After Virtual Year, Local Fundraiser Delight Supporters

First published in the Oct. 23 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

After far too many months of local fundraising events being canceled, put on hold or presented virtually, the good times are back — so much so, that many had to decide which event to attend this week.
Some supporters even made it a “twofer,” attending both benefits held by the Burbank Arts & Education Foundation and Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and the Greater East Valley, with fun and fundraising for the good causes going all night long.
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Some Traditions Abide, Like Company’s Support of Youth Club

Susan Sebastian and Shanna Warren of the Boys & Girls Club accept donations from Victor and Anna Luke of Comprehensive Financial Services.

I don’t believe it’s a journalistic guideline, policy or rule, but, I think, if you write a column that appears in a Dec. 26 publication you are pretty much obligated to start it with the line “ ’Tis the day after Christmas,” so here goes…
’Tis the day after Christmas, and members of the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and the Greater East Valley are enjoying the toys, games, dolls, activity sets, sports equipment and books they received, thanks to the employees and clients of Comprehensive Financial Services.
The Burbank-based company, a diversified financial consulting firm that specializes in retirement, investment, estate and tax planning services, traditionally hosts an annual holiday party for its staff and clients. Those who attend are asked to bring an unwrapped toy for members of the local Boys & Girls Club. This year, due to the pandemic, that didn’t happen.

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Housing Nonprofit Sends Care Packages to Residents

Photo courtesy Burbank Housing Corp.
Staff members of the Burbank Housing Corp., including (front row, from left) staff accountant Sally Veres and Executive Director Sylvia Moreno, prepare packages of food and household items for the nonprofit’s residents. They are joined by Raha Arnold, director of operations and asset management; Yolanda Sandoval, office manager; and Emily Lopez, community outreach and special program manager.

The box contained food, laundry soap and paper towels. But to Irma Avelar, “It felt like I had gold.”
Avelar, who works at a domestic violence shelter and is a single mother of two teenage boys, was on sick leave from work for about a month, she said in a phone interview. She didn’t have COVID-19, but since her work requires her to be in close contact with the public, she couldn’t take any chances.
She thought that her unemployment benefits would kick in, but issues with the system kept her from getting the money she needed to pay rent. Since about 2007 — with the exception of a period when she lived out of state — Avelar has lived in a housing unit owned by the Burbank Housing Corp., a nonprofit that runs affordable housing rented to local residents.

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