2018 Les Tupper Awards

 The 2018 awards were  presented at JPL on Monday, April 16, 2018
in the von Karman Auditorium at 7:00 PM



SOO KIM CHOI – Soo Kim is a product of La Canada schools. In her adult life, she returned to La Canada with her husband and two sons and immediately stared volunteering.  She has been a member of the La Canada high School Alumni association and helped coordinate the 1st Alumni Breakfast.  She supported her children serving as an art docent at Paradise Canyon for 2 years and LCHS Water Polo treasurer for the past 3 years.

She also served on the committee to implement 1st Challenge Success: Building Your Path event for 6th-12th graders at LCHS.

Soo has served on the La Canada Educational Foundation as Gala chairman for 4 years and started the annual Korean-American Parents mixer which last year raised $50,000 for Gala underwriting.  She has been a member of the Flintridge Guild of Children’s Hospital since 2014 and has been the sponsorship Chairman the last 2 years.

She has for years been active in promoting Korean-American engagement in our community. Five years ago Soo was instrumental in the campaign for the LC parcel tax measure.  She was key in reaching out to the Korean American LCF community for their support making sure they had Korean language ballots and personally calling them to convince them that this was worth the investment.  In 2017 she served on the “Yes on LCF Campaign” as a Fundraising Chairman.  She has also served on several political Campaigns as Korean Outreach.

Without her determination we would not have had an increase in Korean-American engagement in the community.  She truly deserves this Les Tupper Community Service Award for being a champion of La Canada and its students.


MICHAEL DAVITT – Michael recently stepped down from his term as Mayor of La Canada Flintridge. He served on the LCF Planning Commission for eight years before running for a seat on the City Council and has been on the City Council since 2011 serving two terms as Mayor. He is currently serving as President of the California Contract Cities Association. This Association has 70 member cities and represents 7 million residents. Contract Cities is a vital part of our City as it advocates for local control and the rights to contract for services.  He was recently appointed to the LA County Blue Ribbon Committee on Public Safety by the LA County Supervisor.

Michael has lived in La Canada Flintridge most of his life. He supported his children in many ways. He has been a coach at the YMCA, St Bede and for La Canada Spartan Football and Basketball. He was a Boy Scout leader for 2 years. He also supported his children’s schools. He was President of the Parent Board Association of St. Bede for 2 years and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy for six years.

In the community Mike is on the board of the Glendale Community College Foundation and is active with their annual golf tournament.  He is on the Board of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Support Group. He is currently the President of the LCF Tournament of Roses Association.

Michael has been involved in many La Canada community organizations, including the LCF Chamber of Commerce, the LCF Community Center, and the LCF Trails Council. He has a great love and concern for the residents, business’ and community organizations that keep our city thriving.



Katherine Markgraf –  Katherine is another recipient who grew up in La Canada Flintridge. In high school she was a Sunday School teacher and played in the Bell Choir at La Canada Congregational Church.

Katherine is an active member of the Palm Crest Elementary PTA and volunteers with school and Scout events.  She has been a judge for the Miss La Canada Flintridge Royal Court since 2011 and is the Chamber’s advisor for the court. She also serves as the Recording Secretary for the Chamber.

Katherine is moderator and currently sits on the Finance and Property Board of the La Canada Congregational Church. She is active and has served as President of the Paradise Valley Homeowners Association.  She also assisted residents in the Station fire and subsequent mudflow disaster.

In January she received the Community Service Award from the LCF Chamber of Commerce.  With all this service she has maintained a full time position with Ernst and Young and a supportive mother to her 10 year old son.


ELLEN MULTARI  – Ellen, her husband and 3 children moved to La Canada in 2007. She immediately got involved in our schools.  She served three years as PTA Financial Secretary for Palm Crest and also served on the Palm Crest Site Council.  She has served on the LCUSD Bond Oversite Committee from 2007 to the present.

