Local Kiwanis Club, With New President, Celebrates 100 Years

First published in the Oct. 2 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Let’s step back in time about 100 years to when President Warren G. Harding made the first presidential radio address, ribbons were cut for the opening seasons of the Rose Bowl and the Hollywood Bowl, and actress and television personality Betty White was born.
In Burbank, a transport from Graysville, Ohio, named James Crawford as the city’s fifth mayor, and a charter was issued for Burbank’s first service club: The Kiwanis Club of Burbank.
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Boys & Girls Club Gets $1 Million Gift for New Home

Photo courtesy Cusumano family
The Cusumano family, pictured at the grand opening of its Talaria apartment complex, recently donated $1 million toward the local Boys & Girls Club’s new main clubhouse.

A family of developers recently donated $1 million to the local Boys & Girls Club chapter, putting the nonprofit closer to fully funding the purchase of a new main clubhouse.
The gift from the Cusumano family, which owns many major office and residential properties in Burbank, brings the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and Greater East Valley to more than $3 million raised for its new building. The facility, on which the club is in escrow, has a price tag of about $5.3 million, not including rehabilitative and equipment costs.
The club has sought a new main clubhouse for nearly 12 years, according to CEO Shanna Warren. The organization previously planned to build a facility to accommodate a growing membership, but after hearing that the Salvation Army was selling a nearby building, decided to shift gears and announced it was moving forward with the purchase of the facility last month.

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Boys & Girls Club Cares for ‘Essential’ Children Amid Crisis

Photos courtesy Boys & Girls Club
Children have been taught to enact “social distance” play and learning at Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and Greater East Valley, which is caring for children of workers who must report to their jobs.

As schools closed mid-March to transition to online learning in accordance with the statewide measures aimed to slow the spread of COVID-19, local resident Bonnie Botero eyed with alarm as her friends and neighbors began preparing home offices to work remote while their children learned close by.
Day care facilities had closed in cascading unison, including that of her 6-year-old son’s after-school care facility. Botero, who is considered an essential worker, was left scrambling as to how to care for her active boy while she worked shifts of up to 12 hours per day. Her husband, while working from home, had to be plugged into his computer for hours on end in order to keep his employment.
The couple took all the vacation and personal leave they could to try to cover the gaps, but it wasn’t close to enough, and the parents felt they were failing miserably: “He would wake up crying, he was having panic attacks … we were trying to supplement activities during the day but it just wasn’t enough. He was just on his own.” Continue reading “Boys & Girls Club Cares for ‘Essential’ Children Amid Crisis”