Saint Finbar Church’s ‘Fiesta’ Aided by Firefighters’ Support

Former Mayor Michael Hastings and volunteer Alyssa Ziegler flank Erik Johnson, Paul Konzen and Jen Hoffman of the Burbank Fire Department, who came out for a barbecue lunch to benefit Saint Finbar Parish School.

As traditional as the celebrations of Cinco de Mayo and the honoring of our moms, the month of May in Burbank has also been the time the Catholic community of Saint Finbar Church has staged their annual fiesta.
In what has become a local harbinger that summer is just around the corner, the Saint Finbar Fiesta is a three-day event which raises funds for the parish’s school by offering an array of games, entertainment, dancing, American barbecue, street tacos, sausage and pepper sandwiches, specialty dishes from the church’s Vietnamese community, and treats of all kinds to satisfy those with a sweet tooth.
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Family Promise ‘Rattles’ in Fundraiser at Starlight Bowl

Photos by David Laurell
Family Promise bestowed their 2021 Impact Award upon Charles “Chuck” Cusumano, who was joined by family members including his wife Tracy, and sister-in-law and brother Evelyn and Roger Cusumano.

This past week, Burbank’s Verdugo Mountains shook, rattled and rolled.
It wasn’t the type of shaking, rattling and rolling that had Burbakers dropping, covering, holding on, and then checking their phones for the epicenter and magnitude. Instead, it was the type that rocked the hills with the sound of music – specifically the music from the early days of rock ‘n’ roll.
While the Starlight Bowl has not hosted an evening of music since August of 2019 due to the pandemic, last week the city allowed the bowl’s parking lot to serve as the venue for a 1950s “drive-in” concert staged as a fundraiser for the Burbank-based Family Promise of the Verdugos, an organization committed to helping local homeless families achieve lasting independence.

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‘Egg-Stravaganza’ Shows Spring Has Arrived, Mayor Says

Photos by David Laurell
The Easter Bunny, flanked by park staff member Bria Wade with Burbank Youth Board members Justin Cano, Dominic Millunzi, Yogini Vazirani, Zachary Ching, Paige Huleis, Rose Ilangesyan and Dinnavia Petrulis.

If you’re feeling a bit like you’ve stepped through Lewis Carroll’s looking glass, where up is down and right is left, there’s not a soul who would blame you.
With the memories of Passover and Easter celebrations still fresh in our minds, Friday night football is taking place featuring the high school teams from Burbank and Burroughs.
What Burbanker would have ever imagined that a time would come when the local gridirons would be seeing action at the same time the city’s Parks and Recreation Department is staging its annual Spring Egg-Stravaganza?

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Salas Making a Difference, Earns ‘Heart and Excellence’ Award

Photo by David Laurell
Gloria Salas, who will receive the Glendale YWCA’s Community Service Award at the organizations 24th annual Heart and Excellence Awards on April 14, is pictured with her husband, former Burbank City Councilman Tim Murphy.

When Gloria Salas recently began receiving congratulatory emails, texts and phone messages, she was confused. That was until she found out that her husband, former Burbank City Councilman Tim Murphy, had learned she was to be the recipient of the Community Service Award at the Glendale YWCA’s 24th annual Heart and Excellence Awards.
“I couldn’t figure out what I was being congratulated for until I realized that Tim knew and told everyone,” laughed Salas. “It was nice to hear from so many people, and I really am honored, but I’m not one of those people who likes to be out in front taking the bow. I feel more comfortable being behind whatever team I’m working with just to get things done.”
A native Angeleno who has worked in the legal field since her senior year of high school, Salas’ passion has always been advocating for women’s rights and causes. She has been a longtime member of the Zonta Club of the Burbank and has served as the chapter’s president and advocacy chair of Zonta District 9, which covers five western states. In that role she has dealt with issues such as human trafficking and domestic violence, and went to Sacramento and Washington, D.C., to lobby on various pieces of legislation affecting women and girls.

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Boys and Girls Club Settles Into New Home

Photos by David Laurell / Burbank Leader
Shanna Warren in the club’s new gymnasium, which is being used as a staging room for their move.

Surrounded by new office furniture that had recently been delivered, Shanna Warren, the chief executive officer of the Boys and Girls Club of Burbank and Greater East Valley, recently sat in the room that will become her new office.
Since she began working at the club in 2001, Warren, her fellow employees and club members have made do with the converted firehouse on North Buena Vista Street that has served as their home since the club’s formation in 1995.
While always grateful to the city of Burbank for making the building available, both staff and club members had to power through the challenges – including a lack of space and bathrooms – in a facility where storage spaces and closets were literally transformed into offices.
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La Providencia Guild Continues to Help Fund CHLA During Pandemic

Photo by David Laurell / Burbank Leader
La Providencia Guild’s thrift shop is located at 3301 W. Burbank Blvd.

