Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Honoring a Great Man in El Sereno – Robert F. Saunders Parking Grove

It was a beautiful day Thursday morning when I was joined by 200 schoolchildren, teachers, community members and family and friends of Robert F. Saunders for a plaque dedication ceremony in honor of the beloved Farmdale Elementary School volunteer. Mr. Saunders, who passed away in 2008, was absolutely instrumental in working with me to pave over a dirt parking lot shared by families of Farmdale students and children who play sports at the adjacent El Sereno Park. I first heard about this troublesome parking lot – which blew loads of dust in the dry season and became dangerously muddy in the wet season – while I was on the LAUSD Board of Education. I discovered then that it was City property, so when I joined the City Council, I worked to find $410,000 in funding to finish this project, which includes new trees and a community garden. I want to thank Farmdale Principal, Teresita Saracho de Palma, and Mr. Saunders' family, who were on hand for the dedication, for their help in making this a reality. Robert Saunders is proof that one person really can make a difference and we all owe a debt of gratitude to him for never giving up on a dream.