Citizen of the Year and Golden Sparkplug Awards

Since 1973, Pacific Palisades Community Council volunteers have donated their time to ensure the best interests of their community. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit provides a forum to discuss community issues and advocates to government and private agencies on those issues where there is broad community agreement.

Among the oldest volunteer organizations of its type in the City of Los Angeles, the PPCC served as a model for the current Neighborhood Council system. Its Board includes elected Area Representatives from all residential neighborhoods of the Palisades; an elected At-large Representative; and representatives appointed by notable community organizations.

Each year, the PPCC proudly honors citizens, who are nominated by local residents, for their community contributions with the annual Citizen of the Year and Golden Sparkplug Awards. From time to time, the PPCC also bestows Pride of the Palisades honors in special circumstances. These accolades are presented to deserving citizen volunteers who are recognized at PPCC’s annual December Awards Gala, this year on December 13.

The Citizen of the Year Award honors an adult Palisades resident for their “long-term, steady, reliable and continuing outstanding volunteer service as well as a recent extraordinary accomplishment… that resulted in a substantial benefit to the Palisades community at large.” Past Citizen of the Year Award recipients include Bruce Schwartz (2017), Daphne Gronich (2016) and Sharon Kilbride (2015).

The Golden Sparkplug Award honors citizens of all ages who in the past year “ignite(d) original ideas and projects into community action that benefit Palisadians.” Both awards require that the services, accomplishment or project must have been voluntary and not related to the nominee’s business or occupation. Award recipients include Tom Creed, Matthew Rodman, Marie Steckmest and Debbie Warfel (2017); Sylvia Boyd, Patrick Hart, Amy Lundberg, Karen Stigler and Veslemoey Zwart (2016); and Laurel Garver, Laurie Sale and Doug Suisman (2015).

In addition to these awards, the Pride of the Palisades Awards are periodically presented to individuals and organizations that may not meet all of the award guidelines for recognition of their extraordinary service to the Palisades community. Recent recipients include Nancy Klopper (2017), Bob Benton (2016), the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness (2015) and Bill Bruns (2014).

“Our PPCC awards are really about recognizing and honoring the ‘unsung heroes’ of our town—those people who work tirelessly for the good of the entire community, and who do it mostly under the radar without expectation of any special recognition,” says Chairperson of the PPCC Awards Committee Sue Kohl.  

The PPCC Board invites all community members to participate in their monthly meetings to discuss a wide range of issues and concerns (meeting dates and agendas are online at

For Awards Gala tickets and details, visit