‘Slow down for Julia’ founders win award

By Luke Holthouse

Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky awarded Jake Feiler ’13, Eli Kogan ’13 and Max Theony ’13 the “Volunteer of the Year” award for their dedication to the “Slow Down for Julia” campaign.

Yaroslavsky, also the Superintendent of the third district of Los Angeles, presented the award at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on April 11.

The three boys started the community service project last year in memory of Julia Siegler ’14, who died at the age of 13 after she was hit by a car. The accident occured on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Cliffwood Avenue when Siegler was crossing Sunset to reach her school bus stop. Feiler, Kogan and Theony witnessed the accident from the school bus that Siegler was trying to catch.

The goal of the “Slow Down For Julia” group is to raise money to promote safe driving standards and to remember the life of Siegler.

“We want people not just to slow down and think about what they’re doing while they’re driving, but in everyday actions just to slow down and think about how not everything they do is as important as it seems at the time,” Feiler said.

The group has created a memorial at the site of the accident filled with pictures, candles and flowers and built a purple memorial bench by the bus stop. Last year, with the help of former Mayor of Los Angeles Richard Riordan, City Councilman Bill Rosendahl and Yaroslavsky, they used the money raised by the group to print out 20,000 flyers with safe driving tips for Los Angeles Police officers to hand out as well as to cut down a eucalyptus tree on the corner of Cliffwood and Sunset that may have made it difficult for drivers to see oncoming pedestrians crossing Sunset.

“I’m humbled,” Theony said. “It furthers our cause and I fully support that. Even though it’s been over a year now [since the accident], we still want to carry on our message.”