In March of 2020, for the 73rd time since their formation in 1947, members of the La Providencia Guild of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, or CHLA, gathered at Lakeside Golf Club for the annual installation of the president and officers.
Presented by the event’s chairwoman, Sue Ann Gordon, guild members received status reports from committee chairs, honored the service of outgoing President Sue Meckley and witnessed the swearing-in of Nancy Wiggins as the organization’s new presiding officer.
As that day of traditions played out, little could the guild members have known that due to the COVID-19 pandemic it would be the last time they would physically meet for a long time to come.

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Kids’ Community Dental Clinic Preparing For Annual Fundraiser

Photos courtesy of KCDC
Patient Damien Maldonado receiving care from KCDC volunteers Ana Gomez, Dr. Sam Kim, and clinic staff member Wendy Gutierrez.

If there is one thing many people have been longing for this past year, it is to be able to get out for an evening of enjoyment. If that sounds like your idea of paradise, the staff and board of directors of the Kids’ Community Dental Clinic (KCDC) are hoping the pandemic will soon be in the rear-view mirror so they can provide locals with just that as they make plans for their annual “Casino Paradise” fundraiser.
Always a popular event, this evening of high-rolling fun – held on the plaza of Media Studios North – has become a Burbank tradition that offers participants the opportunity to enjoy live music, sample exotic beverages with their buffet dinner, peruse an elaborate silent auction, and tangle with Lady Luck, all while raising funds to provide oral healthcare services for children from low-income working families.
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Family Promise to Host Drive-In Concert April 10

On the evening of Aug. 10, 2019, when John Waite performed his 1984 hit “Missing You” as a finale to the Starlight Bowl’s summer concert series, little could anyone have imagined just how prophetic the words of that song would be. In just over six months, Burbank would join the rest of the world in missing everything and everyone by taking shelter from a novel virus.
While the “missing” of those who have fallen victim to the virus is the paramount heartbreak, the pandemic has also precipitated missing myriad things, from businesses who couldn’t hang on, social gatherings and classroom schooling, to so many things we love and have taken for granted. Among those things are traveling, visiting museums, dining in restaurants, going to plays and films, and the Starlight Bowl’s 2020 Summer Concert Series.

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Music Is More Than Trivial at BHS Fundraiser

The legendary actor Marlon Brando appears on the cover of one of the Beatles’ albums. Lady Gaga’s birth name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. U2’s song, “Angel of Harlem,” written by Bono, is an homage to Billie Holiday.
Those tidbits of trivia may be rather useless to you, unless you find yourself as a participant in a trivia contest in which such knowledge is not trivial at all.
Not so trivial, however, is the challenge public schools face in properly funding their visual arts, theater and music programs.

Photo courtesy Talia Dagan
Jazz band leader Tracy Henry was among a trio of co-hosts at a recent trivia fundraiser.

So, the Burbank High School Instrumental Music Association recently decided to stage an online trivia contest to benefit the school’s band program.
Billed as a Music Trivia Night and held on Feb. 9, the virtual fundraiser was emceed by Burbank High School’s jazz band leader Tracy Henry and featured special guest hosts, actors and Burbank residents W. Earl Brown, who starred in HBO’s “Deadwood” and recently appeared in the Disney+ show “The Mandalorian,” and Diandra Lyle, who plays the role of Jess Dunn in the Disney Channel’s “The Secrets of Sulphur Springs.”
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Equestrian Community Helps Cultivate Connections Through Hearthorse

Photos courtesy Tista Wicklow and Charlotte Chanler
Local equestrians Tista Wicklow and Charlotte Chanler are the founders and proprietors of Hearthorse, an online comity for horse lovers.

“My very heart leapt with the sound.”
That was how the 19th century novelist and short story writer Nathaniel Hawthorne once described hearing the “brisk and melodious” neigh of a horse.
It is only with those who have experienced one of the greatest treasures this life has to offer – the love for a horse – that Hawthorne’s heart-leaping line truly resonates.
On this Valentine’s Day weekend, as we celebrate romantic affairs of the heart we associate with the Greek god Eros, the hearts of two local horsewomen, Tista Wicklow and Charlotte Chanler, will be leaping with another love – their love for one of God’s greatest creations – equus ferus caballus – the horse.

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