Tag Archives: Disney

Disney Fêtes Burbank Arts For All Foundation Supporters

The Walt Disney Studios hosted a celebratory event on Thursday, July 11, for donors, sponsors, partners, board members and city and school officials who supported the Burbank Arts For All Foundation’s Give Instead Gala. The Give Instead Gala, held from April 12 through May 10, raised funds for the Foundation’s efforts to support arts education in Burbank public schools.

Approximately 150 people attended the summer fête on the Disney studios lot in Burbank. Joan McCarthy, Director, Enterprise Community Engagement for The Walt Disney Company, welcomed the attendees to the evening event, which also included a silent auction.

burbank arts for all foundation

Burbank Arts For All Foundation supporters celebrate the success of the Give Instead Gala 2019: (from left to right) Suzanne Weerts, Kevin McCarney, Karen Volpei-Gussow, Lili Rossi, Freddy Jarjour, Joan McCarthy, Alexandra Helfrich, Barbara Beckley, Jill Vander Borght, Tom Vice, Carrie Brown, Bob Mohler, Brenda Etterbeek, Trena Pitchford, Cathy Stevens. (Photo By Ross Benson)

“The Foundation is very grateful to The Walt Disney Company for hosting this celebratory evening,” commented Burbank Arts For All Foundation Executive Director Trena Pitchford. “We are also extremely grateful to the community of Burbank for believing in the Foundation’s work, investing in our mission and volunteering to join us in support BUSD’s Arts for All plan.”

“All funds raised from our Give Instead Gala will be put to work through our Fall grant cycle and community outreach efforts in the 2019-2020 school year!” she added. “Everyone is invited to become involved.”

Tom Vice and Jill Vander Borght, co-chairs of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, also spoke at the event.

“Because of your donations to the Give Instead Gala, we are looking forward to providing even more funding for arts education programs through our upcoming Fall Grant Cycle,” Vice said as he addressed the crowd. “We will continue to support teachers who need critical supplies or to help mitigate any additional cuts to current arts education programs at the school site level.”

“The Foundation will also continue our community outreach programs and advocacy work. These programs help parents as they learn how to be solution partners and advocates at their school site,” he said. “We also inform and engage the community about the critical needs facing public education right here in Burbank today.”

burbank arts for all foundation

The Walt Disney Company’s Director, Enterprise Community Engagement, Joan McCarthy welcomes Burbank Arts For All Foundation’s Give Instead Gala supporters to a celebration on the studio lot in Burbank. (Photo By Ross Benson)

“The Give Instead Gala was a new way to allow the Foundation to respond to BUSD’s increased need for funding and advocacy support,” commented Vander Borght. “We greatly appreciate everyone’s support in giving to this campaign.”

“We especially want to thank our Presenting [and] Premiere Sponsors: The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. Entertainment, NBCUniversal, along with the many other sponsors and donors who are here with us tonight,” she added.

The Give Instead Gala was a new concept for 2019 to replace the Foundation’s annual fundraising event, which had a lot of overhead and systemic expenses. Instead of throwing a costly party and in order to give more money to programs in the Burbank Unified School District, the Foundation asked for direct donations for their campaign and marshalled an army of supporters to spread the word.

While the Give Instead Gala grossed more than $155,000 this year and the Foundation’s Party on the Plaza events grossed over $200,000 in previous years, the Foundation sees the direct donation approach as the more effective.

Although she didn’t answer a query about the actual financial net gain from each event, Pitchford responded, “because we were able to save on our expenses, we have been able to net more [via the Give Instead Gala] and those funds will be put to work this next school year through our grant giving and community outreach programs.”

The Disney-hosted celebration Thursday evening was dotted with poster boards detailing some of the recent projects and programs the Burbank Arts For All Foundation has supported through its semi-annual grant cycle.

“Art in school has the power to change a child’s life and in changing a child’s life we will change the world,” added Vice. “The Foundation believes the arts transform the lives of our students, not just those who elect to study music or theater, but also students who study science or history, those for whom English is a second language and those students who learn best with alternative structures.”

“On this celebratory evening, we honor the ecosystem of parents, civic and community leaders, corporations and small business owners, who believe in our work and join with us to support creativity and innovation in Burbank’s local public schools,” Pitchford said to the audience.

She outlined some of the upcoming Burbank Arts For All Foundation efforts, including the Fall grant application deadline of September 16 and the Autumn Community Exchange. The Community Exchange is a free event the Foundation puts on twice a year and “provide[s] critical updates, round table discussions and ideas to support our local educators and students.”

