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Pacific Palisades Woman’s Club to Host Community Blood Drive

Photo courtesy of PPWC

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

Pacific Palisades Woman’s Club will host a Community Blood Drive for the American Red Cross on Wednesday, June 7, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

“The need for blood continues to be constant,” read a flyer about the drive. “Please join us in helping save lives.”

Those who register to donate will receive a $10 gift card by email to a merchant of their choice. All donors will also be entered for a chance to win a backyard theater package, which includes a laser wireless projector and screen, projector tripod, smokeless firepit, Adirondack chair set with four chairs and two tables, and a movie night snack package.

“Time is of the essence, and we are very low in our supplies across the LA area,” Red Cross wrote in a statement shared by PPWC. “May was a rough month, and we are looking to the Palisades community to help us get back on track.”

The drive will take place at the PPWC Clubhouse, located at 901 Haverford Avenue.

To make an appointment, visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code PPWC, or email theppwc@gmail.com. Appointments can also be made by calling 1-800-Red-Cross.

Following U.S. Bank Acquisition, Palisades Union Bank Branch Closes

Photo by Sarah Shmerling

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

Following its acquisition by U.S. Bank, the Pacific Palisades branch of Union Bank, located at 15205 Sunset Boulevard, closed on May 26.

“All Union Bank products, with the exception of Credit Cards and Trust and Investments, have transitioned to U.S. Bank,” according to the Union Bank website on May 30.

The Union Bank Pacific Palisades branch first opened in 2017, according to its website, to serve the Palisades, Malibu, Santa Monica, Brentwood and Topanga. Its list of services included small business specialist, mortgage consultant, financial advisor and private wealth advisor.

Union Bank joined U.S. Bank in December 2022, according to a timeline provided by the banks. At the start of May, mortgage accounts were transitioned to U.S. Bank, while customers were asked to finalize any transactions with Union Bank mobile and online banking by May 26.

“Deposit accounts, loans and lines of credit and UnionBanc Investment Services (digital access only) transition to U.S. Bank” over Memorial Day weekend, May 27 to 29, according to the timeline.

“On Memorial Day weekend, we plan to complete the conversion of Union Bank branches, branch bankers and clients to U.S. Bank,” according to Evan Lapiska, vice president of public affairs and corporate communications with U.S. Bank, explained. “Following conversion, our clients in California will have increased access to financial services when and how they want to bank—branches, ATMs, bankers, on-demand technology and resources, and more.”

Customers were able to access accounts online and at U.S. Bank branches—including the one at 15305 Sunset Boulevard in the Palisades—beginning May 30. U.S. Bank “committed to retaining all frontline branch staff as part of the conversion,” according to Lapiska, some of whom have been placed at U.S. Bank in the Palisades.

Trust and investments were slated to transfer to U.S. Bank June 2 to 4, with clients able to use mobile and online banking beginning June 5. Credit card accounts are set to transition to U.S. Bank June 23 to 29.

“Union Bank credit card balances and past and current account information will transfer and be available to view in mobile and online banking on June 28,” the timeline concluded. “Union Bank credit card rewards balances will transfer and be available to view in mobile and online banking on June 29.”

Deadline Extended: Post Seeks Grad Messages for Special Section

A look at the 2022 section

As the 2022-23 academic year comes to a close, the Palisadian-Post is now accepting graduation messages for its fourth annual Graduation Special, set to publish June 8.

Messages, along with a high-resolution image, can be sent to mypost@palipost.com for students who live or go to school in the Palisades who are graduating elementary school, middle school, high school or college.

The deadline for messages has been extended to Sunday, June 4, at 10 p.m. Additional questions can be directed to mypost@palipost.com.

Women in STEM Club, Dillon Henry Foundation to Host Palisades Fundraiser

Courtesy of Fati Adeli

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

The Palisades Charter High School Women in STEM Club and the Dillon Henry Foundation have partnered to host “An Afternoon of Music for Congo Peace School” on June 4 from 2 to 5 p.m.

“An afternoon filled with live music, appetizers and special guest Congo Peace School Co-Founder Amani Matabaro,” according to a flyer for the event.

The event will be an “America’s Got Talent”-style backyard concert, which will have vocal and instrumental performers, as well as a set of judges.

