Annually since 2013, Amalfi founder/owner Anthony Marguleas has donated $5,000 to help with the maintenance of the Village Green.
The Green is a private triangular park in the heart of the town’s business district and relies entirely on donations from residents, businesses and organizations for upkeep and insurance.
This year, his oldest son Max, who has joined Amalfi after graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder, was one of the key people in attendance to help carry on his father’s tradition.
“I love the Village Green,” said Max, who grew up in the Palisades. “It’s a great place to congregate, to meditate, to reflect.
“It’s also a great place to people watch and reflect what the Palisades has to offer,” said the Palisades High alum.
Max, 22, is now joining his father in philanthropic endeavors.
His mother Sue Marguleas, in an earlier story said, “I spent many hours here when my kids were little. They played by the fountain.”
Anthony 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.
He met Sue, an oncology nurse, during that time, and they later married.
“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,” Anthony said, adding that one of the most important lessons he gave his kids was “We make a living by what we get but make a life by what we give.”
Many residents are unaware that the Village Green at Sunset/Swarthmore/Antioch is not a City park, and that it receives no City assistance. All income is generated from donations and fundraisers, which is why Marguleas’ contributions over the years has been so important.
This year’s budget for the Green is $16,300, which includes lawn maintenance, tree-trimming, fountain upkeep, utilities, insurance and repairs.
Former board treasurer Bob Gold said that the group plans hold a fundraiser this spring and that the board is open to ideas.
All contributions are appreciated, including a $250 donation from Rick Caruso, whose second-story apartments in Palisades Village overlook the park from across Sunset.
Board member Betsy Collins said they are always in need money because “There’s always something.” For example, “every couple of years the benches should be refinished.”
Village Green President Marge Gold told Circling the News that a local electrician had offered to help with the wiring for lights to decorate the pine tree next December, after the electrical outlet was vandalized in 2018.
If the nonprofit can raise extra money over the maintenance costs, it will be spent towards purchasing lights (estimated $500 and hiring a professional to hang them will be another $1,500 to $2,000).
“We are so appreciative of Anthony’s very generous donation every year,” Gold said. “It is nearly a third of our annual budget. We can’t thank him enough!!”
To donate to the Village Green or if you have fundraising ideas, contact Palisadesvillagegreen.org.