Mayor Bob Joe will present three city “Image Awards” at the Sunday, Dec. 29 Crunch Time Party fundraiser for the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses float. The event starts at 6 p.m. at the War Memorial Building.
Joe will recognize longtime South Pasadena residents and leaders Diane and Bill Cullinane, along with Shireen Chang. Paul Abbey, a well-known float-building volunteer who passed away Sept. 27, will be honored posthumously.
The incoming mayor determines who will receive the annual awards. Former Mayor Mike Ten began the tradition in 2004.
Image Awards go to individuals or organizations within the city that have enhanced the image of South Pasadena beyond its borders.
Generally, more than one individual or entity is chosen. Last year, songwriter and music producer Brad Colerick and Sam Quinones, opioid-epidemic author, received the award from then-Mayor Marina Khubesrian.
Here’s a look at this year’s winners:
Diane and Bill Cullinane
Diane Cullinane, a developmental pediatrician, retired this month after 23 years as executive director and co-founder of Professional Child Development Associates (PCDA) in Pasadena. PCDA is a nonprofit organization that provides therapeutic services to children and young adults with autism and other developmental challenges.
With a staff of 85, PCDA serves more than 1,000 children throughout the area, including children in the South Pasadena Unified School District. Diane is an educator, clinician, author, manager, administrator, fundraiser, program developer and a leader in her field.
She travels nationally and internationally to share her knowledge, and in South Pasadena has been a speaker at the School District’s special needs conference. In retirement, she plans to continue traveling for educational purposes. Her next planned trip is to Armenia.
She has also worked with legislators to improve services to children with autism. In addition, the 28-year South Pasadena resident serves on the Board at Holy Family Catholic School. She was honored as one of Assemblyman Chris Holden’s 2019 Women of Distinction.
Bill Cullinane is a semi-retired entrepreneur and businessman and South Pasadena High School graduate.
He has been a member of the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Committee for 10 years. In 2012 and 2013, he served as the committee’s president. During his presidency, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association awarded trophies both years to the city’s float. He and the committee also received a previous city Image award for their efforts.
A member of the South Pasadena Oneonta Club for more than 20 years, he serves as the club’s Foundation president. Through the foundation, each year he helps to award $30,000 in student scholarships and $2,000 in awards to South Pasadena School District teachers.
Bill serves on the Senior Citizens Foundation of South Pasadena, Inc., as vice president, working to generate donations to provide the center with needed resources. He is a longtime finance chair/treasurer of the board of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
He is also a PCDA ambassador, assisting his wife and helping to organize events in South Pasadena to benefit the organization.
A resident since 1984, Chang has participated in all parts of the community, from schools to scouts to commissions to nonprofit organizations.
She served on the board of the South Pasadena Chinese American Club more than 20 years in various capacities. For a dozen years, she coordinated the club’s popular annual Chinese New Year’s luncheon for members of the city’s Senior Center. This included providing a culturally rich program of dancers and other entertainers.
Chang served six years on the city’s Library Board of Trustees and seven years on the Public Safety Commission. Just this month, Joe appointed her to the city’s Senior Citizen Commission.
She is an active member of the Restoration Concert Series Committee, helping to bring world-class music to the city. She has been the block captain for her neighborhood watch group for almost 11 years. She has volunteered as a poll worker for more than 30 elections.
In 2004, Rep. Adam Schiff — then representing South Pasadena — named her as the Woman of the Year. “She is pivotal in the social and cultural vitality of our community,” he said at the time.
Longtime South Pasadena resident Paul Abbey, who passed away in September at 66, was a dedicated team member on the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses (SPTOR) Committee. He served as president, construction chair and in numerous other positions over his two decades of service. He devoted thousands of hours, working weekends and nights during float construction and throughout the year.
In other volunteer work, Abbey served as a caller for South Pasadena High School’s Tiger Bingo, helping generate revenues for the school. He was a member of the Booster Committee’s Bingo Board and served as its president for a number of years.
As the owner of Abbey Graphics, he was also generous in providing printed materials for the float committee, the Booster Club, Tiger Bingo and other nonprofits.
“He was the glue,” SPTOR President Courtney Dunlap said of Abbey’s role at the committee’s October meeting.
Paul’s widow, Cathy Abbey, will accept the award.
The Crunch Time fundraiser runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at War Memorial Building on Sunday, Dec. 29. The event is almost sold out. To check if seats are available, text Ellen Torres at (818) 599-4180.