Leadership Burbank board members will begin the selection process for its 2021-22 class next week.
While the mission of Leadership Burbank is to identify, educate and motivate current and emerging leaders with the hope that they will go on to develop ideas and solutions to make Burbank a strong, sustainable and vibrant community, the program has proven to do more than that. Since its inception 25 years ago, Leadership Burbank has changed the lives of uncountable residents who may not even be aware that the program exists. It has also given participants far more than a broader knowledge of Burbank and the teaching of leadership skills.
It was a blistering hot Friday afternoon in Burbank as actor Joaquin Garay pulled his 1984 Mazda RX7 into the parking lot of Bob’s Big Boy restaurant on Riverside Drive.
He bounded out of the car with a huge smile on his face, popped open the hood, and expressed his excitement over the official return of the restaurant’s Friday night classic car shows.
“I’m thrilled,” said Garay, whose father, Joaquin Garay Sr., was a well-known entertainer and radio personality in the 1930s and ’40s and best known for providing the voice of Panchito in the 1944 Disney film “The Three Caballeros.”
Back in the mid-1990s, a small group of residents that included former City Councilmember Tim Murphy, the late Elizabeth “Liz” Shapiro and former Mayor Dave Golonski’s late wife Barbara Sykes began discussing the possibility of bringing a chapter of the Boys & Girls Club to Burbank.
In 1995, by virtue of the dedicated work of this group, the city of Burbank provided a shuttered firehouse to serve as the home for the new club.
This column limits me to a certain amount of words, both by the simple “real estate” of space on the page and my knowledge that you, dear reader, have a limit as to how much of your time you are willing to give me.
After spending last Saturday evening at the Starlight Bowl for the second time in this year’s series of summer concerts, I wondered just how, in the limited space I have, could I properly convey the sense of joy and excitement that permeated the amphitheater — by the audience, performers and even the staff who put on the shows.
In the moment, a summer evening at Burbank’s hillside Starlight Bowl is one for family, friends and couples to enjoy a picnic dinner and a variety of live music performances. But moving past the moment, it is the thousands of memories that are made during each performance that is the true magic of the Starlight Bowl.
In the wake of a missed season due to the pandemic, the bowl once again opened for its 2021 slate of concerts with the music of Led Zeppelin tribute band Led Zapagain last Saturday. It was an evening in which the alchemy of turning moments into memories pulsated as strongly as the opening riff of Zep’s “The Song Remains the Same.”
In the aftermath of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Gary Michelson, a renowned spine surgeon and prolific medical inventor, founded a nonprofit organization he called Found Animals.
Beginning with the establishment of the first free pet microchip registry, today the Michelson Found Animals Foundation has gone on to create the Better Neighbor Project, which delivers pet food and wellness services to pet owners in need.
For the first time in its 47-year history, the Burbank Temporary Aid Center staged a drive-thru food distribution event open to anyone in need this past Saturday morning.
“Having never done anything like this, we really didn’t know what to expect,” said Barbara Howell, who serves as the nonprofit organization’s chief executive officer. “But we were fully prepared for whatever needed to be done.”
Every community is blessed with residents that are exceptional by virtue of their commitment to giving back. With their dedication to make life better for others, they are the shining stars in the constellation that make up a community.
Since its incorporation as a city, Burbank has been fortunate to have many such shining stars, including a vibrant young woman named Lusine Simonyan.