The 54th annual Les Tupper Community Service Awards will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 16, at Von Kármán Auditorium at Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Soo Kim Choi, Michael Davitt, Katherine Markgraf and Ellen Multari will be honored with individual Community Service Awards; Courtney Johnson and Naomi Stephen will receive Student Service Awards and USC Verdugo Hills Hospital volunteers will be recognized with the Special Service Award.
Community members are invited to attend as the LCF Coordinating Council distributes the awards, which annually recognize individuals and groups for their outstanding service to the community.
Soo Kim Choi, a product of La Cañada Unified School District, returned to La Cañada Flintridge as an adult with her husband and two sons and immediately started volunteering. She’s been a member of the LCHS Alumni Association and helped coordinate the first alumni breakfast. She served as the gala chair for the La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation and started the annual Korean-American Parents mixer, which last year raised $50,000 for gala underwriting.
She has also served as an art docent at Paradise Canyon Elementary School, as treasurer for the LCHS water polo program and on the Challenge Success committee.
Michael Davitt, who has lived in LCF for most of his life and just finished his second term as mayor, served on the Planning Commission for eight years before joining the City Council in 2011. Currently, he is serving as president of the California Contract Cities Association. He’s also president of the LCF Tournament of Roses Association.
In the past, he has coached and been a Boy Scout leader. He was president of the St. Bede School Parent Association Board and a member of the Board of Directors of the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy.
Katherine Markgraf also grew up in LCF. In high school, she was a Sunday school teacher and played in the bell choir at La Cañada Congregational Church. Now working full time with Ernst and Young, the supportive mother to her 10-year-old son also is an active volunteer. She’s a member of the Palm Crest Elementary PTA and has been a judge for the Miss LCF Court since 2011.
The recipient of the Community Service Award from the LCF Chamber of Commerce, Markgraf sits on LCCC’s Finance and Property Board and has served as president of the Paradise Valley Homeowners Association. When the Station Fire and subsequent mudflow disaster struck, Markgraf assisted affected residents.
Ellen Multari moved to LCF with her husband and three children in 2007 and immediately became involved. Known mostly for her seven years on the LCUSD Governing Board, Multari also continues to serve on the LCUSD Bond Oversite Committee.
Previously, she was LCFEF director and publicity chair, in addition to having served as PCR’s PTA financial secretary and on the school’s site council, as the publicity chair for the LCHS 7/8 PTA Spring Home Tour and as 7/8 PTA auditor. Multari also was on the LCHS School Site Council and was site leader for the 7/8 LCUSD Task Force.
Courtney Johnson, one of the two Student Service Award recipients, has been a member of the National Charity League for five years and has worked more than 650 hours for philanthropies. She has been an active Girl Scout for 12 years and recently completed her Gold Award project. A junior at Flintridge Prep, where she is on the Dean’s list, she participates on the Spirit Committee, which tutors at the Boys and Girls Club of Pasadena. She also helps with Special Olympics Tournaments at school and assists with the La Mascota 5K to raise money for the only children’s cancer hospital in Nicaragua.
Naomi Stephen, this year’s other Les Tupper student awardee, is a senior at LCHS, where she has a 4.75 grade point average. She is on the Speech and Debate team and has been a member of the School Site Committee, the Local Control Accountability Plan Overview Committee and a leader with the Green Club. In addition to recently earning her Girl Scout Gold Award, she fundraised for HOPE, a nonprofit organization that meets the needs of underserved communities all over the world, has been a member of the Assistance League of Flintridge’s Assisteens group and also helped create a summer tutoring program.
The USC Verdugo Hills Hospital Volunteers program began with the hospital’s opening in 1972. Now more than 250 active volunteers, ranging in age from 16-95, provide the hospital and its patients with an average of 450 hours per week.
They perform duties, including greeting and directing visitors, delivering care supplies and flowers to patients, and providing patient transport using wheelchairs and gurneys. They also answer phones, assist with mailings and staff the annual health fair.