Kiwanis Club of Burbank Holds 22nd Gala ‘An Enchanted Evening Under the Sea’

By On August 17, 2019

On August 10th, 2019, over 200 caring individuals and businesses came together at the lovely Castaway Restaurant to attend the Kiwanis Club of Burbank’s 22nd Annual Gala: An Enchanted Evening Under the Sea.

As the biggest fundraiser of the year for Burbank Kiwanis, the evening was also a celebration of the year of caring, sharing, and work that was made possible by all the club’s supporters in Burbank. The evening began in an underwater-themed room, with a cocktail hour and a well-stocked silent auction. The bidding was swift as was the conversation of many friends – old and new – coming together for a great cause.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

The formal part of the program began with guests being invited into the dining room, which was beautifully appointed in the theme of the evening and afforded the wonderful view of Burbank that the Castaway is famous for providing!

2018-2019 Club President Luis Centeno officially welcomed guests with a short speech. He reminded everyone that the Kiwanis Club of Burbank has been in service since 1922. In its 97 years, the main focus has never changed: To help the children of Burbank and the World. Burbank Kiwanis strives to help children find their voice & self-expression, build their confidence, and increase their leadership skills. Two signature Burbank Kiwanis Projects are the Speech Contest at Muir Middle School and Burbank Singing Star – a singing contest for kids 5 – 14, which are instrumental in achieving Burbank Kiwanis’ goals. Several High School Key Club members were there volunteering on the event!

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Past President Ron Rothacher did the invocation for the evening and Paul McKenna, retired Marine officer, led the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Master of Ceremonies was Michael Ellington, “The Voice of the Los Angeles Police Department”. Michael brought his over 30 years of experience as a voice-over professional and emcee to entertain and keep the evening on track!

Burbank Kiwanis Gala Committee Chair Linda Wiggins also thanked the guests for supporting the event and thanked the Gala Committee for all the hard work to make the evening a success.  Ms. Wiggins introduced Burbank Kiwanis incoming President, Caesar Milch, as auctioneer for the Live Auction. Bidding was fun and spirited and every item received a winning bid!

The evening’s entertainment was provided by Seville and Ohio Trio Plus – they played and sang tunes from the ’50s to the new millennium and many guests took advantage of the dance floor to dance the night away!

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Many State, City, and business representatives attended the event. In attendance were: 

State Assemblymember Laura Friedman representing the 43rd District and Burbank Liaison, Maria Azilazian; Arda Tchakian, representing State Senator Anthony Portantino; Jason Maruca, representing LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger; City of Burbank Mayor Emily Gable-Luddy; City of Burbank Vice-Mayor Sharon Springer; Burbank City Council member Bob Frutos; Burbank Chief of Police Scott LaChasse; Burbank Police Captains Denis Cremins and Travis Irving; Chief Tray White from the Burbank Fire Department; Ron Davis immediate past city manager and acting city manager Justin Hess; general manager of Burbank Water and Power, George Somoano, and BWP Manager Lincoln Bleveans; Burbank School Board Members, Steve Frintner and Armond Aghakhanian; BTAC Director Barbara Howell; Family Promise of the Verdugos Director, Albert Hernandez; Current Kiwanis Cal-Nev-Ha District Division 16 Lt. Governor. Cynthia Faust, and Lt. Governor Designate, Lisa Malm.