Les Tupper Community Service Awards announced

Former La Cañada Mayor Steve Del Guercio, retired teacher and Boy Scout leader Harriet Hammons and Kyla Bradley, a high school student dedicated to making the area's homeless feel loved, are among this year's winners of the Les Tupper Community Service Award.

Five individuals and two organizations were selected to receive the prestigious volunteer award and will attend a May 12 awards ceremony to be held at JPL's von Karman Auditorium at 7 p.m.

Also being honored this year are: business owner Tony Angelica, former La Cañada Unified School Board member Susan Boyd, the Community Scholarship Foundation, and the La Cañada Flintridge Public Library along with its manager, Mark Totten.

The awards are bestowed by the La Cañada Flintridge Coordinating Council to organizations and individuals who provide outstanding community service, according to member Sue Beatty.

"You have to be a very well-rounded individual and have volunteered in a leadership capacity in several groups," Beatty said of awardees. "We're looking for people who have a wide base of community activities."

Del Guercio grew up in La Cañada and is a product of its public school system. He joined the Planning Commission in 1999 before serving on the La Cañada Flintridge City Council for 12 years, where he was appointed three times as mayor.

Working on behalf of local schools, Del Guercio led the La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation as director from 2000 to 2006 and was a trustee of its Endowment Committee for five years. Today, he remains active in organizations such as the LCF Tournament of Roses Assn. and the city's Community Center.

Harriet Hammons, who moved to La Cañada in 1970 and lives in the Sagebrush area, is a Kiwanian who taught for more than 40 years with the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Despite her long involvement in everything from Boy Scouts and the Tournament of Roses to the La Cañada and Montrose chambers of commerce, Hammons said she was shocked to learn she'd been selected as a winner.

"I was really surprised out of all the people in the community that I was selected," Hammons said. "I'm very, very honored."

A Flintridge Preparatory School junior, Bradley is on the varsity diving and softball teams, and is in her 12th year of Girl Scouting. For her Gold Award project, she is volunteering with Ascencia, a Glendale homeless service organization and shelter.

Bradley's work with the area's homeless began four years ago, when she made and distributed "bags of love," including toiletries, gift cards, snacks and inspirational messages reminding recipients they are loved. She still brings food and clothing to L.A.'s Skid Row inhabitants.

In the 40 years Tony Angelica has lived in La Cañada, he's served on the boards of what is now USC-Verdugo Hills Hospital and the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA, as well as Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy. He's been heavily involved in leadership roles with the Boy Scouts of America and St. Bede Church.

Angelica currently serves on the La Cañada Irrigation Board and lends behind-the-scenes support to the women of the Flintridge Guild of Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Susan Boyd is perhaps best known for her contribution to local education, including her service on La Cañada Unified School District's Governing Board from 2005 to 2013 and the LCF Educational Foundation Board.

Boyd has also assumed PTA leadership roles at La Cañada campuses, from the elementary through high school levels. She also served as a Girl Scout leader for 13 years and has worked with the Five Acres Children's Guild for 15 years.

The Community Scholarship Foundation has helped local youth attend college, giving a collective $900,000 since 1964. Last year, the foundation awarded nine students with scholarships totaling $23,000 and distributed $100 awards to 20 other students recognizing their outstanding character.

Former La Cañada school board member and Community Scholarship Foundation President Joel Peterson will accept the Les Tupper Community Service Award on behalf of the organization.

The La Cañada Flintridge branch of the Los Angeles County Library and Manager Mark Totten are being recognized, in part, for helping increase materials circulation by 11% from 2012 to 2013 and for being an irreplaceable community resource.

In addition to providing story hours for children and Summer Reading Programs for kids and adults, the library hosts special events throughout the year, creating a safe, fun and accommodating environment for readers of all ages.

"It's a hard decision to make when it comes to voting on these people because they're so qualified," Beatty said of the selection process.

For more information on the awards ceremony, visit www.lcfcc.info.


Follow Sara Cardine on Twitter: @SaraCardine.


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