January 23, 2022

Chamber Honors “Do-Gooders”


A large part of the heart of Topanga was gathered at Rocco’s restaurant on January 13. The unique and insightful body which is our own Topanga Town Council, hosted a dinner to bestow its annual and coveted Do-Gooder Awards on those citizens deemed worthy.

The Town Council has been in operation since 1976. It is comprised of a board of six voting members, and interfaces with governmental agencies including the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, Caltrans, County Health Department, the Sheriff’s Department, Regional Planning, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, California Highway Patrol, and the County Fire Department. Locally the Council is active at sponsoring, planning and supervising the Topanga Memorial Day Parade (and without them there would have been no parade in 2003), providing and distributing Canyon resident emergency access stickers, supporting T-CEP and the Topanga Elementary Charter School essay contest, and keeping our Canyon beautiful by supervising an anti-graffiti campaign and supplying the flowers and upkeep thereof along the stretch of Topanga Canyon Boulevard leading into town. Currently the organization is comprised of members Susan Clark, Mohan Joshi, secretary Stacy Sledge, treasurer and senior statesman Vic Richards, vice-president Jacqui Benson, and personable president Anthony Hall.

President Hall explains, “There are many people in our town who work selflessly for different causes, but we present the Do-Gooder awards to those who have gone above and beyond to contribute to making our community the special place it is.”

Topanga citizens may submit candidates for the awards for consideration to the Council. The suggestions are perused and duly noted, but the Council is a discerning group and may also select someone overlooked by the general public. It makes for a fine cross-section of honorees.


Chamber Honors “Do-Gooders”

The Do-Gooders, standing, from left: Tricia Watts, Mollie Hogan, Kathie Gibboney, Karla Morrison, Dan Hanrahan, Cynthia Scott and Michele Weeger. Seated, from left: Stacy Sledge, Town Council secretary; Town Council president, Anthony Hall and Council vice president Jacqui Benson.

The 2005 awards and checks were presented to the following—

•Capable and charming Michele Weeger, for accomplishing the incredible feat of getting the Topanga Co-op Pre-school back up and running and for her continuing efforts and in presenting the annual Topanga Philharmonic Co-op fundraiser. “I’m just good at organizing,” she modestly states.

•Tricia Watts, a well-known Topanga presence who has worked tirelessly on behalf of the Watershed Committee, hazardous waste programs, and our local Earth Day Celebration. “She’s always telling me to clean-up,” shares her son Gabriel. For her efforts as ‘Housekeeper of the Earth’ she was honored.

•Mollie Hogan, who was awarded her Do-Gooder on the 10-year anniversary of The Nature of Wildworks, for her work with and respect for animals and nature and the development of 200 outreach programs currently educating school children and supporting our environment.

•Good-natured and talented artist Dan Hanrahan, who has responded to our young peoples’ needs and requests and opened a studio here in the Canyon offering art classes to our Topanga children. “The kids came to me, I had to do it,” he humbly reports.

•Cynthia Scott, who has been active in the all-encompassing, and sometimes challenged attempts to establish our own local library, was recognized and honored as well for bringing all of us the new luxurious updated bathrooms at the Topanga Community House, which are greatly appreciated.

•For her effervescence, along with continuing work teaching and directing theater, including the Topanga School play, as well as attempting to capture life in the Canyon in her Messenger columns, a smiling and grateful Kathie Gibboney accepted her award.

•For her constant fundraising efforts on behalf of Topanga Charter Elementary School, including her work on the Leadership Council and volunteering whenever needed, the force of nature that is Karla Morrison (sometimes called the school Vice Principal), was duly awarded.

Throughout the event beautiful Stacy Sledge was a most gracious hostess, beaming at the recipients proudly, as if they were her own children. It was a ribald and warm evening, and plans for the upcoming Topanga parade were already under way. “We want it to be really great and volunteers will be greatly appreciated,” says foresightful and enthusiastic Jacqui Benson. She confides, “This year’s theme may well be ‘The Rock’.”

Citizens interested in attending Town Council meetings should contact (310) 455-3000 ext. 2.

Thanks to the Topanga Town Council and their largesse Topanga truly rocks!