Daily Archives: March 25, 2012

Emcee Clint Howard Helps Boy Scout Council With Fundraiser

Members of the Verdugo Hills Council (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The 38th annual Boy Scout Auction sparkled like a TV awards show Friday night at the Castaway. A surprise $150,000 donation made the proceedings even sweeter.

Master of ceremonies was actor Clint Howard, who starred in the 1960s TV series “Gentle Ben” and played the memorable role of Balok in an episode of the original “Star Trek” series.

Video tributes were cast upon the big screen, first from actor Gary Sinise and later by director Ron Howard, the emcee’s brother.

Clint Howard, MC for the evening and Sunder Ramani who gave the Opening Remarks for this years Big Strike Dinner and Auction. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

In his monologue, Clint Howard was genuinely sincere when he said he had always wanted to join Boy Scouting as a youth, but his parents thought he already had too much on his plate with Burbank park and recreation sports and his acting career. He told the more than 300 guests that he believes scouting, which helps boys to gain strong values and build solid moral characters, “is more important than ever.”

Touting the theme “Changing the World One Scout at a Time”, the gala kicked off with a silent auction followed by dinner. Then came a surprise announcement of a major donation. Tom Carnahan presented the Verdugo Hills Council with a check for $150,000 from its Carnahan Charitable Remainder Trust. The gift was from Tom’s father, Joe Carnahan, who died six weeks ago, said Bob Black, who co-chaired the auction with his wife Dorothy.

“The donation was a secret until Tom made the announcement,” Bob Black said.

Former City Attorney Dennis Barlow a big supporter of The Boy Scouts checks out the bids his wife placed. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The gift neatly segued into the live auction, where scouts vice president of finance Sunder Ramani led the bidding with some comic relief provided by Clint Howard, who walked between the tables and interacted with guests.

Winning coveted live auction prizes were Robert Rector, who will be spending a day of golf and lunch with Clint Howard at the Wood Ranch Country Club in Simi Valley, and school board member Debbie Kukta, taking home a golden retriever puppy to meet her dog Cody.

All proceeds help the Verdugo Hills Council provide scouting programs for more than 3,000 boys who live in Burbank, Glendale, La Crescenta and La Canada Flintridge.

Boy Scouts were in the house, helping spot bids and running prizes to happy winners. Eagle Scout Kevin Beebe directed the flag presentation and Homenetmen Scout Evana Grigorian sang “God Bless America.” The Rev. Wayne Walters gave the invocation.

Master of Ceremonies Clint Howard checks out the auction items, and watches his bids. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

In the final video tribute of the night, Ron Howard reiterated his brother’s sentiments about Boy Scouting and all they learn on the road to becoming men.

“God bless the Boy Scouts,” he said adding, “I really mean that!”

NEW VIDEO – Skate Park Turns Into High Flying BMX Event

Riders were floating on air at Burbank's Bike-Fest (Photo By Brian Sydnor)

Everyone was catching some major air during the first annual BMX Festival that took place at the Burbank Skate Park on Saturday.

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the kids who are passionate about riding, that took a stand for the greater good of BMX. With the support of their parents from writing e-mails, to contacting the City Council, and for all the time that was spent trying to find a place where BMX riders could showcase their talents and practice new tricks.

After a few years and much perseverance, their hard work most certainly paid off. The Burbank City Council granted these deserving kids an expansion to the skate park located on Valley Street, a park that has been apart of the Burbank community for ten years.

Mike Graceffo who has overseen all of this come about said “ They never had a place where they could, legally ride, now the bikers have a place they can go.”

What a great idea to combine the practice field of two awesome sports in one. The expansion of the skate park has brought great benefits to the riders, they now have a safe and supervised space to practice, learn new tricks and just hang out with friends.

The expansion has also, brought piece of mind to all the parents who worked so hard to get this project up and going. Some parents even use the park as a reward system, which has made the kids

Riders of all ages were on hand at the Bike-Fest (Photo By Brian Sydnor)

work even harder at school to achieve good grades, so they can enjoy the park. The expansion of the skate park has given these kids a sanctuary and the opportunity to be themselves and make new friends and even try new things. Many of the skaters have taken on BMX ridding and love it!

Proper equipment is key, you must have knee pads, elbow pads and a helmet to be able to enter. If you are under the age of 18 a parent consent form is needed. Where can you grab all the cool the gear for BMX ridding you may ask? One of the Bike-Fest sponsors, H&S Cycles here in Burbank, has a great variety of everything BMX . You can also, head to the Burbank Bike Shop  for more cool stuff. A great big thank you to these bike shops for supplying the riders with T-shirts and prizes for the festival.

The park is open seven days a week, but has certain days and times that BMX ridding is allowed. Sunday from 3-5pm, Thursday from 4-7pm and Saturday from 5-9pm. So if you want to work on your 180 or a full 360 head on over to the Burbank Bike/ Skate park for a great ridding experience!



Check out this great photogallery of Skate-Fest by BurbankNBeyond photographers Marsha and Brian Sydnor

Awards Presented to Burbank’s Boards and Commissions Members

Burbank Mayor Jess Talamantes, along with his fellow City Council Members, held a Boards and Commissions Mixer and Awards Night this past Friday evening at Burbank’s Colony Theatre.

Awards were handed out to 20 residents that have served up to 20 years, awards were presented for 5, 10, 15 and 20 year awards.

Following the awards portion local restaurants BJ’s, Porto’s, Poquito Mas, and Pasta Pomodoro provided food and deserts, and The Colony had wine and coffee.

See more pictures from the evening by Ross A. Benson


Service Awards

5-Year Award

Alfred Aboulsaad – Sustainable Burbank Commission

JJ Connaughton – Civic Pride Committee

Allyson Cruz- Youth Board

Marisa DiDomenico – Heritage Commission

Doug Halter – Senior Board

Lynn Kronzek – BWP Board

Kylie Lewis – Youth Board

Roberta Reynolds – School Board

Nat Rubinfeld, Police Commission

Nathan Schlossman – Civil Service Board

Elise Steams-Niesen – Police Commission

Dr. Jeff Wassem – Greater Los Angeles Vector Control District

l0-Year Award

Forrest Barker, Senior Board

Elisa Freeman – Civic Pride Committee

Garen Yegparian – Park, Recreation & Community Services Board

l5-Year Award

Richard Brewster – Transportation Commission

Matthew Doyle – Civil Service Board

Robert Mills – Board of Building and Fire Codes

Robert Olson – BWP Board

Z0-Year Award

Alice Asmar – Burbank Cultural Arts Commission