Palisades Charter High School sophomores Leena Adeli and Maren Ghaffari launched the Women in STEM Club last year. Since creating the club and taking on the roles of co-presidents, the friends have launched different fundraising opportunities to support women and empower them to be involved in STEM—an acronym that stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“The Dillon Henry Foundation has been created to honor the memory of Dillon Henry,” according to the organization, “a remarkable teenager, who wanted to make the world a better place and planned to do it through great leadership and compassion.”

Palisadian Harriet Zaretsky honors her son, Richard Dillon Henry, a Pali High student who died at the age of 17 in 2007, through the efforts of the foundation.

One project the foundation supports is The Congo Peace School, which provides an education to students of the Democratic Republic of Congo who cannot afford school fees.

The club and foundation previously partnered together this year in March for a fundraising event at BOCA, where owner Denise Martinez donated 20% of sales from an event to the school, which turned out to be $3,700, according to Leena’s mom, Fati Adeli. The funds went to “much-needed feminine products for the girls at the school.”

Tickets for the June 4 event are $10 for attendees under the age of 18, $50 for adults and $25 for teachers. It will take place at 801 Latimer Road.

Palisades Will Rogers 5 & 10K Run Foundation Seeks National Anthem Singer

Hunter Barnett sings in 2019
Photo by Steve Galluzzo

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

The Palisades Will Rogers 5 & 10K Run Foundation—which coordinates the annual Fourth of July races—is seeking a singer to perform the national anthem on race day.

Auditions will take place on June 12 at 7 p.m. The singer does not have to live in the Palisades to be considered.

In 2022, Palisadian and Harvard-Westlake High School senior Kate Hassett sang the national anthem, celebrating the return of the race after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19 precautions.

Prior to that, Palisades Charter High School senior and Palisadian-Post Teen Talent Contest winner Hunter Barnett sang in 2019.

For more information about auditioning for the 2023 spot, contact Delena Hathaway at 310-420-9538.

Registration for this year’s race is open, with prices set to increase after June 5 at 11:59 p.m. The race begins at 8:15 a.m. on July 4, with the Kids’ Fun Run beginning at 9:30 a.m.

To sign up for this year’s race—which is celebrating 46 years—visit palisades10k.com.

‘Bell, Book, and Candle’ Set to Open at Pierson Playhouse

Photo courtesy of Theatre Palisades

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

Theatre Palisades’ next show, “Bell, Book, and Candle,” is set to open at Pierson Playhouse on Friday night, June 2, at 8 p.m.

“Gillian Holroyd is a witch,” according to a synopsis of the show, sent by Theatre Palisades. “One of the few modern people who can actually cast spells and perform feats of magic.”

Holroyd casts a spell over an “unattached publisher,” aiming to keep him away from a rival and also because she is attracted to him.

“He falls head over heels in love with her at once and wants to marry her,” the synopsis continued. “But witches, unfortunately, cannot fall in love, and this minute imperfection leads to a number of difficulties.”

Holroyd eventually breaks off with her witchy companions, with a preference for the “normal and human love” offered by the publisher.

“But before the happy conclusion of romance, Gillian comes very near to losing him—but doesn’t,” the synopsis concluded. “She realizes that one has to stop living in terms of ‘self’ if love is ever to be realized.”

The cast features Jasmine Haver as Gillian Holroyd in her Theatre Palisades debut, as well as Andrew Cereghino as Shep Henderson, Laura Goldstein as Miss Holroyd, Jeff Coppage as Nicky and Michael Anthony Nozzi as Redlitch.

The show, written by John Van Druten, is directed by Brandon Polanco. It is produced by Martha Hunter and Maria O’Connor.

“Witches are all around us, and ‘Bell, Book and Candle,’ written in 1950 by John Van Druten, was ahead of its time in understanding witches and their magic,” Polanco wrote. “A precursor for ‘Bewitched,’ Mr. Van Druten’s play is a love story about witchcraft that proposes these questions, if a person has the ability to make the impossible possible, can they still love? What does it mean to be human? In a world of digital and social media, when people glamorize their lives like a spell, sometimes being human is the most powerful magic one can express into the world.”

Performances will take place at Pierson Playhouse, located at 941 Temescal Canyon Road, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., as well as Sundays at 2 p.m., through July 8. Tickets are $22.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit theatrepalisades.org.

