Take Time to Nominate ‘Citizen’ and ‘Sparkplug’ Activists

The Palisades Actors’ Troupe, started by Martha Hunter (front, santa apron) posed before presenting the 2022 Christmas radio show.

Almost every year since 1947, a Pacific Palisades resident has been honored as Citizen of the Year. That person is selected for his or her outstanding volunteer service, underscored by a recent notable accomplishment that resulted in a substantial benefit to the Palisades community. The recipient must be an adult resident of the Palisades (including Santa Monica Canyon).

The event was sponsored annually by the Palisadian-Post until 2013, when the new owner elected to discontinue the tradition.

Fortunately, in 2014, under President Barbara Kohn, the Community Council stepped up to keep the tradition alive. Several local groups including the American Legion, Caruso Affiliated, DLA Piper, Huntington Palisades Property Owners, Keller Williams and the Palisades Highlands Presidents Council helped sponsor the dinner, which saluted attorney Rob Weber for his multi-year leadership of PAPA, the volunteer committee that organizes the Fourth of July parade, concert and fireworks show.

The Community Council is now soliciting nominations for the 2023 Citizen of the Year. CTN thinks it is time that Matt Rodman is recognized for Citizen of the Year. He stepped up to lead the PAPA (Palisades Americanism Parade Association) in 2018 and has volunteered and headed the organization ever since. He even managed to arrange events during Covid.

Additionally, Golden Sparkplug nominees are sought. The honorees are those who ignite 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 previous calendar year. Adults and youth are eligible, and must either own real property in, reside in or operate a business in the Palisades at the time services were rendered.

In the case of both awards, the accomplishment must have been voluntary and not related to the nominee’s business or occupation.

CTN can suggest several deserving Sparkplugs. One is Martha Hunter, who has been volunteering at Theatre Palisades for the past 19 years. In 2013, she started Palisades Actors Troupe, which routinely allows Palisades residents the opportunity to act scenes with others. During Covid she kept PAT alive on Zoom and every December, the group presents a radio play for the community, which is a free event.

Another Sparkplug to consider are the people who started the Palisades Thanksgiving Turkey Trot in 2012. Annually, it provides community with the opportunity to meet and have a leisurely run through the El Medio bluffs before people settle down to feast. Proceeds from the race go to a nonprofit. Event founders were David Houston and David O’Connell.

Although this editor has suggested a few names, there are certainly other worthy residents this year—it is up to you to get your selection to the PPCC committee. Let’s recognize those who have gone above and beyond.

Nominations should be submitted to info@pacpalicc.org or to president@pacpalicc.org. The deadline is midnight Saturday, October 31.  Visit:

David Houston helped start the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot.

Visit: click here and go to the tab for Citizen of the Year and Sparkplug Awards.

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