By Sue Pascoe
The Village Green, the treasured pocket-park at Sunset, Swarthmore and Antioch, requires an annual budget of about $12,000 to pay for tree-trimming, insurance, maintenance of the lights, benches and fountain, and sidewalk repair.
Many residents are unaware that the Village Green is owned and operated by a private nonprofit committee that receives no financial support from the city. Instead, all money comes from donations and fundraisers.
When realtor Anthony Marguleas and his wife Sue gave a check for $5,000 on Jan. 9, as they have done for the past four years, treasurer Bob Gold called it a blessing. “With this donation, we’re already a little more than halfway to meeting our 2017 budget,” Gold said.
Sue Marguleas said that giving to the Village Green is important to her family. “I spent many hours here when my kids were little. They played by the fountain.”
She added, “The people who volunteer to run the park are amazing and nice.”
Anthony Marguleas, owner of Amalfi Estates on Monument, has donated to numerous charities in the community, including one year when his $27,000 donation rescued the Fourth of July parade budget.
“My goal is to give $1 million to charity,” Marguleas told the News. “I’ve given more than $400,000 so far.” In addition to Palisades schools and organizations, the family donates to Homeboy Industries, Path Making It Home, Make a Wish Foundation, SPCALA and the American Cancer Society.
The idea Marguleas has emphasized with his four children, now teens, is “We make a living by what we get, but make a life by what we give.”
The UC Riverside graduate was diagnosed with a rare cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma, when he was 26 and given only a 30 percent chance of survival. His parents and two brothers watched him dwindle to 98 pounds following radiation, chemotherapy and finally a bone-marrow transplant.
“I seemed to always know I was going to be one of the survivors. I have always had a positive attitude,” Marguleas said. “It sounds odd, but I am thankful and grateful for everything—even cancer. Without it I would never have met my wife [Sue was an oncology nurse], appreciate life as much and gotten as close with my family. Most people in their 20s take life for granted, but I was given a lesson in how important life is and to live every day to the fullest, which was a huge blessing.”
To donate (all money goes to the park) visit palisadesvillagegreen.org. A Paypal account has been set up by Lou Kamer, the at-large representative on the Pacific Palisades Community Council.