Posted 5/10/15 – Longtime resident Laurie Cooper was honored by the Senior Commission as Sierra Madre’s Older American of the Year for 2015 on Friday, and she is certainly qualified. At 97, Cooper is still actively involved with Sierra Madre Environmental Action Council (SMEAC), Bailey Canyon Volunteers, and the League of Women Voters, among other things. “Laurie Cooper is somebody that is admired and respected by everyone who surrounds he, and I know why. It is because she’s an activist and a doer…and she’s not afraid to start something that hasn’t been done before.” said Congresswoman Judy Chu. Laurie moved to Sierra Madre with her husband Dick back in the late 1940s, and hit the ground running. She has been a leader of and active participant in SMEAC throughout its 45-year history, including serving as its president for twelve years. She was active in the creation of Bailey Canyon Wilderness Park, and has helped to keep the park maintained with annual clean-up days. She is also a volunteer docent for SMEAC’s Nature Awareness program at the local schools. She ran a local recycling center before the City began enforcing curbside recycling, and the program was so successful that it brought Sierra Madre the Los Angeles Regional Agency’s Chevron Award in recognition of excellence in environmental stewardship going all the way back to 1985.
Laurie also is a long-time member of League of Women Voters, and hosts monthly meetings for the organization. The City Council will also recognize Laurie at their May 12th meeting, and on May 21st, she will be recognized by the LA County Board of Supervisors and the LA County Commission for Older Adults at a special awards ceremony to be held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Please enjoy the video below, and the photo gallery from the reception below that.