First published in the April 21 print issue of Outlook Valley Sunshine.
Recipients of the annual Les Tupper Award will be honored by the La Cañada Flintridge Coordinating Board on Monday, April 25, with the awards presented at Flintridge Prep’s Norris Auditorium at 7 p.m.
The free event is open to the public and will recognize three individuals, two students and one organization for volunteer work in the La Cañada Flintridge community.
These awards are named after Les Tupper, a longtime community volunteer who has dedicated much of his life to service. They are awarded annually to individuals and groups in recognition of their service to the community.
LCF Sister Cities Association
La Cañada Flintridge Sister Cities provides our community with the opportunity to make friends around the world and have fun while doing it. LCF Sister Cities is made up of volunteers from all walks of life: teachers, students, business people, artists, elected officials, health professionals and retirees.
The association was founded in 2016 by President Vicki Schwartz, herself a former exchange student from Sister City. Its mission is to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation: one individual, one community at a time.
In 2017, LCF Mayor Michael Davitt signed a Sister Cities Partnership Agreement with Villanueva de la Cañada, a charming suburb of Madrid, Spain that is home to the European Center for Space Astronomy and partners with JPL . Later that year, JPL project manager and LCHS parent Art Chmielewski founded the International Space Academy, a program designed to include high school students from La Cañada Flintridge and Villanueva de la Cañada. These teams of student entrepreneurs form companies, then jointly plan and develop rockets and space launchers. Students are instructed in business and presentation skills and learn entrepreneurial strategies. International summer exchange experiences are offered to selected Space Academy graduates. The International Space Academy has won the 2020 Sister Cities International Award for Innovation in Education.
The Sister Cities Youth Group is open to students in grades 7-12 who live or attend school in La Cañada Flintridge and are interested in learning about other cultures and diplomacy. Students are encouraged to join this international outreach organization, which provides opportunities to develop international leadership skills and gain a unique appreciation for other cultures.
“The Sister Cities Friendship Path”, a joint project between the City of La Cañada Flintridge, Descanso Gardens, the Trails Council, Los Angeles County and LCF Sister Cities, has been designed and construction will soon begin adjacent to Descanso Gardens. Mayor Luis Partida of Spain and CFL Mayor Terry Walker will inaugurate the Path of Friendship on Saturday, May 28, during the weekend of Fiesta Days.
After retiring in 2019, Greg Brown turned to volunteering in and around La Cañada Flintridge.
He has been primarily associated with civic involvement with appointments to numerous city council sub-committees and commissions, including overseeing the construction of noise barriers, the installation of sewers, the implementation of the specific village plan downtown and joint-use projects with our school district.
Additionally, he spearheaded a project that added lights to existing land, helped create the skate park, and was instrumental in the acquisition and design of the new Mayor’s Discovery Park.
Brown was elected to city council for three four-year terms and served as mayor from 2006 to 2007. Notable accomplishments during his tenure include the unanimous approval of the downtown project, the dedication of Olberz Park, and the opening of a trail crossing Highway 210 at Indiana Avenue, which completed the trail loop around the city.
Brown currently lends her leadership skills by serving on the board of the following organizations: Kiwanis Club of La Cañada, Lanterman Historical Museum Foundation, LCF Trails Council, LCF Sister Cities Association, LCF Coordinating Council and LCF Tournament of Roses Association as vice-president. . Among his previous affiliations, he served as a board member of the LCF Educational Foundation and the LCHS Music Parents Association. In 2020, he was selected as “La Cañadan of the Year” for his outstanding volunteer service and leadership in our community.
One of Brown’s largest community services is at the corner of Oak Grove Drive and Foothill Boulevard. A sturdy wooden sign correctly announces: “Welcome to the town of La Cañada Flintridge. Headquarters of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. »
Bradley Burns followed in his father’s footsteps by attending La Cañada Elementary School, 7/8 LCHS and is now a junior at La Cañada High School. However, he charts his own course by contributing to the community selflessly and with great enthusiasm.
In school, he was a starter on the varsity football team, captain of the JC volleyball team, and founding member of the Spartan Kindness Club. He is in the third year of the school’s drama program where he has acted in various plays. At the LC Junior Theater program, he also assisted directors with the younger students’ plays, working behind the scenes with children as young as 5 years old.