As her children moved on to LCHS she became the publicity chairman for the 7/8 PTA Spring Home Tour and also was the 7/8 PTA auditor.  Ellen was on the LCHS School Site Council from 2010-2012.  She was Site leader for the 7/8 LCUSD Task Force in 2011.  Ellen was a Director on the La Canada Flintridge Educational Foundation and was the Publicity Chair.

Ellen is most known for her 7 years on the LCUSD School Board serving as President in 2014.  Everyone who has worked with Ellen comments on her loyalty, dedication, fairness and honesty.  Our schools are better because of the passion Ellen has shown for La Canada and our children’s education.

Ellen had a trip already planned when she was selected this year so is not able to be here this evening.  Please congratulate her as you see her in town.


In 1990 the La Canada Flintridge Coordinating Council established a Student Community Service Award designed to honor outstanding school and community service-minded students in grades 11 and 12.  The objective is to promote civic pride in youth.  Their involvement in service projects makes an impact on the lives of others and helps make the community a better place to live.  Our first Les Tupper Student Community Award is presented to:

COURTNEY JOHNSON – Courtney is a junior at Flintridge Preparatory School where she is on the Dean’s list.  She is on the ACL Spirit Committee which tutors at the Boys and Girls Club of Pasadena, helps with Special Olympics Tournaments at Prep and helps with the La Mascota 5k which raises money for the only children’s cancer hospital in Nicaragua.  She is president of the Fashion Club, is on the Club Council and the Prom Committee.  With Prep she works once a week at St. Bede’s during lunch to prepare food for the homeless at Union Station.  In the summer she has worked as a counselor at the Boys and Girl’s Club Camp, the Girl Scout Camp and the YMCA summer camp.  Courtney plays varsity volleyball for the Rebels as well as club volleyball.

Courtney has been a member of the National Charity League for 5years working over 650 hours for philanthropies.  She has taken leadership roles as class president, vice president of philanthropy, Recording Secretary and Social Chair. In 2016 she was chosen as one of 12 to serve on the national level for National Charity League as a member of the National Ticktocker Advisory Council providing input to the national board.

Courtney has been active in Girl Scouts for 12 years and has just completed her Gold Award making over a therapy room for families in the Domestic Violence Program at the YMCA.  She also provided new furniture and art supplies for their art therapy program.

Courtney is a founding member of the La Canada Sister Cities Youth Group and was selected as one of 6 students to represent La Canada at the Youth Leadership Summit in Washington, DC.  She supports the group throughout the year.

Courtney was recently selected to the Miss La Canada Royal Court and will be busy representing the city and the Chamber of Commerce.

The second Les Tupper Student Service Award is presented to:

NAOMI STEPHEN – Naomi is a senior at La Canada High School where she has a 4.75 grade point average.  She has been on the Speech and Debate team for 4 years serving as Speech Captain, Secretary and then president in 2017.  She has been a member of the School Site Committee in 9th grade, Local Control Accountability Plan Overview Committee in 10th through 12th grades.  She has also been Secretary, Treasurer and co-President of the Green Club.

She has tutored students from elementary to high school and helped create a summer tutoring program for 5th and 7th graders.

Naomi earned her Girl Scout Gold Award by working over 100 hours at St Francis Medical Center in Lynwood.  She raised $500. To make baby blankets, set up IPads for the pediatrics Department and created a video for children about the hospital experience.  She has also been a Girl Scout Camp Counselor for the last 3 years.

Naomi has played piano for 13 years, achieving her Certificate of merit Level 9.  She uses this skill to play for her church worship every Sunday.  She has also been a counselor for the church’s annual youth camp for 5th-8th graders.

She sold nachos to raise $1000. for HOPE, a non-profit organization that meets needs of underserved communities all over the world.  She is on their National Youth Advisory Council. She does more than raise money!  She spent 10 days in Chicago and 12 days in Philadelphia working with youth programs and homeless and a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center.

Naomi has been a member of the Assistance League of Flintridge’s Assisteen’s group for 5 years, planning the Medallion Dinner for the last 3 years serving on various committees and working in the Bargain Box.


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.