Community: League recruiting and planning major fundraiser

Community: League recruiting and planning major fundraiser
Mayor Jess Talamantes, center, visited a recent meeting of the National Charity League, Burbank Chapter. Members are, from left, Sophia Augustine, Ticktocker with the Class of 2017; Teresa Weeden, vice president of philanthropy; Charity League President Shaunna Larson Raab, who graduated in the Ticktocker Class of 1986; and Katie Maddigan, Ticktocker with the Class of 2017. (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

National Charity League of Burbank, which offers a philanthropic experience shared by mothers and daughters, is recruiting members until Feb. 15.

The Burbank chapter was organized in 1959 and chartered in 1960. A group of 28 women met on Feb. 6, 1959, to lay plans for the Burbank chapter, and during the first year, the chapter had 41 members made up of Patronesses (mothers) and a Senior Ticktockers (daughters) group.


The purpose was to provide philanthropic service to the community as well as foster development of strong character, leadership and social responsibility in the daughters.


Today, the chapter has grown to more than 200 members, including more than 90 Ticktockers in six grade levels.

The Burbank chapter raises funds for its philanthropies at its annual fundraiser. This year's "Rock the Kasbah with National Charity League" will be held on Feb. 4 in the Starlight Room at the Castaway restaurant.

It's a festive occasion that the community can join in on with members in celebration of community service. The evening will begin at 6:30 p.m. There will be dinner, dancing, casino gaming and a silent auction with proceeds going to the group's 30-plus charities. Dress is semi-formal. For tickets, email

Another special event each year is the Mother-Daughter Tea, which teaches Ticktockers about etiquette and social graces. There's also the group's annual awards luncheon and fashion show, where Ticktockers are recognized for their leadership and hours of service to the chapter's philanthropies.


Ticktockers who have completed their grade-level service-hour requirements receive an award. In addition, special awards are presented to those who have contributed 50, 75, 100 or more additional hours of service.

A Ticktocker's senior year is the finale to the six-year experience. This special year includes a senior recognition gala called "Presents," (short for Presentation), held just prior to high school graduation.

While it's not a debutante ball, it is an elaborate formal event for Ticktockers, their families and friends that celebrates the many accomplishments of the Ticktockers and their plans for the future. The tradition is for each young woman to wear a white evening gown.

Over the holidays, the Burbank chapter kept busy with the Burbank Coordinating Council's Holiday Basket program. Many individuals, businesses, PTAs and organizations pull together to provide food and gifts for more than 550 low-income families.

One Saturday in December, Ticktockers and their mothers collected food donations from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from shoppers at the Ralphs on North San Fernando Boulevard. On another day, the members helped pack donation bags from 3 to 9 p.m. at the Little White Chapel.

Members also helped for five more hours on an additional day to transport donations from the Little White Chapel and organize donations at McKinley Elementary School. Then on the last day of the program, members helped deliver baskets to families from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Each Ticktocker class also adopts families and provides a holiday meal and gifts for them.

This project is a favorite for Lynn Stepanian, who is co-advisor for daughter Ella Cartier's Ticktocker Class of 2018.


"We love the whole thing — from shopping for families that our class is responsible for and wrapping gifts as a class — to knowing we are giving these families a Christmas," Stepanian said. "I love that it makes us stop and have truly scheduled time together where our actions are meaningful and where leadership and thinking of others is an experience. We're touching lives in the community."

Ella said she enjoys donating time to the Holiday Basket events with her fellow Ticktockers and her mom.

"It's really interesting to put yourself in other people's shoes, and it's a really uplifting experience," she said. "I love volunteering, in general, and I really love volunteering with my mother. It brings us together."

There will be a Cookies & Cocoa social event for prospective mother-daughter members at 1 p.m. this Sunday at 1033 E. Orange Grove Ave. To be eligible for membership, girls must be in sixth, seventh or eighth grade. To make a reservation, email

Auditions slated for vocal scholarships

Verdugo Hills Women's Chorus and Burbank Singers, nonprofit philanthropic choruses, are conducting auditions for three $2,000 scholarships to be presented at the 48th annual California Women's Chorus Inc. concert on April 30 at the Glendale Hilton Hotel.

Students ages 18 to 24, who are in college or studying with private instructors, have until Jan. 30 to submit applications. Only 25 students will be chosen to audition on Feb. 25. Applications and rules as well as concert tickets can be found at

Funds raised throughout the year go to vocal scholarships.

The California Women's Chorus Inc. is made up of 10 women's choruses. They will gather for their convention two days before the concert and then perform together at the concert.

Sharon Schlarb of Pasadena and Diana Tyson of La Crescenta are music committee co-chairs for the concert titled "California Dreamin.'" Schlarb has been director of the Verdugo Hills Women's Chorus since 1991, and Tyson is not only the director of the Burbank Singers but also the accompanist for the women's chorus.

Lauren Buckley-Schaer has been selected as the director for the combined chorus. While attending Princeton University, she was assistant conductor of the glee club and music director of the Katzenjammers, an a cappella group specializing in classical repertoire and vocal jazz.

She earned a post-graduate diploma in choral direction from the Royal Academy of Music in London and her doctorate in choral conducting at USC Thornton School of Music. She has been music director of the Ebell Chorale, artistic director of the Hollywood Master Chorale and associate director of the Pasadena Master Chorale.

Naomi Sumitani will be the accompanist for the concert. She attended USC Thornton School of Music, earning bachelor's and master's degrees in piano performance and a doctorate degree in keyboard collaborative arts. She specializes in performing with musicians throughout the Los Angeles area and teaching music at Peninsula Montessori School.


JOYCE RUDOLPH can be reached at