Small Gatherings Boost Give Instead Gala Fundraising Efforts

Linda Walmsley with former students Casey and Cole Black and Astrid Newman. (Photo Courtesy Burbank Arts For All Foundation)

In the final days of the Give Instead Gala fundraising push by the Burbank Arts For All Foundation, two Burbankers held a small gathering that raised more than $11,000 for the Foundation’s arts education efforts.

Former Burbank Unified School District teacher, Linda Walmsley, and local business owner, Jon Schafer of Schafer Electric, hosted approximately 30 people at Walmsley’s Burbank home on May 9.

Friends and neighbors stopped by the party, depositing their donations for the Foundation in a collection bucket.

Host Jon Schafer, Foundation Executive Director Trena Pitchford, Host Linda Walmsley and Foundation Board member Suzanne Weerts at a Give Instead Gala home fundraiser. (Photo Courtesy Burbank Arts For All Foundation)

Michael Cusumano donated a gift of $5,000 from the Cusumano Family Foundation. Timur Tecimer of Overton Moore Properties, Sue and Vic Georgino and former school board member Larry Applebaum each gave $1,000 for the Give Instead Gala.

“It was wonderful to have so many friends support Jon and me in a cause that makes our city the best it can be for our children and our schools,” commented Walmsley.

Linda Walmsley with former students Casey and Cole Black and Astrid Newman. (Photo Courtesy Burbank Arts For All Foundation)

Two of Walmsley’s former students, Cole and Casey Black, also visited the party and added their donation to the cause.

“We so appreciate Linda and Jon taking the initiative to host such a lovely evening for Burbank Arts for All Foundation,” commented Foundation Board member Karen Volepi-Gussow. “There are so many worthwhile organizations in Burbank, and we appreciate the time and effort they gave to support our Give Instead Gala campaign!”

All proceeds from the Give Instead Gala benefits the Burbank Arts for All Foundation, which has worked in partnership with Burbank Unified School District for more than 12 years. The Foundation has made 298 grants and giving initiatives for BUSD arts education programs, totaling $662,000, over the years.

“Burbank Arts for All Foundation is so very grateful to the more than 300 donors, sponsors and community leaders – like Linda and Jon – who have joined us for the Give Instead Gala!” said Trena Pitchford, Executive Director for Burbank Arts for All Foundation. “To date, the Give Instead Gala revenue grossed more than $148,000 through donations and the online auction.”

“Our donors inspire us to continue our work throughout 2019. As we announced in February, the Foundation plans to give more to BUSD arts education through our community outreach programs and site based grant giving that will help teachers and impact students!” Pitchford added.

“The Foundation has been a committed partner of BUSD’s Arts for All master plan for more than 12 years and we intend to continue our work in the years to come.”



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