St. Matthew’s Music Guild to Conclude 2022-23 Season

Photo courtesy of Thomas Neenan

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

St. Matthew’s Music Guild will conclude its 2022-23 season on Friday, June 2, at 8 p.m., with a concert featuring The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’s and Choir of St. Matthew’s Church.

The program is set to feature works by Prokofiev and Vaughan Williams, as well as world premieres of commissioned pieces by David Conte and Dante De Silva.

San Francisco-based composer Conte prepared a three-movement cantata “Hymn To Life” in honor of longtime Music Guild board member and former president Fred Doering, who died in late 2020 of glioblastoma.

“I formed in my mind an image of a remarkable person who inspired everyone through his many actions in life, and especially through the grace with which he met his death,” Conte wrote in his notes about the piece. “Each movement deals with an aspect of what I perceived to be both Fred’s character, and also the universal experiences and challenges all human beings face.”

De Silva’s “Hermitage for Steel Drum and Orchestra” will feature “steel drum virtuoso” Tyler Hunt.

“The sound of the steel drum is often used in popular culture to represent a tropical island paradise, but this stereotype undermines the delicate nuance and raw beauty of the instrument,” according to De Silva. “‘Hermitage’ treats the steel drum as an important member of the orchestra, and utilizes its wide range of timbre and color.”

Other works on the program include Prokofiev’s “Sinfonietta, Op. 5” and Vaughan Williams’ “Flo scampi (Flower of the Fields),” with David Sage as the solo violist.

The evening will begin with a pre-concert presentation, “Liner Note with Tom Neenan,” which is set to start at 7:10 p.m.

The concert will take place at St. Matthew’s Church, located at 1031 Bienveneda Avenue. Tickets are $35.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit musicguildonline.org.

Dolphins Hitless in Semifinal Defeat

Noah Andrews trots to first base after being hit by a pitch to drive in Palisades’ only run in the fifth inning of its 5-1 loss to Birmingham in the City Open Division semifinals at USC.
Photos by Steve Galluzzo

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

Prior to the City Section Open Division semifinals on May 24, only once in the long career of Palisades Charter High School baseball coach Mike Voelkel had he witnessed his team get no-hit—and that was by future Major Leaguer Jason Schmidt, then a senior at Kelso High in Washington, who fanned 20 of 21 batters in the first game of a doubleheader versus Hoquiam in 1991.

The Dolphins entered last Wednesday afternoon’s contest at USC riding a 13-game winning streak. They were averaging nine runs per game and were favored to reach the finals at Dodger Stadium.

However, Birmingham pitcher Daniel Flores showed guts galore in working out of several jams to render Pali High hitless through seven innings of a 5-1 victory. He needed 107 pitches and struck out only five batters, but it was enough to lift his team into the championship game, and the Patriots would go on to defeat Carson 3-1 three days later for their fourth title in six seasons.     

“Give him credit—the kid’s a gamer,” Voelkel said of Flores, a senior righty who persevered, despite only one clean inning. “You could tell they came to win it and didn’t make mistakes that were costly. I thought we’d score three or four runs off their pitchers, but we got zero. We made three big mistakes that accounted for four runs. We didn’t have our normal edge today but hats off to them—they beat one of the best pitchers in the City.”

Pali High’s bus got stuck in heavy traffic because of an accident on Pacific Coast Highway and arrived at Dedeaux Field later than anticipated. Despite having to hasten their pre-game routine, the Dolphins were confident with ace left-hander (and USC commit) Mason Edwards on the mound.

He struck out four batters in the first two innings but ran into trouble in the third. With runners on the corners and two outs, Trevor Sostman singled to get the third-seeded Patriots (22-8) on the scoreboard. A passed ball allowed JB Dalumpines to score from third to make it 2-0.

Pitcher Mason Edwards (No. 7) is greeted behind the mound by infielders Wesley Wells, Luca Ruggerio, Jack Woods and Zach Gresham before the start of the second inning.

Dalumpines found the right-center field gap for a two-run triple in the fourth that doubled the lead.

Edwards allowed seven hits and four runs with seven strikeouts in four innings. He threw 93 pitches.

John Iacono tossed two scoreless innings, Jimmy Levy got the first two outs in the seventh and Ryan Higgins ended the inning with a strikeout, but not before Andrew Valdez scored an insurance run on a bases-loaded walk.