More information on the Burbank Arts For All Foundation and their mission to support arts education in Burbank public schools can be found online here.


Burbank Man Pleads No Contest to DUI Pedestrian Death

Photo taken by @myBurbank follower @DeliaRae

On Monday, February 26, Stergios Antonios Economos, 37-year-old Burbank resident, pleaded no contest to one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of drugs. While in court, Economos also admitted two allegations of inflicting great bodily injury on two victims.

Flowers left by the Disney gate and markings on the street where Michelle Ann Landes was tragically killed by a driver last September

In September, Economos reportedly ran a red light at the crosswalk of Alameda Ave. and Lincoln St., and hit victim Michelle Ann Landes, 64, who was walking to Walt Disney Studios where she worked. Landes died on scene from her injuries. Economos allegedly hit another car afterwards, badly injuring the driver.

He currently faces a possible maximum sentence of 13 years in prison.

Economos’ sentencing is scheduled for May 7 at the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Pasadena Branch.

Muir Students Prepare “Homeland: Poetry In Performance” Encore

English Language Development (ELD) students at John Muir Middle School recently presented Homeland: Poetry in Performance onstage at the school auditorium for family, friends and school officials. Students give an encore performance Friday, February 5, at the Muir Middle School Auditorium for Burbank City officials and invited guests.

Approximately 48 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students, most of whom have emigrated to the United States within the past few years, participated in a series of workshops in November and December 2015 and January 2016 to prepare for Homeland: Poetry in Performance.

Students from John Muir Middle School present "Homeland: Poetry in Performance." (Photo Courtesy of Jessica Wertlieb)

Students from John Muir Middle School present “Homeland: Poetry in Performance.” (Photo Courtesy of Jessica Wertlieb)

Led by artist teacher Kate Randolph and funded with a grant from Burbank Arts For All Foundation (BAFA) and seed money from Walt Disney Studios and the Music Center, students in Jessica Wertlieb and Jim Koontz’ Beginner and Early Advanced ELD classes analyzed and wrote poetry and studied works of a few American poets.

Some of the students wrote about what they missed the most about their country, about their house and their bedroom and what they’d like to go back and see, said seventh-grader Fima Kaoumi. Kaoumi emigrated from Syria and has been in the Burbank area for a little more than three years.

She worked on a group script with several other students. Here is an excerpt:

Piunik: I feel sad that I’m not with my grandmother in Tehran.

Clara: I worry about my cousins Kevin and Mousa in Syria.

Alexandr: Home is my country, Armenia, my friends and my family and me.

Nora: I worry about the rose in my garden because it gets frozen.

Karen: I see a picture of my friend and me when we were little and we were playing chess.

Fima: I worry if somebody took the pictures off the wall of my bedroom.

Alina: I try to remember my room.

Piunik: I dream of peace and joy for my country.

Clara: I say to my mom that I will not forget how to speak Arabic.

Alexandr: I dream that I’m going to be the President of Armenia.

Nora: I say that it’s not good to be fighting, because the humans are friends, brothers, sisters, parents and grandparents.

Fima: I dream about seeing my friends once again and jumping rope and laughing.

Alina: I hope that my friends still remember me.

Karen: I hope to go and see my home again.

Muir Middle School seveth-graders Nora Fulup, Fima Kaoumi and Mishel Hartooni all enjoyed the process of creating "Homeland: Poetry In Performance." (from left to right) (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Muir Middle School seventh-graders Nora Fulup, Fima Kaoumi and Mishel Hartooni all enjoyed the process of creating “Homeland: Poetry In Performance.” (from left to right) (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Nora Fulup, also in seventh-grade, came to Burbank from Romania about seven months ago. She wonders what will happen to the beautiful purple and red roses at the home she left, because the weather is freezing now in Romania.

It was very scary for her to get up on stage for the performance because she had never done that before, Fulup said, but she was really happy she gave the performance.

She really enjoyed the experience, saying, “It was good for studying and for remembering the homelands. And, for making friends.”

Hailing from Iran, seventh-grader Mishel Hartooni has been in Burbank for about three years. He also enjoyed studying poetry and writing his part for the group performance.

“[We] wrote mostly about our family and our friends in our countries and homelands. For example, my friend Alex [wrote] about his friends,” said Hartooni. “Mine was about my grandpa and his car… It was all about our homes.”

Students from John Muir Middle School rehearse "Homeland: Poetry in Performance." (Photo Courtesy of Jessica Wertlieb)

Students from John Muir Middle School rehearse “Homeland: Poetry in Performance.” (Photo Courtesy of Jessica Wertlieb)

Students worked on presentation skills, including articulation and non-verbal movements, with Randolph to help communicate moods and meanings found in the poems, explained Wertlieb.

“The purpose of this program is for the English Language Development (ELD) students to work with a professional actor, Kate Randolph, to explore and write poetry, universal themes and to present individually and as a group,” she added. “The performance enables the students to practice the reading, speaking and listening skills they need while building self confidence.”

“The students show incredible growth during and after this experience, not just in their basic skills, but in their self-confidence as well.”

The 2015-16 school year marks the fourth year in a row Randolph has visited Muir for the weekly series of workshops, held over three months.

“This year was different, however, because she incorporated the students’ own writing into their performances,” said Wertlieb.

Kaoumi enjoyed learning the movements to the different poems, working with the other kids and performing, too.

“It helps me improve my English and I learned a lot of new words that I never heard before,” she added.

The students hail from countries including Saudi Arabia, Armenia, Russia, Iran, Thailand, Romania, Hungary, Syria, El Salvador, Mexico, Czech Republic, Brazil and France.  In addition to their self-created poems, the middle-schoolers recited works from poets Mahmoud Darwish, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou and Harumi Ikeda.

Disney Composer Richard Sherman And Burbank Music Teacher Steven Hollis Honored

Legendary Disney composer Richard M. Sherman and Burbank music teacher Steven Hollis were honored Sunday evening, December 7, at the Education Through Music – Los Angeles’ Ninth Annual Benefit Gala. Held at the Skirball Cultural Center, Sherman and Hollis were presented with Shining Star awards, recognizing their contributions to music and music education over the years.

Students from Burbank’s Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School joined children from other elementary schools throughout Los Angeles that participate in ETM-LA music programs for a rousing rendition of “Let’s Go Fly A Kite,” with Hollis playing piano.

Burbank music teacher Steven Hollis accompanies a group of Burbank and Los Angeles-area children singing "Let's Go Fly A Kite," in honor of composer Richard M. Sherman. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Burbank music teacher Steven Hollis accompanies a group of Burbank and Los Angeles-area children singing “Let’s Go Fly A Kite,” in honor of composer Richard M. Sherman. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Sherman, the Academy Award-winning composer and lyricist, who, with his brother Robert, wrote the songs for many Disney films including Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Jungle Book and Winnie the Pooh. They also wrote scores and songs for many other productions, such as the enduring film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, starring Dick Van Dyke.

The Sherman Brothers also composed the most translated song in the world, “It’s A Small World (After All),” for the Disneyland theme park attraction.

“I felt very fortunate as a young man because of the fact that music was a part of the academic career,” commented Sherman. “Unfortunately today, we don’t have the funding we should have. I’m happy to know that Education Through Music-Los Angeles is now working constantly, bringing the wonderful gift of music to youngsters because it’s so vital – it’s so important.”

Academy Award-winning composer Richard M. Sherman with a group of Burbank and Los Angeles schoolchildren on the Education Through Music- LA red carpet. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Academy Award-winning composer Richard M. Sherman with a group of Burbank and Los Angeles schoolchildren on the Education Through Music- LA red carpet. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Sherman played a medley of several of his famous songs, peppered with anecdotes, including a story about how he met with Walt Disney in his office at the Burbank studios every Friday afternoon and they would talk about their projects. Every week, Sherman said, Disney would eventually look up towards the Burbank Verdugos and ask Sherman to “play it” – “Feed The Birds” – Disney’s favorite song.

“I think music is a unifier. It’s something that gives people a sense of teamwork,” Sherman continued. “They learn how glorious it is to hear the various parts blending together. It’s a wonderful exultation of the human spirit.”

Actor Josh Gad sings "I Wanna Be Like You" from The Jungle Book to the song's composer/lyricist Richard M. Sherman at the Education Through Music - LA gala. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Actor Josh Gad sings “I Wanna Be Like You” from The Jungle Book to the song’s composer/lyricist Richard M. Sherman at the Education Through Music – LA gala. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Hollis teaches at three Burbank Unified School District sites: Roosevelt, McKinley and Edison. He works with over a 1000 students every week. Up until last year and the advent of additional funding for music programs, he taught close to 2000 BUSD students every week. While he teaches general music programs at McKinley and Edison, Hollis instructs the pilot ukelele program at Roosevelt Elementary.

Hollis points to the introduction of deaf and hard of hearing students into his school music classes, the implementation an integrated music, art, drama and dance curriculum for FAME (Fine Arts Methods in Education) and the development of a web site for engaged learning using Blues music and improvisation techniques as some of his most rewarding accomplishments.

Ryan Brophy, Melody Hollis, Mitch Hollis, Dawn Hollis and Shining Star honoree Steven Hollis at the Education Through Music - LA gala. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Ryan Brophy, Melody Hollis, Mitch Hollis, Dawn Hollis and Shining Star honoree Steven Hollis at the Education Through Music – LA gala. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

A professional pianist for more than 35 years, Hollis has performed as a solo artist and a member of a 16-piece show band, playing alongside Marvin Hamlish, Smokey Robinson, The Gatlin Brothers and Joan Rivers. He holds degrees of Bachelor of Music Education in Vocal/Instrumental K-12 and Masters of Arts with a music curriculum emphasis.

Hollis has taught for nearly 20 years, mainly in the Chicago area. He has taught music for BUSD for the past six years. He also teaches over 30 students  piano, voice, percussion, theory and guitar lessons from his studio on Olive Avenue in Burbank, Steve Hollis Music.

Shining Star honoree Richard M. Sherma, ETM-LA Executive Director Victoria Lanier, Michael Giacchino (ETM-LA Advisory Board), actor Josh Gad and John Debney (ETM-LA Honorary Chair) on the red carpet at the Education Through Music - LA gala. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Shining Star honoree Richard M. Sherma, ETM-LA Executive Director Victoria Lanier, Michael Giacchino (ETM-LA Advisory Board), actor Josh Gad and John Debney (ETM-LA Honorary Chair) on the red carpet at the Education Through Music – LA gala. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Honorary chairs of the gala included music education champions and celebrities such as Ellie Kemper, Ed Helms, John Debney, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Michael Feinstein, Michael Giacchino, Richard Kraft and Laura Engel, Christopher Lennertz, Alice and Leonard Maltin, Rickey Minor, Randy Spendlove and the Honorable Zev Yaroslavsky.

Other special presenters and performers featured were Josh Gad, (Actor/Singer, Olaf – Disney’s Frozen), Grammy Award-winning R&B/Pop Group All for One, Evelyn Halus, Karen Dotrice (Actress, Jane Banks – Mary Poppins) and Dr. Tom Kissinger, Assistant Superintendent of the Burbank Unified School District.

Children from Burbank and Los Angeles public schools sing "Let's Go Fly A Kite" with Shining Star honoree Steven Hollis on piano. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Children from Burbank and Los Angeles public schools sing “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” with Shining Star honoree Steven Hollis on piano. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

At the end of the evening, the Roosevelt Elementary School students joined Sherman onstage for an “It’s A Small World (After All)” sing-a-long with the audience.

Proceeds from the event benefit ETM-LA, a nonprofit organization provides music instruction and programs to more than 7000 children. The organization hopes to add another 1000 children to the tally by 2015.

Each year, ETM-LA celebrates two Shining Star honorees, a composer and a teacher, whose contributions through music have had great impact. Last year, ETM-LA honored David Starr Jordan Middle School teacher Christine DeMore and composer John Debney.

Actor Josh Gad visited with the young performers in the green room ahead of the 2014 Education Through Music - LA gala. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Actor Josh Gad visited with the young performers in the green room ahead of the 2014 Education Through Music – LA gala. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Mayor’s Tree Lighting Ceremony Kicks Off Month Of Holiday Cheer

The City of Burbank and Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy invite people to attend the annual Mayor’s Tree Lighting Ceremony today, Saturday December 7, at 6:00 p.m. on the front steps of City Hall. Santa Claus will make a special entrance on Fire Engine 11 and entertainment will be provided by the RC Dance Center Rockettes, Reach Dance Academy and Burbank High School’s Gentlemen’s Octet. Attendees are encouraged to bring a new toy or gift for the Burbank Fire Department’s Spark of Love Toy Drive.

Photo By Ross A. Benson

Workers prep City Hall for Saturday’s event. (Photo By Ross A. Benson)

Jeff Hopkins will emcee the ceremony and Mickey and Minnie Mouse and special guests from Disney studios will help celebrate. After the lighting of the tree, visitors can take a photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. People can write letters of support to American troops overseas, enjoy music and an evening ice skating session.

The Tree Lighting Ceremony ushers in a month of fun-filled and family friendly events in Burbank, including Breakfast with Santa, Skate with Santa and more. Burbank’s outdoor ice skating park, The Rink, will remain open until 11:30 p.m. City Hall is located at 275 E. Olive Ave. and plentiful free parking is available in nearby structures and lots.

Photo By Ross A. Benson

Photo By Ross A. Benson

Disney and Jefferson Elementary Schools to Exchange Principals

Principals at Thomas Jefferson and Walt Disney Elementary Schools announced that at the end of the current school year, they will be trading places.

As of June, 2013, Sandra DeBarros, who has been the principal at Disney Elementary School for six years will become Jefferson’s principal. Likewise, Melissa Kistler, principal at Jefferson Elementary School for the past four and a half years, will become Disney’s principal. According to Dr. Tom Kissinger, Director of Elementary Education, this is a positive change, and one that allows the District and school communities to take advantage of the strengths and skills of two talented principals who have already been successful in the District, but have expressed an openness to change.

When Dr. Kissinger approached the two principals about this idea, both welcomed it and have communicated a genuine willingness to work in school communities with different challenges and opportunities. “Melissa (Kistler) and Sandra (DeBarros) are both highly skilled and very talented individuals,” said Kissinger. “The Superintendent and I have every expectation that they will continue to be successful at their new schools.” Kissinger also pointed out that the principals who are moving will have the added support of their curriculum specialists, who will be making the change with them.

Before coming to Burbank, Ms. DeBarros taught Kindergarten and 3rd grade in the Mountain View District in El Monte. She began her career in Burbank as a teacher in 1995. In 2002, Ms. DeBarros was selected as the District’s Teacher of the Year. Ms. DeBarros, who has a Master’s Degree from UCLA, has been the principal at Disney since 2007.

Ms. Kistler began her teaching career in the Covina Valley Unified School District in 1993. She served as an assistant principal in Temple City and has been the principal at Jefferson since January of 2009. Ms. Kistler earned her Master’s Degree at USC and is currently enrolled in USC’s doctoral program in Educational Leadership.

No ‘E’ Ticket Needed on This Wild Disney Ride

Burbank Police were called to the intersection of Sparks Street and Alameda Street Monday afternoon after several cars were involved in a chain reaction type accident.

3 Car TA Alameda & Reese -3

Burbank Police direct traffic around a chain-reaction accident Monday afternoon (Photo By Ross A. Benson)

All the cars involved received damage when they were re-ended by a car or van behind them.The last vehicle was a Shuttle Bus carrying Disney Employees.

Burbank Police Motor units handled the paperwork, including getting drivers statements and witness statements.

Any and all injuries were minor, property damage was evident to all the cars involved.

Burbank Police Officer Jim Peterson gathers information following the accident.(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Police Officer Jim Peterson gathers information while consoling a young victim following the accident.(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Marvel Comics Close-Up Invades Buena Vista Library

Disney’s “Marvel Comics Close-Up,” an initiative championing children’s literacy, came to the Buena Vista Library this past Saturday.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The event featured a donation to the Burbank Public Library the local Boys & Girls Clubs.  Disney XD and Disney Channel stars read to the kids, a showed a sneak peek of the season two premiere of “Ultimate Spider-Man” along with a special visit from Spider-Man, himself. Marvel Universe host and Radio Disney on-air personality Morgan Tompkins and the Radio Disney Road Crew were also on hand to provide games, music and entertainment.

Besides the Amazing Spider-Man, other Disney talent that entertained the Boys & Girls Clubbers were Drake Bell (“Ultimate Spider-Man”), Dylan Riley Snyder (“Kickin’ It” and “Marvel Comics Close-Up”), Olivia Holt (“Kickin’ It”), Adam Hicks (“Pair of Kings”), Cole Jensen (“Crash & Bernstein”), Karan Brar (“Jessie”), Marvel Executive Cort Lane (supervising producer “Ultimate Spider-Man”); David Levine (Vice President and General Manager, Disney XD Worldwide).

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Local Family Escapes Serious Injury When Model A Hit

A family with ties to Burbank escaped serious injury after their vintage car was destroyed in an accident near Buffalo, New York.

Steven and Janet Hedke, along with their daughter, Allie, were participating in the Hemmings Motor News Great Race which began June 23, and ended today, July 1.  The race, a rally for vintage cars (built before 1969) that pits driving teams against the clock and each other, started in Traverse City, Michigan and followed a route through 19 cities in the US and Canada, ending  at the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan.

The Hedkes are veteran Great Racers, having participated in the annual events from 2000-2007.  This year they entered their 1929 Model A Ford.   It’s a period hotrod convertible with a rumble seat.  By the fifth day of the race, the Hedkes had hit their all time best score, with two perfect legs, and two more with just a one-second error.  They took the top honors last Wednesday over 78 other cars.   The next day, everything changed.

“We went from the best day ever to the worst day ever the following day,” said Janet.

Leaving Watertown, NY, Thursday morning, the race was headed to Buffalo, NY.  Along the way disaster struck the Hedke’s car.  As they traveled down a road at 30 mph, another driver (not connected with the race) in a Chevrolet Suburban, came up behind them and struck them.  The little Model A is no match for a big SUV, but the open rear wheels with no fenders leveled the field.  When the Subuarban drove up and over the left rear wheel of the Model A, it caused both vehicles to swerve.  The Suburban rolled over on its top, sliding to the left towards a barn.  It hit a pole and ended up on its side.  The driver had to be cut out of her Suburban.  The Hedke’s feel the the open tire saved them.

The Hedke’s car veered into a grassy field and rolled over completely, ending up on the driver’s side.  The windshield was torn off and ended up in the road.  The convertible top and sun shade covering the rumble seat where Allie was riding, were flattened.  Fortunately, their seatbelts held them in, and Steven and Janet were able to climb out of their wrecked car and help Allie out of the rumble seat.  Miraculously, their injuries were relatively minor. Everyone had bruises, Steven injured his left shoulder, and Janet got a whiplash.  They spent the day at the hospital emergency room.  Their car wasn’t so lucky.  It may be a total loss.

Noting that the race staff starts each morning with a prayer for the safety of the racers, Janet said, “We are convinced God listened to those prayers for safety, and protected us so that we had as few injuries as we did.”

Janet Hedke holds up Ace Trophy, with husband Steve at her side. as Great Race official in red applauds the couple.

Not ones to quit, the Hedkes were back in the race on Friday.  The company insuring their Model A, Hagerty Insurance, just happens to be one of the Great Race sponsors.  They arranged for a rental car so the Hedkes could continue on the remaining three days of racing. Although their car was listed as DNF (Did Not Finish) they were allowed to “unofficially” complete the race in the rental Hyundai Santa Fe.  Race officials replaced all the stickers they had earned with the Model A, so that they could be displayed on the “vintage” Hyundai.  They also recieved thier Ace Award plaque for their perfect scores earlier in the race.

Janet Hedke is the daughter of Al Money, and the late LaRee Money of Burbank.  She graduated from John Burroughs  High School in 1974, and USC in 1978.  She has worked for the Walt Disney Co. for the past 18 years.   The Hedke’s live in Valencia.


The Hedke Family with their 1929 Model A Ford waiting to starrt the Great Race.

Are You The REAL John Carter?

If your name is John Carter*, Disney and Andrew Stanton invite you to enter The Real John Carter sweepstakes for the chance to find yourself in another world—on an October 2012 Adventures by Disney trip to Peru! In addition, eligible entrants will be invited to attend a special, advanced screening of “John Carter”.

Step 1: Go to RealJohnCarter.com and sign-in with Facebook or your email address for one entry.

Step 2: Participate in weekly missions (to begin January 23) for additional sweepstakes entries.

The sweepstakes Entry Period begins January 20 and ends on February 17, 2012, at 11:59:59 PM Pacific Time.

About John Carter, the movie…..

From Academy Award®–winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton comes “John Carter”— a sweeping action-adventure set on the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars). “John Carter” is based on a classic novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, whose highly imaginative adventures served as inspiration for many filmmakers, both past and present.

The film tells the story of war-weary, former military captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), who is inexplicably transported to Mars where he becomes reluctantly embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions amongst the inhabitants of the planet, including Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and the captivating Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins). In a world on the brink of collapse, Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes that the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands.

“John Carter” releases into theaters March 9, 2012.

For official rules, visit www.RealJohnCarter.com