree trimming.
The budget is established at the beginning of the fiscal year and expenses are tracked quarterly.
The nonprofit now has to raise an additional $1,800 a year for trash pickup on Sunday, which has increased since the opening of Caruso’s Palisades Village, which is located across the street.
“Amalfi is committed to building our communities in our backyard and around the world,” Marguleas said, noting that since 2015, his company has donated about $800,000 to various charities, or about 10 percent of the company’s commissions.
His wife, Sue, had earlier stressed how important this little pocket park was to their family. “I spent many hours here when my kids were little. They played by the fountain,” she said. “The people who volunteer to run the park are amazing and nice.” Their four children are now college-aged.
Marguleas, a UC Riverside graduate, was diagnosed with a rare cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma, when he was 26 and given only a 30 percent chance of survival. His parents and an older and twin brother watched while he dwindled to 98 pounds during radiation, chemotherapy and finally a bone-marrow transplant.
“I seemed to always know I was going to be one of the survivors. I have always had a positive attitude,” said Marguleas, who met his wife, an oncology nurse, during that time. “Most people in their 20s take life for granted, but I was given a lesson in how important life is and to live every day to the fullest, which was a huge blessing.”
In addition to Gold, the 2019-2020 Village Green officers include vice president Joan Graves, secretary Sandy Alarcon and treasurer Sue Haldeman. To donate, visit: Palisadesvillagegreen.org.