“Birmingham played tough baseball,” Voelkel said. “They just wouldn’t let Mason get them out, but he showed his true grit today also.”

Jack Woods and Yonah Cohen drew back-to-back walks to begin the bottom of the fifth, then Wesley Wells reached on a bunt that was initially ruled a hit, but later correctly changed to a fielder’s choice. Pinch hitter Noah Andrews was hit by a pitch to force home Woods and pull the second-seeded Dolphins to within three runs with still no outs, but they crept no closer. Logan Bailey struck out, Amari Yolas fouled out and Zach Gresham grounded to third to end the threat.

Cohen drew a lead-off walk in the seventh, but Wells popped to the catcher, Luca Ruggerio struck out and Bailey grounded to the shortstop, who flipped to second to force out Cohen and end the game.

“We hit better and pitched better but against lesser quality teams than in years past,” added Voelkel, whose squad equaled the 26 wins it totaled on the way to advancing to the finals in 2019. “We figured out how to only lose three games, which is a great feat in itself, no matter the level of competition.”

Pali High qualified for the CIF Southern California Regional Division III playoffs and hosted Westlake in the first round Tuesday.

Volleyball Players Make All-City List

Middle blocker Alex Brew
Photo by Steve Galluzzo

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

Four Palisades Charter High School volleyball players have been selected to the All-City Open Division team after leading the Dolphins to the finals May 13 at Cal State Northridge.

Making the first team were three Pali High seniors: opposite hitter Alex Brew, outside hitter James Rockwell and setter Blake Pecsok, who was chosen City Co-Player of the Year last season along with teammate Gus Wibbelsman. Sophomore libero Sean Wahlig was the only Dolphin picked for the second team.

Sina Aghassy of City champion Chatsworth was voted Coach of the Year and Chancellors outside hitter Blake Pohevitz received Player of the Year honors after pounding 18 kills in a 25-18, 25-22, 25-18 sweep of Pali High in the championship match.

Although it was denied its 18th City crown, Pali High finished 36-8, defended its Western League title and qualified for the CIF Southern California Regional Division II tournament, falling in four sets to eventual champion El Segundo on May 16.

Chatsworth landed four players on the first team and one on the second team, while semifinalists University and El Camino Real each got two players on the first team and two on the second team. Eagle Rock, which lost to Pali High in the quarterfinals, had one player make the first team and two make the second team.

Boys and Buddies Win Bocce Cup

The Senior League champion Bocce Buddies, who prevailed in a three-game thriller against High Rollers.
Photos courtesy of Jimmy Dunne

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

There’s a new sheriff at Veterans Gardens, and it is the Bocce Buddies.

The team stole the Senior League crown from two-time champion High Rollers in a dramatic final match May 23, thanks to the “last roll” heroics of Mark Waldrep, who cooly landed a bay in the final frame of the third and deciding game to the utter amazement of the packed crowd lining the courts.   

High Rollers won the first game but, led by pallino pal George Junger and the league’s Most Improved Player David Perez, Bocce Buddies took Game 2 to level the match. After Waldrep’s remarkable shot, he and his teammates hoisted the Bocce Cup before continuing the celebration at the season-ending awards party at the Bay Theater. 

The Sunset League champion Bocce Boys completed the ultimate Cinderella story by defeating Bocce Mi.

Meanwhile, Cinderella stories Bocce Mi and Bocce Boys were engaged in riveting finale of their own for the Sunset League title. Both were winless in the regular season but won their respective wildcard divisions and ultimately advanced to the championship match May 23. 

Bolstered by the shots of Len LaBella and Mike Kirrene, Bocce Mi easily won the first game. Bocce Boys rebounded in the second, setting the stage for a first-to-five decider. Glen Barad, David Saloff, Randy Bernstein and company were laser accurate in taking home the trophy.     

The summer session starts June 6 and 8 for the Sunset League (cost is $75 per player) and June 6 for the Senior League (also $75 per player). Sunset League matches will be Tuesdays at 5:15 and 6:30 p.m. and Thursdays at 5:15 and 6:30 p.m. while Senior League matches will be Tuesdays at 11 a.m. and 12 p.m.

To save your spot, make your payment by June 1. New players can sign up at veteransgardens.com/palisades-league.