For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Angeles Chapter held an in-person awards reception for local leaders who have received national awards this year and last year Saturday evening at the One Park Plaza Garden on Wilshire Boulevard. Approximately 25 people came out to the small, informal gathering to mingle, celebrate the accomplishments of the awardees and give them their physical awards.
“This was my first in-person event with the chapter, in 1 ½ years on the job!” said Morgan Goodwin, Senior Chapter Director. “Celebrating the accomplishments of our great leaders is literally the best reason I can imagine to get together. Let’s do more of this.”
People at the event included members of the Chapter’s Executive Committee, local chapter staff, larger donors, and current and former board members. Chapter Conservation Manager Kim Orbe was out to capture the event live on Zoom for those unable to attend in person.
The evening started with hors d'oeuvres, beverages, and happy, animated faces, some meeting each other in person for what seemed like the first time. What began as a cloudy day gave way to a gorgeous sunset resulting in a picturesque copper shine reflecting off the Downtown Los Angeles Skyline.
Chapter Chair, Dennis Loya and Senior Director Morgan Goodwin kicked off the program with opening remarks, followed by the recognition of the evening’s awardees.
Catherine Ronin of the West Los Angeles Group received the Club’s 2021 Madelyn Pyeatt Outings for All Award. The award, named after Madelyn Pyeatt, who co-founded the Sierra Club’s Inner-City Outings program (now Inspiring Connections Outdoors), honors Sierra Club volunteers who have worked proactively to make outings more accessible and more inclusive for persons of any age.
“Catherines steadfast work creating opportunities for everyone to experience the transformative power of the outdoors is central to the Sierra Club’s mission,” said Ann Salvador who presented the award. “No one is more deserving of this award than Cathrine.”
Long-time outings leader, Jane Simpson, received the Club’s 2020 Oliver Kehrlein Award which honors service to the Sierra Club’s Outings Program and is named after Oliver Kehrlein, an avid mountaineer and trip leader. Read more about the award and Jane’s service to the Chapter here.
Conservation Chair, Darrell Clake, received the Club’s 2021 volunteer achievement award, which honors Sierra Club volunteers for a particular achievement of importance to the environment or the Club. Darrell was nominated for this award for his work on transportation issues in Southern California. Darrel worked tirelessly to ensure that Los Angeles has light rail, rather than a busway — or no transit at all — along the Exposition corridor.
Sierra Club board member and former Mayor of Culver City, Meghan Sahli-Wells presented David Haake with the William Colby Volunteer Leadership Award, which is our highest award for volunteers. David’s worked extensively with local community activists to cut oil pollution impacts in their Los Angeles-area neighborhoods and leads the Chapter’s Clean Break Committee to reduce demand for fossil fuels and promote a dramatic increase in the use of clean, renewable energy sources.
Though not in attendance, County Supervisor Janice Hahn was selected to receive the Environmental Service Award. Earlier this year, under Hahn’s leadership, the LA Board of Supervisors voted to take the first steps towards returning the Bruce’s Beach property in Manhattan Beach, CA, to the descendants of Willa and Charles Bruce after their property was seized by the city and the Bruce family run out of town in the mid-’20s.
The pandemic outbreak has dramatically changed our lives and relationships over the last year and a half. And while we continue to support ourselves and each other through the hardship, Saturday’s event presented a moment to celebrate the silver linings. Our awardees embody the best of what we can achieve despite the circumstances. Driving us forward to confront compounding crises facing our country and our planet. Fighting to ensure clean energy, air, and water for all, a just economy, and the preservation of the wild places we love to explore for future generations.
Congratulations again, to our awardees, and here’s to more in-person events in the future!