Sylvia and Lorna Boyd Lead the Charge
This year’s 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 perhaps 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 at the parade. You’re needed.
Sylvia and Lorna Boyd head PAPA, the Palisades Americanism Parade Association volunteers who serve in various capacities on July 4. Sylvia has headed this group since 2006 and is again serving as co-chair with her daughter.
“I called the usual people this spring,” Sylvia told Circling the News, “but 10 people I normally count on haven’t responded.” She wondered if they feel they’ve grown too old to handle their usual jobs.
Lorna told CTN, “We still need around eight volunteers to help manage the bleachers, mostly crowd control. I’m looking for people who can boss others around – firmly, but diplomatically.”
The bleachers will be placed at two locations: Swarthmore and Sunset (where the skydivers land) and at Ralphs’ grocery parking lot.
Additionally, Lorna and Sylvia are looking for people who can carry parade banners before each entry or work as monitors along the route to keep the parade moving. A lucky few volunteers shuttle guest VIPs to different sites via golf carts, since streets in the center of town are closed to traffic.
“The Palisades High football players 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.
Sylvia says this will be her last year as co-chair. She made the same claim in 2014 but continued on. “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 people step-up any more to take over. Volunteering to help is one thing. Volunteering to lead is another.”
In addition to the parade, Sylvia volunteers at Palisades Presbyterian Church, the Discovery Shop and Marquez Knolls Property Owners Association. “That’s another important association where we badly need volunteers,” she said.
Sylvia has 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.”
Born in Hollywood, Sylvia graduated from Van Nuys High School 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, she 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, which offered her a position in Fort Wayne, Indiana. From there she was transferred back to Westchester, at which time the Boyds purchased a home in Pacific Palisades. In 1983, Sylvia 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, Sylvia was regional VP for California and Arizona, and then became president of Tupperware in Australia/New Zealand, followed by stints in Toronto and India. Her final job was in 2000, when she was named president of Tupperware in Canada.
The Boyds’ home in Marquez Knolls, which has a spectacular view of Santa Monica Bay and the mountains, was largely vacant during the couple’s many relocations.
After graduating from Westchester High School, Lorna enrolled as a premed student at USC. When that didn’t work out, she transferred to Cal State Northridge and graduated with a degree in religious studies.
“My first job, besides working at my parents’ Tupperware office, was a gas jockey,” said Lorna, who in 1972 made the local news when 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.”
When her parents went overseas, she and her sister Leslie ran the Tupperware franchise in Westchester.
Lorna also worked as a singer. Her first husband was a guitar player and songwriter. “It was backup studio work, but mostly weddings and church,” said Lorna, who has lived in the same house in Sherman Oaks for 42 years.
Sylvia added, “She sang with a Christian choir and soloed with her husband. This was all when we lived overseas, but I have 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 Mental Health Services 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