Burbank Coordinating Council Seeks Passionate Volunteers to Preserve Its Legacy

Attendees of the BCC's March 4 meeting rallied to help find new Board members and volunteers for the 91-year-old organization. Left to right: Denise Bergsrud, current BCC Treasurer Muskan Lalwani, BCC Parliamentarian Gabe Ayala, Acting President Anne-Marie Osgood; Yolanda Wu, Teresa Marasek, and Douglas Chadwick.

A critical juncture was reached at the Burbank Coordinating Council’s (BCC) latest meeting, as community members gathered to ensure the future of an organization that has been a pillar of Burbank’s humanitarian efforts since 1933.

Acting Board President and local realtor Anne-Marie Osgood led the spirited March 4 lunch meeting attended by 22 civic-minded individuals with a heartfelt plea for volunteers to step into leadership. With its board dwindling down to just two members by June 1st, the BCC faces an uncertain future, which could potentially lead to the dissolution of this venerable institution after 91 years of devotion to Burbank’s low-income families, Osgood said.

However, hope sparked as new and old BCC members – Denise Bergsrud, Douglas Chadwick, Mary Ann La Russa, Teresa Marasek, Yolanda Wu, and Catie Young – volunteered to form a Nominating Committee tasked with filling the vacant board positions.

The Burbank Coordinating Council, renowned for initiatives such as the Holiday Basket and Campership programs, has been a fundamental part of Burbank philanthropy, touching lives across multiple generations. The impact of these programs has been so profound that previous beneficiaries have become donors and volunteers, a testament to the community’s gratitude and desire to give back.

Janet Diel, a dedicated member of the Burbank Coordinating Council for 35 years and its president for 10 of those years, attended the meeting, sharing her experiences and emphasizing BCC programs’ meaningful impact on young lives. She recounted instances when community members and former students still recognize her and fondly recall the Coins for Campers program, a community-wide initiative embraced by Burbank students to raise funds to send qualifying kids to camp for free.

Multiple volunteer roles within BCC’s venerable holiday gift basket and campership program need to be filled, from Board positions to volunteers needed to coordinate donations, do data entry, communications, and organize food drives.

“You can make a real difference in carrying this work forward,” Osgood said. “We understand that people are busy, but we’re hopeful that we can find some people with time and energy to give to protect the legacy of this organization.” She emphasized that even if BCC were unfortunately forced to dissolve the organization due to a lack of volunteers to carry the work on, that they would find other community partners to take on its signature projects, such as the Holiday Basket program.

The Nominating Committee will present its slate of candidates for the Board positions at the BCC’s April 8 meeting, where it will be voted on. The new Board would be installed at the May meeting.

For more information on joining the board or volunteering, please attend the BCC’s next meeting on April 8 at Emmanuel Church, 438 E. Harvard Rd., Burbank, visit the Burbank Coordinating Council’s website, or email them at bcc.info1933@gmail.com. Your involvement might just be the deciding factor in preserving a legacy and sustaining a Burbank institution.