Most people do a little something to celebrate their birthday, with the emphasis on day. Others stretch the celebration through a weekend, or even a week. Then there's Sue Ann Gordon, who, thanks to her family and friends, is currently in the midst of the "Sue Ann Gordon 75th Birthday Tour." A three-week odyssey that began with a May 24 party at the clubhouse at DeBell Golf Course will continue on through August 16, when it will culminate in box seats at the Greek Theater as Neil Diamond takes the sage to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the live recording of his legendary "Hot August Night" album at the Griffith Park amphitheater.
The mother of four and step-mother of three, Gordon's track record of service to the Burbank community began when she served as the PTA president at Theodore Roosevelt School. An usher at Emmanuel Church, she is perhaps best known for her work with the La Providencia Guild of Children's Hospital Los Angeles where, since 1993, she has chaired the guild's thrift shop, annual fashion show, cotillion and summer fundraiser event. She has also served as the guild's historian, public relations and membership chair, and in 2009 was elevated to serve as the organization's president.
"Sue Ann is always willing to help others with her positive and happy personality," said fellow guild member Sharon Terranova. "She always does everything with a smile on her face."
Among the family and friends who gathered at DeBell to offer up roasts and toasts to the birthday girl were her husband, Robert Gordon, sons Douglas and Joe Howe, daughter-in-law Lisa Howe, and in-laws Brett and Cris Warner. Others in attendance included Alicia Katz, Tish Hawkins-Sellers, Veronica Chavoor, Teresa Garcia, Sue Hawkins, Chris Welker, Rosemarie Witten, Ben Chambers, Judy Gragg, Deborah Spang, Robin Whitmore, Nancy Johnson, Glenda Jones, Keith Fletcher and Dean Whiteside. The day also included Skype appearances by out-of-town family members Chadwick, Katelyn, Lindy, Jania, Julie, Denise, Penny and Jenelle Howe.
Among the activities Gordon is enjoying during her birthday tour is a visit with family members in Tennessee. A stay in Ashville, North Carolina, a visit with her grandson, Chad Howe, and attending granddaughter Katie Howe's graduation from Indian Hill High School in Cincinnati, Ohio also are on her list.
Last week saw long-time Burbank Realtor Mario Iacobellis honored for his 40-plus years of service to Burbank and the surrounding area.
In appreciation of the help Iacobellis has afforded hundreds of families who have bought and sold homes over the past four decades, Burbank Association of Realtors President Christopher John Rizzotti presented one of the organization's highest awards for service, naming Iacobellis a member emeritus of the National Association of Realtors, the largest professional trade association in the country.
Iacobellis, who has served as a state and national director with the California Association of Realtors, said he has truly lived the American dream by making it possible for so many families.
"I am living the American Dream," he said.
"I am so grateful every day that God has given me the health, opportunity and strength to work in this great city providing housing to the wonderful people that live here."
Along with the accolades he received from Rizzotti, Iacobellis was also lauded by local Realtor Brian Paul for his years of exemplary work.
"Mario is a living example that making a living from a profession is great, but giving back and improving that profession through your activities and service to the association creates a long and better future for everyone," said Paul.
DAVID LAURELL can be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org or (818) 563-1007.