The PPCC 2023
Holiday Dinner & Awards Gala Was a Great Success

Our Headline benefit of the year, celebrating community and our terrific honorees, was a huge success!

The evening at The Draycott was attended to capacity, with the theme of sparkle and shine!

Our Citizen of the Year (COTY), Cindy Kirven, gave beautiful remarks about the wonderful nature of this town, where people come together to volunteer their time, give their attention and sew the seeds of long-lasting community. She spoke of all the ways in which she is involved with various organizations and activities in the Palisades. Each time she mentioned a new involvement in which she was asked to partake, she would ask, “how could I say no…?” revealing the true nature of our admirable 2023 COTY. PPCC Chair Emeritus, Dave Card, who presented the award spoke personally about their efforts to launch the Palisades Forestry Committee – a PPCC Committee that has spun into an important community organization. (click here to learn more: and Palisades Forestry Committee)

Laura Schneider, honored for her revival of the library, post-pandemic, started the awards presentation with her lovely remarks about the importance of our local treasures, such as the library, and people like her board and our beloved librarian, Mary Hopf, who was present in the audience. PPCC Board member, Cindy Simon who presented the award, is herself a past Golden-Sparkplug honoree for her vast volunteer giving! (click here to learn more:

Pride of the Palisade recipients, the board of Palisades PRIDE, were honored for their decades of service to the Palisades and its common spaces – including medians and sidewalks throughout the community. PPCC Vice President, Sue Kohl, and former PPCC Citizen of the Year recipient, Chris Spitz, presented the POP award together, thanking the group for their ongoing work in the village and beyond. Board members, John Padden, Bruce Schwartz, John Peterson and Sam Rubin spoke and reminded everyone that their fundraising season is upon us with many great ways to give – including the sidewalk brick program which can enable everyone to be an enduring piece of the Palisades. (click here to learn more:

Sara Marti, who won the Golden Sparkplug award for her work on social and community outreach for Resilient Palisades and The Village Green, thanked everyone for welcoming her so warmly into the community, as she spoke about her effort with Resilient Palisades and the embrace of the team that helps inform the community about sustainability and vegan living. Resilient Palisades co-founder and PPCC Board member, Ryan Craig, reviewed the work of the organization, including their all-important leaf blower campaign, and presented the award to Sara. (Click here to learn more:

John Dwight and Steve Corn were recognized for their incredible work bettering the community through beautification, clean-up and restoration efforts from community streets to the highlands trailhead, respectively both spoke about the meaning of community, the initiative to care about our beautiful surroundings, and the effort that comes from the heart when a community such as this is home. PPCC Board members, Daphne Gronich (herself a former COTY) and Beth Holden-Garland (also PPCC Secretary) presented the awards to John nnd Steve, respectively.

Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin and Councilwoman Traci Park joined the board of PPCC and more than 100 community guests to honor our awardees.

We thank all out honorees and their guests, our presenters, our board, our Awards Selection and Event Committees (Sue Kohl, Jenny Li, Beth Holden-Garland, Daphne Gronich, Ryan Craig, Diana Danielle, Chris Spitz, Cindy Simon & Kimberly Bloom), and our PPCC President and evening’s MC for making this event a great success!

See you next year!

Pictures below for PPCC by Rich Schmitt (contact for prints)