Chamber Introduces 2011 Wistaria Festival’s “Sierra Madre Treasures”

Jan Reed, Phyllis Chapman, Eph Konigsber, Marjorie "Mama Pete" Peterson and George Maurer pose together by the Wistaria Vine after being named 2011 Sierra Madre Treasures. Also named but not pictured was George Enyedi

Sierra Madre is a town that would not exist if it were not for the volunteer efforts of its citizenry.  Such efforts have kept the Wistaria Festival a mainstay of Sierra Madre culture since 1918.  This year, the Wistaria Festival Committee has decided to initiate a tradition that we hope will be carried on for generations to come.  This year as we celebrate the beauty of “The Vine” that has  is such an important part of our culture, we shall also bestow the honor of “Treasure of Sierra Madre” on six citizens who have exemplified the kind of volunteer spirit and commitment that makes this town what it is today.  The 2011 Treasures of Sierra Madre are:

Eph Konigsberg – Sierra Madre’s Older American of the year in 2008, Eph is a founding member of Sierra Madre Community Foundation, which provides comprehensive services for administering charitable endowments that benefit both the donor and the community of Sierra Madre — today and in perpetuity.  He also served as a Library Board member, a member of the Historical Society, a member of the Sierra Madre Kiwanis Club and is “the guy who had the great idea to underground the utilities up on North Baldwin,” .  A resident of Sierra Madre for decades, Eph’s community service exemplify the Spirit of Sierra Madre and makes him a genuine “Treasure”. 

George Enyedi – Longtime Sierra Madre resident George Enyedi has been an  outstanding volunteer for more than four decades.  For eight years, Enyedi, a CPA,  volunteered his services to the City of Sierra Madre Finance Department.  In 2008 he was elected City Treasurer, a position he still holds. In addition to his responsibilities as Treasurer, George was primarily responsible for saving the Sierra Madre Playhouse and The Sierra Madre Cemetery from financial ruin.    He also served as treasurer of the Sierra Madre Mountain Conservancy and the Sierra Madre Environmental Action Council.   He received the Citizen of the Year Award in 1999 and the City of Sierra Madre’s George Maurer Lifetime Service Award in 2010 and is a member of the Sierra Madre Kiwanis Club.

 Phyllis Chapman –Phyllis Chapman is, without a doubt, the Sierra Madre Historian.  Just ask her any question about Sierra Madre since its inception and she can give you the answer.   A resident for more than six decades, she is an active member of the Sierra Madre Civic Club, The Sierra Madre Historical Preservation Society, The Sierra Madre Woman’s Club, The Sierra Madre Garden Club and much more.  Chosen in 1980 as the Citizen Of The Year she is truly a walking encyclopedia of all things Sierra Madre. 

 Marjorie “Mama Pete” Peterson – A resident of Sierra Madre for more than eight  decades, Mama Pete, as she is affectionately known has provided nurturing support of the community through her involvement with the Woman’s Club, The Civic Club and more.  She served as Grand Marshall of the Sierra Madre 4th of July Parade and was The Citizen of the Year in 1982.  As the proprietor of Mama Pete’s Nursery School which opened in 1944, she has had a direct impact on many of the town’s current civic leaders who attended her Nursery School years ago.  Her picture as a young Sierra Madrean appears in the book  Southern California Story: Seeking the Better Life in Sierra Madre.

George Maurer – Former Mayor, Former Citizen Of The Year in 1974, Retired from the Sierra Madre Volunteer Fire Department, George Maurer has done it all.  So much so that annually, the City of Sierra Madre bestows the “George Maurer Lifetime Service Award” to a deserving citizen or business that understands that Community Service is the life blood of Sierra Madre.  George is also an active member of the Sierra Madre Kiwanis Club.. 

 Jan Reed – For years, Jan served the town as Publisher and Editor of the Sierra Madre News for 14 years.  She also has given countless volunteer hours through her involvement with the Sierra Madre Community Foundation, the Friends of the Library, the Civic Club and the Woman’s Club.  She was the first woman to be invited to join Sierra Madre Kiwanis Club, and was also a very active member of Sierra Madre’s Centennial Committee.  Jan was bestowed with the honor of Citizen Of The Year in 1994 and continues to contribute to the well being of Sierra Madre today.

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