Longtime Malibu resident and community volunteer Sandy Banducci received the 2021 Jake Kuredjian Citizenship Award. Banducci died on July 3, 2019, and her daughter Amy Sabol accepted the award on her behalf.
“It’s an honor for me to accept the Jake Kuredjian Award on behalf of my amazing mom Sandy Banducci,” Sabol said during a City of Malibu YouTube announcement. “Serving the Malibu community in her many roles with the Parks and Recreation program has been so fulfilling and rewarding for my mom.”
The Jake Kuredjian Citizenship Award is given annually to an outstanding individual or group who donates their time and resources to improve the quality of recreation programs for the Malibu community.
The award was created to honor Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Hagop “Jake” Kuredjian, who was killed in the line of duty in 2001 after 17 years of service. Deputy Kuredjian received the Gold Medal for Meritorious Conduct in 1989 for saving a woman from a cliff in Malibu. Past recipients have demonstrated commitment and involvement in recreation in Malibu and, in doing so, have demonstrated the highest level of citizenship while making a lasting contribution to the community.
She is remembered as the face and heart of Malibu youth sports. Banducci has overseen children’s sports in many capacities for nearly five decades in Malibu. Its tenure of interacting with families spanned generations, as children participating in youth sports some 40 years ago grew up and enrolled their own children in city-run programs.
“We are so lucky to have her in our life, her life cannot be measured in years but rather in her impact that she had every day in her beloved city,” Sabol said. “It was his mission to bring joy, love and purpose to the young people who participated in youth sports programs for so many years. His ultimate goal was to create an endless ripple effect by doing as much good as possible every day.
Banducci was a wedding planner and event coordinator at the Malibu West Swim Club for 25 years and oversaw family life cycle events such as weddings, bar mitzvahs and parties of all kinds. Most Malibu residents knew her from the many sports programs she ran in the city, even before Malibu was incorporated.
“It’s wonderful to know that she was so grateful for her many sacrifices,” Sabol said. “She was an authenticity filled with the countless relationships she built over the years. Everyone who knew her knew that was her superpower… she always had her finger on the pulse of the city and really wanted to make a difference.
Banducci was also recognized as one of the original recipients of the Malibu Dolphin Award in 1992. The Dolphin Award is given to individuals and local organizations who have made outstanding contributions to the betterment of one or more aspects of life. Malibu community.
“This award would have meant the world to her and our whole family is so grateful that she is being recognized for the amazing person she was,” Sabol said.
Rob LeMond also received the award Feb. 22, recognized for his five decades of teaching local children to swim.