Sylvia and Lorna Boyd Lead the Charge
This year the Fourth of July parade, themed “May the 4th Be With You,” will start promptly at 2 p.m.
You may remember taking your enthusiastic kids to the parade, but this year everyone’s out of the house, and you’re considering skipping it because there’s no one to really go with. Instead, think about giving back by volunteering this year. You’re needed.
Sylvia and Lorna Boyd head the PAPA People (Palisadian Americanism Parade Association volunteers), which help run the parade. Sylvia, who has headed this group since 2006, is co-chairing it this year with her daughter.
“I called the usual people,” Sylvia told Circling the News, “but 10 people I normally count on haven’t responded.” She wondered if they had maybe gotten too old to handle the day.
Lorna told CTN that “We still need around eight volunteers who would manage the bleachers, mostly crowd control. I’m looking for people who can boss others around – firmly, but diplomatically.”
The bleachers this year will be located at two locations: Swarthmore and Sunset (where the skydivers land) and at Ralphs grocery parking lot.
Additionally, Lorna and Sylvia look for people who can carry parade banners and to work as monitors. A lucky few volunteers shuttle guest VIPs to different sites via golf carts, since Palisades streets in the center of town are closed.
Two people are needed to carry the banners before each entry and monitors walk along the route to keep the parade moving.
“The Palisades High School football team have been great [about carrying banners],” Sylvia said. Scouts, teams and other groups are urged to sign up to walk in the parade with banners.
This is Sylvia’s last year as a either chair or co-chair, she said.
In 2014, she said that would be her last year, but kept doing it. “I kept volunteering because it’s just in my nature not to quit anything I feel is fun, exciting, worthwhile or financially rewarding. Jon [her husband] and I stayed in Tupperware for 46 years for all four of those reasons. I might add that I’ve stayed much longer at times because very few step-up any more to take over.
“Volunteering to help is one thing,” she said. “Volunteering to lead is another.”
In addition to the parade, Sylvia volunteers at Palisades Presbyterian Church, the Discovery Shop and Marquez Knolls Property Owners Asssociation. “That’s another important association where we badly need volunteers,” she said.
Sylvia convinced her daughter to take over the PAPA leadership role and said, “Next year I’ll work wherever Lorna needs me, but I’ll no longer share in being the lead.”
Sylvia was born in Hollywood and attended Van Nuys High School, graduating in 1950. She attended Cal State Northridge for a year, majoring in drama, before marrying her high school sweetheart Jon in 1951. When he enlisted as a Marine during the Korean War, Boyd went with him to Camp Pendleton.
After the war, the couple moved to Van Nuys and Sylvia began a career in a new company, Tupperware and was offered a position in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
From there she was transferred back to Los Angeles, specifically Westchester. While there the couple purchased a home in Pacific Palisades. In 1983, she was offered the regional VP position overseeing six states (Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana and Illinois) and the couple moved to Cincinnati.
From 1988 to 1994, she was California and Arizona regional vice president. She was president of Tupperware in Australia/New Zealand, worked in Toronto and 1996, they moved to India where they lived for the next 18 months. Her final job was in 2000, when she became president of Tupperware in Canada.
Their home in Pacific Palisades, which has spectacular views of the ocean and mountains, was largely vacant during the couples many relocations.
Lorna went to Westchester High School and then went to USC premed. When that didn’t work out, she transferred to CSUN and graduated with a degree in religious studies.
“My first job, besides working at my parents’ Tupperware office, was a gas jockey,” Lorna said, noting that she was the first female hired in Los Angeles to pump gas, check the oil and tire pressure, and wash windows. “I was even tipped.” That was 1972 and she made the local news.
When her parents went overseas, she and her sister Leslie ran the Tupperware company in Westchester.
Lorna also worked as a singer. Her first husband was a guitar player and songwriter. “It was backup studio work, a musical, but mostly weddings and church,” said Lorna has lived in the same house in Sherman Oaks for 42 years.
Sylvia added “She sang with a Christian choir and her husband and she, soloed. This was all when we lived overseas, but I had the CDs.”
Lorna’s second husband was a chiropractor and she ran his office until he died. “I’m pretty retired right now,” said Lorna, who volunteers with Didi Hirsch, AFSP and its Suicide Survivor support groups; and Reading Partners, an elementary school reading program.
Her son Palmer Haight-Boyd, has an events production company Model Citizens, which builds out the venues for events.
But for now, it’s full-steam ahead to make this the best Fourth of July parade possible – and they need your help. Visit: Palisades4th.org