Burbank’s Coordinating Council Celebrates 81st Anniversary

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Celebrating at Burbank Coordinating Council's 81st anniversary luncheon are, from left, Joan Graves, program chairwoman; Burbank Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, and President Janet Diel. (Photo By Joyce Rudolph )

Burbank Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy touted the organizations that make up the Burbank Coordinating Council and announced a new city project when she was keynote speaker at the council’s 81st anniversary luncheon on Monday at the Little White Chapel social hall.

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Celebrating at Burbank Coordinating Council's 81st anniversary luncheon are, from left, Joan Graves, program chairwoman; Burbank Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, and President Janet Diel. (Joyce Rudolph )
Celebrating at Burbank Coordinating Council’s 81st anniversary luncheon are, from left, Joan Graves, program chairwoman; Burbank Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, and President Janet Diel. (Photo By Joyce Rudolph )

For the past 18 months, the mayor has been working with the city’s Domestic Violence Task Force, which is made up of representatives from the police department, city attorney’s office, Family Service Agency and Armenian Relief Society, to name a few.

Task force members meet quarterly to discuss ways of providing information to men and women who are victims of domestic violence in the local community. The group has created an information piece the size of a business card that lists immediate and longterm resources for counseling, 24/7 crisis hot line, where to report abuse and where to find shelter or housing.

The card’s flip side has contacts for restraining orders, food and bus tokens, school questions and lawyer referral and legal aid. There are also contacts to help members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender community.

“One of the decisions the group made early on was that no one should feel isolated because of any choice they make about their lives,” Gabel-Luddy said.

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The cards are written in English, Spanish, Armenian, Korean and Tagalog and are available at the city manager’s office. The phone number is (818) 238-5800.

Zonta Club of Burbank Area, which has also joined the task force, has created a subcommittee that will coordinate a shoe display that will call attention to the plight of domestic violence victims in April at the Burbank Town Center. Titled “Baring Their Soles” it will illustrate through the number of pairs of shoes how many domestic violence calls were received in the city of Burbank in 2013.

Gabel-Luddy thanked Sylvia Sutton of the Burbank Human Relations Council, for continuing to bring attention to the Holocaust, the mass murder of 6 million Jews during World War II. Burbank City Council was the first in the nation last year to recognize the 75th anniversary of Kinder Transport, which rescued young children from Nazi Germany and moved them to England for the duration of the war where they could be safe from harm.

Other events discussed by members were the Burbank Civic Pride Committee’s 59th annual Plant-a-Tree ceremony at 2 p.m. March 27 at Verdugo Park; the Disney Elementary Circus Themed Carnival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 15; and the Burbank Civitan Club’s 43rd annual St Patrick’s Day Champagne Brunch from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 16 at the Holiday Inn. For more information, contact Dee Dee Ruhlow at libratu@att.net.

Burbank Coordinating Council began in 1933. Meetings are held at noon the first Monday of the month from October to May. Those who attend are representatives of community organizations, churches, police and fire departments and PTAs. The council coordinates the Holiday Basket program that provides food and gifts for more than 550 families each year and a Summer Campership program that provides disadvantaged youth with scholarships to attend day camp or weeklong camp stays.

The council has thrived over the last 81 years because members want to make a difference in their community, said President Janet Diel.

“We want to be able to offer a hand to families and children so that they in turn can someday do the same for others,” she said. “We have found that recipients of Holiday Baskets and Camperships have become the donors of the present and future — and the caring spreads out and helps us all! Communications between organizations and sharing activities and events, connects us all as a Burbank Family.”