Standout volunteers to receive Angeles Chapter Awards

Monday, March 4, 2013
Angeles Chapter Awards Committee

Each year the Angeles Chapter salutes volunteer who have made outstanding contributions during their service to the Sierra Club. Check out these profiles of our 2012 honorees and then come celebrate at the Angeles Chapter Banquet on May 5 at Brookside Country Club, 1133 Rosemont Blvd, Pasadena. (Chapter Banquet details here.)

John DePoy will be honored with the Lifelong Service Plaque.

He has been an O-rated leader for more than 30 years, primarily leading bi-monthly hikes in the San Gabriel and Verdugo Mountains and the Angeles Forest.

His love of nature is evident in the hundreds of wildflower photos he took and generously shared in slide presentations to Angeles Chapter groups. Hallmarks of his waterfalls and stream crossing outings were the sumptuous potluck lunches his participants willing brought to hike destinations.

Although he stepped away from leading outdoor activities a few years ago, he continues to host all the major holiday weekends at Harwood Lodge, including Thanksgiving Thursdays. With the precision of an engineering background, he organizes meals preparations, ensuring that everyone contributes to the overall enjoyment of food and camaraderie. DePoy has always worked with a minimum of fanfare, but with a wealth of dedication.

Steve Schuster will receive the Chester Versteeg Outings Plaque.

An Angeles Chapter M-rated leader, Steve has been the chair or co-chair for first aid for the Leadership Training Committee for many years. More importantly, he has been the lead instructor for the Wilderness First Aid Course (WFAC) since its inception more than thirty years ago.

A vast majority of students who take the course--offered twice a year, sometimes with additional courses added—are Angeles Chapter outings leader candidates or certified outings leaders. Although the course is separate from the chapter and Sierra Club, it is vital to our leader training program, and Steve is the heart and soul of the course. He has done more than anyone else to elevate and to professionalize first aid standards for our leaders. In so doing he has performed a signal service not only for our leaders.

Through his training of our leaders, Schuster has indirectly helped to treat most of the people who have become ill or been injured during the course of a chapter outing over the past 20 years.

Patty Sappingfield will receive the Phil Bernays Service Plaque.

Patty Sappingfield  is active in co-leading Fundraising Outings for the Angeles Chapter. She has co-led outings to Arizona, the Black Hills and the Redwoods, working behind the scenes to plan the outings and handling the financial transactions and accounting for the trips to ensure their success and maximize the fundraising to benefit the Angeles Chapter.

Sappingfield regularly opens her home to host pre-trip meetings for participants. In addition to her work at the Chapter level, she is also and instrumental player in the Sierra Sage Group, serving as the Group treasurer. She is involved with the annual Starr Ranch BBQ fundraiser and ready with a warm smile at all Sierra Club functions to make newcomers and familiar faces feel welcome.

Mary Ann and Ron Webster will receive the Weldon Heald Conservation Plaque

Mary Ann and Ron Webster have been active with the West LA Group conservation projects and instrumental to the activities of the Santa Monica Mountains Task Force. They were at the forefront of the efforts to protect Santa Monica Mountain ridgelines from a destructive mansion project proposed by U2's "The Edge" and were involved in Sierra Club support for the Malibu Lagoon restoration project, which has begun successfully.

The Websters have tirelessly worked to lead Angeles Chapter trail maintenance in the Santa Monicas. They have forged relationships with elected officials that benefit land protection in the Santa Monica Mountains and the West LA Group territory. Mary Ann has served as an Environmental Commissioner for (then) Speaker of the House Karen Bass and have worked with Sen. Fran Pavley and others. In addition, Mary Ann has overseen the successful silent auction at the Awards Banquet each year. Her efforts helped raise thousands of dollars for the work of the Angeles Chapter.

Karen and Wolf Leverich will receive the Lori and Robin Ives Excellence in Media Plaque.

Karen and Wolf Leverich have been elected (Karen) and appointed (Wolf) members of the Hundred Peaks Section Management Committee since 2002. In 2002, they re-created the section's website, adding routes, maps, waypoints and other details for each of the 270-plus peaks on the list. They have also added historical details such as a list of HPS officers, HPS award winners, lists of those that have received emblems, scanned and shared copies of the HPS Newsletter "The Lookout," scanned and shared copies of registers from peaks signed by those that climbed to the top, trip reports and other historical data.

HPS was one of the first sections to add OARS Angeles Chapter outings program to the website thanks to their hard work. The website is a treasure of information both historical and current.

Al Sattler will be honored with a Political Service Plaque.

Al Sattler has been active with many political activities, but especially important are his support of the Henry Waxman re-election campaign, participation in Water District interviews, and his key involvement with PolComm fundraiser this past year. Sattler has held several positions with the Angeles Chapter and is currently Excom Chair of the Palos Verdes-South Bay Group, and on the Conservation Management Committee.

Darrell Clarke will receive the Extraordinary Achievement Award.

The opening of the Expo line by the LA Metro in 2012 capped 22 years of advocacy by Darrell Clarke, begun at a time when transit's future looked especially bleak. Clarke's work dates back to 1989 when Southern Pacific Railroad offered to sell a right-of-way to the L.A. County Transportation Commission (now L.A. Metro). Clarke had read about a neighborhood meeting in Rancho Park/Cheviot Hills where residents had blasted county transportation commission Chair Neil Peterson and the whole idea of light rail, and that's when he formed Friends 4 Expo.

Clarke has held several Sierra Club positions including Chapter Excom Chair and Conservation Chair along with state and national positions. He is currently the Volunteer Co-lead of the Sierra Club Beyond Oil Campaign.

Congressman Henry H Waxman is being honored with the Public Policy Award.

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California, is a nationally-known leader on environmental issues. The air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat are all safer because of his leadership in Congress. Waxman was one of the primary authors of the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments. Tens of thousands of American lives are saved every year by this law, which significantly reduces toxic air pollution.

Waxman sponsored the 1986 and 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments, which keep dangerous pollutants out of our drinking water. Waxman provided leadership to establish the Food Quality Act of 1996, which outlaws the most dangerous pesticides from being used on our food. Waxman introduced the first bill in Congress to stop global warming in 1992, and spearheaded passage by the House of Representatives of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (also known as the Waxman-Markey Anti-Global Warming bill).

Certificates will be given to Sierra Club members in recognition of the significant service they rendered to the Angeles Chapter: 


Jerard Wright, Jeremy Drake and Lynn Plambeck


Pat Arrendondo, Dave Comerzan, Sylvie Cote, Don Croley, Bob Hansen, Jerry Johnson, Daniel Kinzek, Hugh Pendleton, Sharry Puraty, Pamela Rowe and Will McWhinney


Bruce Campbell, Dave Cross, Greg de Hough, Mary Kay Eldridge &John Matthews, Roger Johnston, Duana Miller, Joanne Wong-Morris and Joe Phillips

Annual Chapter Banquet: Reservations/tickets cost $40 ($400 for a table of 10) and must be made by April 20. To reserve dinner seating mail your check (payable Sierra Club, Angeles Chapter) to Event Coordinator, Donna Specht, 22221 Wood Island Lane, Huntington Beach, CA 92646. donnaspecht@juno.com, 714-963-6345. Please provide your e-mail address for a reservation confirmation.During the event, there will be a silent auction open to all attendees. If you have an item to donate, contact Mary Ann Webster at (310) 559-3126 or mawebster1984@sbcglobal.net.

Photo of DePoy by Bob Cates; photo of the Websters by Mozaffar Baharmi

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Enter the characters shown in the image.