Former Burbank Mayor George Battey, who served in the early 1990s and died in 2003, once joked that despite the freeway sign that proclaimed there were more than 100,000 Burbank residents, he could have been easily convinced there were only 400 people living in the city. "Year after year, you see the same 400 people at every charitable and civic event," he quipped.
Battey was correct in recognizing that Burbank has always had a loyal core of residents who are committed to making their city the best it can be by being devoted to almost every civic or charitable organization. At the top of that list for more than five decades were Don and Kay Farquhar.
The Kiwanis Club of Burbank honored Kay and paid posthumous tribute to Don, who died in 2009, at its Hawaiian-themed 13th annual gala at Lakeside Golf Club on Saturday evening.
Chaired by Marsha Jackson, this year's gala fundraiser was made possible by the work of committee members Gary Peterson, Les Thompson, Cynthia Faust, Brooks Tomb, Ron Rothacher, Joe Terranova, Stephen Veres, Wally Kendig, Nancy Serpa, Charlotte McKenna, Gary Kessler, Todd Joseph, Edsel Curry, Hamilton Lloyd and Chris Gargaro.
Having served the community since 1922, Burbank Kiwanians have supported many local causes and helped people in their time of need. Today, the club donates more than $45,000 annually to numerous organizations and programs including Burbank and Burroughs High Schools, the American Cancer Society's Annual Burbank Relay for Life, the Salvation Army, Burbank YMCA, Burbank Tennis Center, Burbank Police and Fire Museum, Burbank Boys & Girls Club, Burbank Temporary Aid Center, Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity, Providence St. Joseph Blood Drive, Bell-Jeff Cross Country Track and AYSO Soccer.
Among the special guests in attendance at Friday's gala were Kiwanis Club President Harvey Branman, U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff and his wife, Eve, Mayor Anja Reinke, Councilman Gary Bric and his wife, Shelly, former Mayor Larry Stamper, City Treasurer Donna Anderson and City Clerk Margarita Campos and her husband, Vince, and school board members Larry Applebaum, Ted Bunch, Debbie Kukta and Roberta Reynolds.