Outside of school, Burns is a Patrol Leader and Instructor in the Boy Scouts where he earned Life Scout in Troop 507. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he completed all of his merit badges for Eagle Scout, he has got permission to work on his Eagle Scout project, which involved building a new toy box for sand toys at LCE.
Other contributions to our community that Burns has made are painting the lower walls of the FIS sports field, creating a new garden and planter at Crest View Elementary School, sanding and painting benches at LCE and the construction of two new ones, as well as the construction of new planters at Hahamongna. Park.
Additionally, Burns volunteered at AYSO to help the VIP soccer program for children with special needs, placed flags at the Los Angeles National Cemetery on Memorial Day, and raised funds for Operation Tree. Christmas tree that was delivered to the local fire station.
As a longtime resident of La Cañada Flintridge, Chris Erskine is almost synonymous with the town. He modeled most of his newspaper and blog columns on his life at LCF and the foothills region. He and his late wife raised their four children here.
He wrote compellingly about the death of his life-changing wife and son, but he also made us laugh about his half-dog, half-wolf, White Fang; the Happy Hour Hiking Club and the Gin and Tonic Society of Greater Los Angeles.
Erskine spent three decades working at the LA Times. He has written for the sports, travel and reporting sections. He then turned to writing a weekly column on humor, suburban life and parenthood called “Man of the House”.
He appeared in 600 newspapers around the world until his recent retirement from the Los Angeles Times. It marked the start of a new chapter in Erskine’s writing as he brought his talents to his newly formed blog.
This is where his newsletters continue to chronicle the failings, wrongdoings, and antics of his daily life.
Erskine is the author of three books, ‘Man of the House’, ‘Daditude’ and ‘Lavender in Your Lemonade’. In 2019, Erskine shared the “joys and absurdities of modern fatherhood” in “Daditute,” which became one of La Cañada’s One City, One Book community reads.
He was also grand marshal of the annual La Cañada Fiesta Days Parade and hosted numerous events for fundraisers for local organizations, including being the speaker at the last Les Tupper awards ceremony.
His sad attempt at partial retirement did not last long. Most recently, he returned to print as a columnist for the Outlook Valley Sun. Erskine was missed by his many readers, so his column is a welcome addition to the local paper.
Matthew Kruse is involved with St. Francis High School, as well as the town of La Cañada Flintridge. Junior at Saint-François, he is a member of the LIFE group. This campus and religious ministry team helps coordinate student liturgies, lead retreats, and assist with the school’s spiritual mission.
Kruse is also involved in various clubs and organizations, including participation in the Mountain Bike team, member of the Key Club, and president and founder of the 3D Printing Club. He also participated in the La Cañada Sister Cities Space Academy program.
Kruse’s other volunteer position is his role as the Golden Knight’s mascot at football games. It is his job to encourage the spirit and enthusiasm of the school.
Outside of school, Kruse volunteers around the city through St. Bede and its Skidettes program. In this role, he dedicated countless hours almost every weekend making and delivering thousands of sandwiches for the homeless people of Skid Row.
Kruse is a member of Troop 507 in La Cañada where he has dedicated his time to various scouting projects. He earned the rank of Eagle Scout and recently completed his Eagle Scout project making improvements in the city.
Alice Ryan’s nearly 40 years of volunteer service to the community began in early 1986 at La Cañada Elementary School, where she edited the newsletter. Her involvement in schools continued as she held positions on the PTA Board of Directors as Treasurer or Auditor for LCE, 7/8 Middle School and La Cañada High School as well as the La Cañada Council.
During that time, she worked on campus beautification committees, volunteered in the classroom, helped with 7/8 fundraising home visits, and served as president of the Football Food Booth. For three years, she was treasurer of Prom Plus.
With six daughters, Girl Scouts had to adjust to volunteering. Ryan was a troop leader for many years and volunteered at the service unit level as a registrar.
She taught religious education at St. Bede for 17 years. She has also served on the church’s Women’s Council and is currently on the rotation of weekday Mass readers.
Ryan’s love for plants and flowers inspired her to join La Cañada Valley Beautiful. She was elected to its board of directors, holding various positions, including that of president. She continues to be active in the organization, now serving as Treasurer.
In addition to her work with La Cañada Valley Beautiful, Ryan serves as financial secretary for the La Cañada Thursday Club, as well as treasurer for the local chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution.