Tag Archives: fundraiser

Sandoval Tacos On Wheels Hosts Toys for Tacos

On Sunday, December 10th, Jose Sandoval and his team, Sandoval Tacos on Wheels, will be hosting a toy drive at the Olive Recreation Center in Burbank. Residents of Burbank are encouraged to bring an unwrapped $10 toy in exchange for a taco plate.

“My whole life, I wanted to do something like this,” said Jose Sandoval, “I’m just trying my best for the kids and Burbank. I love this city, this community, and the people.” The park is located at 1111 W Olive Ave Burbank, CA 91506. Sandoval and his team will be located near Clark Ave., near field 3 and the swing set.

Currently, Sandoval and his team are planning to feed well over 100 people. Tacos For Toys is Sandoval’s first attempt at holding a toy drive for kids. All unwrapped toys will be going to the Burbank  Coordinating Council. From there, they will be given to children in need of gifts. Due to the destination of the toys, residents are also able to bring canned goods to the event.

Sandoval and his team will be serving tacos from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM, but may extend hours if the turn out is strong. For updates, you can find Sandoval’s Facebook page here.

Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign Begins

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

On November 20, the Salvation Army’s Burbank Corps continued their annual Christmas fundraiser known as the “Red Kettle Campaign,” which raises money for the poor and homeless, among others who are often neglected during the holiday season.

Red kettles have been placed in 13 locations throughout Burbank to collect donations until Christmas Eve when funds will be distributed. The kettles can be found outside all four Ralph’s, Vons on Pass Ave., Pavilions, Hobby Lobby, Handy Market, and inside the parking lot of Macy’s.

“The economy has made it a rough year for many families, and we’ve seen it firsthand in the numbers of people coming to us for help,” said Lt. Jeremy Baker.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

“It’s especially hard during the holiday season, with people losing their jobs, their homes and not knowing how they will provide for their families. That’s when The Salvation Army steps in to help. But to keep pace with the need, we must rely on generous people in our community to open their hearts with a donation to help their struggling neighbors.”

This year, the Red Kettle Campaign is centered around the theme, “I’ll Fight for Good,” highlighting the individual effort that goes into positively impacting the community.

The Salvation Army’s Burbank Corps anticipates raising $70,000 which will fund local programs and services, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for those who won’t be able to celebrate on their own. Other donations will fund the Burbank Corps’ after-school program which engages with local youth.

A press release from the Salvation Army suggests that those who are interested in volunteering this holiday season should visit burbank.salvationarmy.org or contact Lt. Brittany Baker at 818-845-7214.

Councilman Bob Frutos and BPD Honored at Luncheon

On the morning of November 3, the Burbank Coordinating Council hosted their second annual luncheon at Burbank Presbyterian Church, in which City Councilman Bob Frutos was honored along with the Burbank Police Department. 

During the luncheon, funds were collected for holiday baskets to donate to needy families. Last year, they collected enough to donate over 500 baskets, and they hope to give even more this Christmas season.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

“The selfless efforts and generosity of the honorees give us an outstanding example of the spirit of generosity that made America strong — and that continues to thrive in Burbank,” said Marsha Ramos, MC for the event.

“Bob and the honorable men and women of the Burbank Police Department have dedicated their lives to public service seeking to protect and improve the lives of children and families in our community.”

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Councilman Frutos, a Burbank resident of 25 years, has dedicated his life to public service. Beginning at a young age as a police cadet and later becoming a police community liaison officer, he continues in retirement to serve as a reserve officer. Frutos has been on the Burbank City Council for six years, serving one year as mayor.

“He is a generous spirit that stands out, he attracts good, inspires many and seeks to unite us.  He generously offers his time, talent and treasure in support of many worthy causes such as youth and senior services, our public schools, and many community-based organizations and charitable efforts here in Burbank,” said Ramos.

Councilman Frutos was awarded the “Spirit of Giving Award” by the Khalifeh family, on behalf of the BCC. He then said a few words, humbly thanking the community.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

The BPD also received the same award this year. Following the BCC’s recognition of Frutos’ life-long communal service, Ramos spoke about the police department’s positive impact on Burbank residents.

“The men and women in our police department selflessly service the public with courage, honor, and excellence. From responses to residential house calls to the extraordinary coordination of efforts in response to the LA Tuna Fire, the commitment of BPD to preserve life and property is demonstrated every day, 24-7 and an utmost professional way.”

Throughout the year, the BPD is involved with several programs to grow in their interactions with the community. Around Christmastime, officers make phone calls to schedule holiday basket deliveries, collecting food among other gifts, and giving the baskets to families in-person.

For 22 years, they have also participated in “Operation Chill,” a program that rewards kids with free 7-11 Slurpee coupons for good behavior and abiding by the law. Over 19 million coupons have been given out since the program began.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Ramos listed several other communal activities the BPD have put on, including “Shop With A Cop” and “Coffee With A Cop,” both allowing residents to spend time and have conversations with local law enforcement.

During this time of year, officers partner with the Salvation Army to provide Thanksgiving Meals to families who can’t afford to celebrate on their own. BPD has also raised funds for the Boys & Girls Club, Arts for All, and the National Police Officers Memorial.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

“It has been said that a hero is someone who is selfless, who is generous in spirit, who gives as much as possible to help people. The men and women of The BPD fit the description, an exact match for this definition of a hero,” said Ramos.

A few of the sponsors who helped put on the luncheon include Capes4Cures, Cartoon Network, Burbank Water and Power, Burbank Federal Credit Union, and Handy Market.

Kasey Lansdale & Dark Delicacies Throw Harvey Fundraiser

Country Music Star, Writer, and Actress Kasey Lansdale is throwing a fundraising and donation event, with the help of the folks over at Dark Delicacies. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, September 5th, and will benefit those affected by Hurricane Harvey. The Tuesday event is headlined by special guests and celebrity talent who are available for autographs at $20 an item. The guests include:

Lance Henriksen (Aliens)

Cerina Vincent (Original Cabin Fever)

Paul Dini (Batman & Harley Quinn)

Misty Lee, Brea Grant (Halloween II)

Katie Featherston (Paranormal Activity)

Izzy Lee (Innsmouth)

Heather Langenkamp (Nightmare on Elm St)

David J. Schow (The Crow)

AJ Bowen (You’re Next)

Lew Temple (Walking Dead)

Jackson Stewart, Graham Skipper, Brea Grant & Chase Williamson (Beyond the Gates)

Online Auction

Organizers are asking that everyone who attends the event to please bring cash. Additionally, for those who can’t make it, an online auction will be set up and run live on Facebook. The auction will include items such as:

John Carter Cash & Ana Cristina Cash are donating Johnny Cash memorabilia for the auction.

Cerina Vincent

Kane Holder

David Morrell

Bracken MacLeod’s “Come to Dust” limited edition 

Art by Bill Paxton

Joe R. Lansdale

*Indie horror kids Graham Skipper, Chase Williamson and Jackson Stewart will also be in attendance! They got IFC to donate posters for them and Brea Grant to sign from Beyond the Gates! Crushing it!

24″ by 36″ ‘Rise Up’ poster of Season 7 signed by all season regulars

Signed ‘Breaking Bad’ pilot script up for auction.

Charlaine Harris is sending auction items.

We will have Walking Dead memorabilia or Photos of Pollyanna McIntosh from ‘The Walking Dead’ signed personally to you.

Volumes 3&4 of Clive Barker’s limited edition fine art book, will be up for sale.

Chris Cuffaro, who has “shot” every bad ass band in LA is donating a signed, framed photograph. He has also volunteered to do a photoshoot for anyone who wins the in store raffle.

George R.R. Martin

 Game of Thrones Anniversary illustrated edition 
 Song of Ice and Fire set of five book in Spanish from Plaza Jane 
 Wild Cards hardcover set of Inside Straight, Busted Flush, Suicide Kings 
 Knight of the Seven Kingdoms illustrated
 Mystery Knight Comic
 World of Ice and Fire 
 Dance with Dragons Subterranean Press Limited edition box set fully illustrated (Out of Print) 
– Tuf Voyaging limited edition 
– FFC chapter books X4 
– Coins
– Funko pop dolls X2
– Stuffed Dire wolves plushy X2


Donations had already started accumulating at Dark Delicacies and they have since run out of room in the store. If you are planning on attending the event and still want to donate, event organizers have asked that you please donate money instead. However, Dark Delicacies will also be accepting payment by card both online and in-store.

The event is on Tuesday, September 5 at 7 PM at Dark Delicacies, which is located at 3512 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, California 91505.

For more information, including new announcements regarding memorabilia up for auction, you can find the Facebook event page here. Hope to see you all Tuesday!

40th Annual Auction is Successful for Boy Scouts

Touting a space theme “Scouting and Beyond”, the Verdugo Hills Council set a course to celebrate the 40th annual Big Strike Auction on Saturday night at the Burbank Airport Marriott Hotel. The event benefits programs for more than 3,000 Boy Scouts in Burbank, Glendale and surrounding cities.

 Boy Scouts distributing programs are, from left, Liam KcKenna of Troop 219; brothers Sean, Daniel and Peter Rawlins, of Troop 139; and Sako Kitsinian of Troop 201. (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

Boy Scouts distributing programs are, from left, Liam KcKenna of Troop 219; brothers Sean, Daniel and Peter Rawlins, of Troop 139; and Sako Kitsinian of Troop 201. (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

The mission of the 250 guests was to peruse the silent auction items before going into dinner and then bidding on live auction items — like a chance to visit Jay Leno’s garage and vacation stays in Mammoth and Sedona, Ariz.

The sponsorships and auctions raised more than $90,000 for the council, said Steve Smith, assistant scout executive, with proceeds going to training and professional support for Scouts and Scout volunteers and to activities such as jamborees, Rocket Academy, Cub Scout overnighters and maintenance of the Scout camps — Camp Verdugo Oaks and Camp Silver Fir.

“There was a good buzz this year,” Smith said. “People liked the auction items and the bidding was good.”

DeAnn and Al Nicol were co-chairs of the 40th annual Big Strike Auction benefiting the Boy Scout's Verdugo Hills Council. (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

DeAnn and Al Nicol were co-chairs of the 40th annual Big Strike Auction benefiting the Boy Scout’s Verdugo Hills Council. (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

Auction co-chairs were husband and wife Al and DeAnn Nicol. This was their first time to head up the committee, although they have attended auctions in the past. Their daughter is a den mother and their son-in-law is a scoutmaster. One grandson is an Eagle Scout and three others are coming up through the ranks.

There is an existing planning committee of about 30 volunteers who have organized the fundraiser for many years, so things run smoothly, DeAnn Nicol said.

“We went out and got some donations and we’ve met some wonderful people on the committee,” she said.

From left, Sharon and Joe Terranova with Dan Humfreville at the Boy Scout's Verdugo Hills Council's 40th annual Big Strike Auction. (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

From left, Sharon and Joe Terranova with Dan Humfreville at the Boy Scout’s Verdugo Hills Council’s 40th annual Big Strike Auction. (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

Past chairs, Bob and Dorothy Black, helped coordinate the bid sheets and wrote descriptions for the live and silent auction items. Bob and Joan Nellis designed the room layout and categories for the silent auction.

Monte Harrick served as the master of ceremonies and auctioneer. Guests were welcomed by Council President Lou Schwing.

Boy Scouts distributing programs were Liam McKenna of Troop 219; brothers Sean, Daniel and Peter Rawlins, all of Troop 139; and Sako Kitsinian of Troop 201.

 Assistant Scout Executive Steve Smith, left, with Council President Lou Schwing and major council supporter Keith Swaner of Swaner Hardware in Burbank. (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

Assistant Scout Executive Steve Smith, left, with Council President Lou Schwing and major council supporter Keith Swaner of Swaner Hardware in Burbank. (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

Others attending were Eagle Board coordinator Dan Humfreville and Joe and Sharon Terranova. Joe is a member of the Burbank Noon Kiwanis Club, which sponsors Troop 204. Coming from La Canada Flintridge for the auction were Jill Van Slooten — her husband, David, is scoutmaster of Troop 398, and Suzy Tervet, whose sons are also in that troop. Also checking out auction items were Steve Hoxsie, David Geisen and his parents, Frances and Jerry Geisen. David is chairman of Camp Silver Fir.

Muir Middle School Puts On “The Really Big Show”

Students of Muir and Burbank High are part of a major fundraising campaign to modernize the middle school’s Allan H. Burnside Auditorium. The spotlight will be cast on students from both schools’ performing arts classes during the campaign’s kickoff event — “The Really Big Show” on Saturday, February 22, at Muir.

The campaign goal is to raise $100,000, said Principal Greg Miller, who added that very little changes have been made to the auditorium since it was built in 1952.

really big showAt the top of the wish list is the purchase and installation of three fly systems for lighting above the stage as well as laying carpet down the aisles and tiling the orchestra pit. Other plans are to install a center speaker, purchase and mount a high-quality projector and purchase and install new tree lights along the walls facing the stage.

The stage lights are mounted to the ceiling now and only adults can change them by climbing a ladder. The new fly system will allow students to bring the lights to their level so they can change the lights or add color gels themselves — making it a learning experience, Miller said.

Funds derived from Measure S, a local bond measure that passed in March of 2013, will cover the expense of air-conditioning that will be added to the auditorium this summer, he added. But the campaign funds will go to the remaining items on the wish list.

Earlier this week, initial donations to the campaign came from two community partners. Nickelodeon, Burbank’s giant in children’s TV entertainment, donated $1,000, and Logix Federal Credit Union, one of the largest financial institutions headquartered in the San Fernando Valley, also donated $1,000.

The kickoff will be a historic show because it’s the first time both schools’ performing arts groups are producing a joint program.

“The first act of the show will be groups from Burbank High School,” Miller said. “Their Unleashed dance group, the Sirens — which is the girls choir — and other choirs will be performing and their drama group will do some improvisation.”

For the second act, Muir’s choir, band and drama groups are performing an original musical together for the first time, he said.

Past Muir Middle School Principals really big show

Past Muir Middle School Principals Daniel Hacking (2003 – 2010), Bruce Osgood (1999 – 2003), John Paramo (2010 – 2012 and current Burroughs High School Principal) and current Principal Dr. Greg Miller (2012 – present.) (Photo Courtesy Muir Middle School)

Getting the Muir students involved in the fundraising campaign is a positive experience for them, Miller said.

“Because it’s the space where the students perform, I think it gives them more ownership of the auditorium and the efforts to make the auditorium better,” he said.

And getting Burbank High School students involved gives those students a chance to help their alma mater, because about 90% of those students went to Muir, he added.

Miller hopes to see former students come back to see the show as well as parents whose children went through Muir.

Improvements to the auditorium will benefit the students attending Muir who want to follow a career in the technical side of stage production, he said.

“The auditorium will be more of a classroom where students can get hands-on experience in stage craft,” he said.

Adding to the fun, the show’s masters of ceremonies are Miller, who began at Muir in 2012, and three past Muir principals — Bruce Osgood (1999 – 2003), Daniel Hacking (2003 – 2010) and John Paramo (2010 – 2012).

And a group of faculty will perform a piece titled “Ode to the Aud” as in auditorium. The evening starts with a VIP reception, catered by Porto’s Bakery, with a silent and live auction.

Another component of the campaign is a tile design fundraiser where people can purchase tiles they create for a Tile Wall.

The $50 per entry VIP pre-show and reception will start at 5:30 p.m. and includes music from the BHS’ Third Street Jazz Combo. General admission tickets are $25 and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. For more information, go to www.burbankusd.org/JMMS or call (818) 558-5320, Ext. 22863.

Burbank Arts For All Thanks Donors After Gala

The media capital of the world enjoyed another celebratory evening when Burbank Arts For All Foundation threw its second annual Party on the Plaza Gala extravaganza on Friday, April 26, 2013 at the Networks Garden Café Plaza. The evening brought in more than $150,000 benefiting the Burbank Arts For All Foundation, whose mission is to ensure a quality arts education for every Burbank student.

NBC4 Southern California Weathercaster, Fritz Coleman, served as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies to a sold out crowd of over 300 who were on hand to help honor Warren Stein (Chief Operating Officer of Deluxe), Peggy Flynn (Burbank Unified School District’s Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator) and Lisa Dyson (Parent/Volunteer) for their invaluable contributions to both the Foundation and arts education programs throughout Burbank public schools.

“With the generous support of our many sponsors and gala attendees, the evening surpassed our expectations and we wish to thank everyone who contributed to this worthy cause,” jointly stated Alexandra Helfrich and Craig Murray, Co-Chairs of Burbank Arts for All Foundation. “However, there is still a lot of work to be done in order to ensure that not only students in the classroom today… but future students as well…will be guaranteed a quality arts education.”

The Walt Disney Company’s Joan McCarthy and Telepictures Productions’ Bob Mohler were Gala Co-Chairs; and two-time Emmy-award nominee and star of “Glee,” Dot-Marie Jones, represented the Honorary Dinner Chairs who also included Tim Burton, Dick Cook, Don Hahn, Ron Howard, Garry Marshall and Melissa McCarthy. “Arts education is a vital component in all of our schools and it’s comforting to know that the Burbank Arts for All Foundation has our kids’ backs. The gala was not only a lot of fun…but really inspirational. In fact, I was so inspired…I actually auctioned myself off,” laughed Ms. Jones.

Burbank Arts For All Foundation’s Director of Development, Trena Pitchford, added, “Burbank is the best! With the support of all of our donors, guests and sponsors, the Foundation will be able to directly affect the lives of thousands of Burbank students in the coming year as well as contribute to the Foundation’s daily existence. We’ve just begun to share our impact on students and teachers and we have many more plans ahead for 2013 including our inspirational, one-of-a-kind Creative Circles Forums and engaging community gatherings. The invitation is open to join the movement!”

Relay for Life is Off and Walking

Hundreds walked in this years Relay for Life at Johnny Carson Park, the event which started Saturday morning continued through Sunday. Hundreds of dollars were raised to help fight the disease. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Hundreds walked in this years Relay for Life at Johnny Carson Park, the event which started Saturday morning continued through Sunday. Hundreds of dollars were raised to help fight the disease. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Hundreds walked in this years Relay for Life at Johnny Carson Park, the event which started Saturday morning continued through Sunday. Hundreds of dollars were raised to help fight the disease. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Hundreds walked in this years Relay for Life at Johnny Carson Park, the event which started Saturday morning continued through Sunday. Hundreds of dollars were raised to help fight the disease. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Hundreds walked in this years Relay for Life at Johnny Carson Park, the event which started Saturday morning continued through Sunday. Hundreds of dollars were raised to help fight the disease. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Hundreds walked in this years Relay for Life at Johnny Carson Park, the event which started Saturday morning continued through Sunday. Hundreds of dollars were raised to help fight the disease. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Hundreds walked in this years Relay for Life at Johnny Carson Park, the event which started Saturday morning continued through Sunday. Hundreds of dollars were raised to help fight the disease. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Relay for Life 3

Hundreds walked in this years Relay for Life at Johnny Carson Park, the event which started Saturday morning continued through Sunday. Hundreds of dollars were raised to help fight the disease. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Hundreds walked in this years Relay for Life at Johnny Carson Park, the event which started Saturday morning continued through Sunday. Hundreds of dollars were raised to help fight the disease. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Arts for All Foundation Has Smash “Party On The Plaza” Gala

The Burbank Arts for All Foundation (BAFA) held its second “Party on the Plaza” Gala last Friday, celebrating a tremendous year of achievement and honoring Lisa Dyson, Peggy Flynn and Warren Stein/Deluxe Entertainment. And it was a work of art from start to finish, blending entertainment, inspiration, food and fundraising in pleasing proportions.

Party on the Plaza 19 Fritz

Master of Ceremonies, Burbank KNBC’s Fritz Coleman (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The weather sprites kept the evening dry and pleasant for the several hundred parents, teachers, school district educators and community leaders on hand to celebrate with BAFA. NBC4’s popular weathercaster Fritz Coleman served as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies, reminding his audience that BAFA has an importance well beyond its Burbank home. “The Burbank Arts for All Foundation has established a paradigm the rest of the country should pay attention to,” he stated.

And indeed, funding for public school education has been suffering “the death of a thousand cuts” within the State of California and, to varying degrees, throughout the entire country.  Public school art programs of all kinds have been among the first casualties of the budget axe, reducing many California public schools to a shadow of what they had been in the 1960’s, when California’s public school system, from kindergarten to university, was the envy of the entire nation and the world.

Faced with a funding crisis that showed no signs of getting better, Burbank residents and businesses opened their wallets, rolled up their sleeves, shared their own artistic gifts and kept the arts alive for Burbank’s school children.  Since its first meeting in 2006, BAFA has donated over $200,000 to Burbank school arts programs. Most recently, BAFA awarded $21,000 in new grants to support the arts education efforts throughout Burbank. And perhaps it’s no surprise that Burbank, the media arts capital of the world, would refuse to neglect the young artistic talents waiting to blossom within supportive schools.

But much more than money is driving BAFA’s quest to provide a top-of-the-line arts education program for every Burbank child.  The funding dollars are multiplied a hundred fold by passionate teachers, parents and corporate sponsors devoting countless hours of volunteer effort, as exemplified by BAFA’s 2013 honorees.

Party on the Plaza 11

Receiving her award is Lisa Dyson, presented by Barbara Miller. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Lisa Dyson received the Champion of the Arts Award for her heroic volunteer efforts to keep arts education a priority in Burbank public schools. She began as the PTA Art Chair for Bret Harte Elementary School and was recently named Chair of BAFA’s Schools Outreach Committee. Thanks to her early coordinating efforts, Bret Harte students handcrafted Thanksgiving gifts for seniors and created personalized Valentine’s Day cards for soldiers overseas. Lisa went on to help principals and teachers obtain grants and matching funds from PTA’s and booster clubs. More recently, she’s been a major force in the arts programs at Luther Middle School. (Don’t believe her when she says she’s only played a “tiny part.”) The programs that Lisa helped grow at her schools are not only self-sustaining, they continue to reach new students each year.  She is “so proud to be a part of this amazing team” that puts in the hundreds of hours of extra time to keep arts education alive.

Party on the Plaza 12

Center Peggy Flynn pictured with award (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Peggy Flynn received the Arts for All Educator Award for her outstanding efforts in bringing arts educational resources, financial and in-kind partnerships to the Burbank Unified School District. Her teaching career began 22 years ago, following an earlier life in the design publication and entertainment industries. She’s developed several successful partnered arts programs with Woodbury University. Early on, BAFA recognized that they needed someone “charismatic, energetic and politically savvy” to pull together teachers, parents, politicians and administrators “to make it all happen.” And that’s Peggy. Los Angeles County recognizes her as a leading arts coordinator in the region. For her part, Peggy publicly thanked Burbank’s School Board for making “some very courageous decisions in very tough times.”

Party on the Plaza -11

Pictured with award is Warren Stein of Deluxe Entertainment. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Warren Stein and Deluxe Entertainment, where he serves as the Chief Operating Officer, received the Patron of the Arts Award. As a company in the forefront of providing solutions and technologies for the global media and entertainment industries, Deluxe—one of BAFA’s Premiere Sponsors–knows the crucial importance of an arts education. Deluxe “sincerely hopes” that Burbank’s schools will be able to groom future Deluxe employees and company leaders. And Warren, who had earlier served as Deluxe’s Chief Financial Officer, knows a thing or two about marrying funding to exciting projects that rely on a superb arts education. Still, as a “Brit” obliged to quote Winston Churchill, Warren told the audience “my most brilliant achievement was persuading my wife to marry me.”  But it’s very clear that promoting arts education in Burbank has made Warren’s short list of very satisfying life accomplishments.

After a dinner of Asian delectables, Fritz conducted the event’s live auction. His hilarious cajolery coaxed more than a few dollars from formerly fat wallets, adding to the funds raised from the silent auction and special, one-time donations. He was definitely using his comedic powers for good, having honed them at the Comedy Store back in the early 1980s. “I was getting $45 a night back then,” he explained. “A Channel 4 executive in the audience offered me an opportunity to do vacation relief for the regular weathercasters. I said, ‘When do I start?’ Two years later [in 1984], I became the weekday weathercaster.” Nowadays, when he’s not describing yet another day in weather paradise, you might catch Fritz’ doing comedy at Flappers in Burbank as well as other comedy venues.

Party on the Plaza -5

Dot Jones shares a little humor about Grey Goose Vodka, an evening sponsor. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

A highlight of the evening was a personal appearance from Dot-Marie Jones of Glee fame (also see myBurbank.com Profile), who recalled her school days in the small dairy community of Hilmar, California. “If you weren’t in sports, there wasn’t much to do,” she told the appreciative audience. She is thrilled that the Burbank community has taken the initiative to help schools provide arts education for their students. She started to fall in love with Burbank two years ago, when she co-hosted a show choir event at the Starlight Bowl. As she made her way down the hill and through Burbank, she noticed the town’s charm. Today, she’s a Burbank resident and loves the sense of community here.

Party on the Plaza -6

Mayor Dave Golonski, Dr. Brian O’Rourke, Stacy Cashman, Emilio Urioste. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

As Mayor David Golonski has noted more than once, “it’s not the city it’s the community.” And architect and former Mayor Jef Van der Borght pointed out that “art is essential to being a successful architect.” Without an artistic touch to complement the scientific and engineering knowledge, “buildings become boring and bland.”

But guests at the BAFA gala had more than testimonials to convince them. The dazzling mural behind the stage turned out to be the work of Jefferson Elementary School students (to the delighted surprise of much of the audience).  Middle school students designed and restored a “Luthermobile”, a proud entrant in the recent Burbank On Parade. And the sculptured awards were courtesy of students from John Burroughs High School. (Want more examples? At the 5k Run For Life today, you could hear the Jordan Middle School Orchestra solid renditions, and a sixth grade girl’s beautiful, heartfelt The Star Spangled Banner.)

Biologists remind us how diversity makes the web of life stronger. Surely the social web will be stronger when each talent is allowed to add its strand. Burbank is well on its way to being the kind of special place where the dancer can dance, the painter can paint, the sculptor can sculpt and artists of all kinds can find their own special facet of  the good, the true and the beautiful.

Want to learn more? Contact Trena Pitchford, Director of Development, at 818.736.5269 or trena@burbankartsforall.org.

Burbank’s Boy Scout Troop Will Get Hilarious at Flappers Fundraiser

City of Burbank’s storied Boy Scouts of America Troop 201, a wellspring of community service, strong moral, ethical, and spiritual values, and high adventure to more than 1,000 boys in its half-century of existence, is proud to announce its family-friendly, all-ages fundraiser, 2 Milk Minimum Comedy Concert, at Flappers Comedy Club in Downtown Burbank.

DSC05209The event will be held Saturday, May 18, 4:30 pm at premiere entertainment venue Flappers Comedy Club (102 East Magnolia Boulevard, Burbank, CA 91502). Tickets are $10. Children 2 and under are free. The event is open to the public, and is a family-friendly, all-ages event. Tickets are available at the door, or via online presale at

. The evening will be hosted by multi-talented Michael Rayner.

This special fundraising event will support Troop 201’s ambitious goals of providing troop adventures and comradery through the purchase of much-needed scouting equipment and the resources to provide summer camp scholarships to scouts who would otherwise be unable to experience the rich and deeply formative experience. This year’s summer camp will be held at Camp Whitsett, and is an opportunity for the troop to connect with Boy Scouts from across the nation, building relationships, earning merit badges, and practicing the Scout’s Law: A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

Troop 201 is the oldest Burbank troop in California’s Iron Eyes Cody District, with 32 active Boy Scouts at present. In 2013,at least three troop members will ascend to the esteemed Eagle Scout ranking, which requires a community service project of significant breadth, depth, and involvement. Mother’s Day Weekend, Troop 201 will again participate in Relay for Life, a life-changing service event to raise funds and awareness toward the prevention of cancer. The troop’s participation is dedicated to the memory of a troop mother who succumbed to cancer in December 2010.

For more information, or to make a tax-deductible donation to Troop 201, please contact Joy Spencer or Giselle Vivado at Troop201Fundraising@gmail.com.