While many Burbankers are aware that Elvis Presley rehearsed and recorded at Burbank’s NBC Sound Studios back in 1968, far fewer know that for a short time in 1947, Marilyn Monroe was a Burbank resident living on South Avon Street. These two cultural icons, portrayed by Justeen Ward and Chuck Cavanaugh, returned to Burbank to welcome close to 400 supporters of the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and the Greater East Valley to the organization’s 17th annual gala fundraiser this past Saturday evening.
Staged at the Burbank Airport Marriott under the theme, “That’s Entertainment,” a who’s who of the Burbank government, business and entertainment world, including Mayor Dave Golonski, Vice Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy and City Manager Mike Flad gathered to pay homage to The Walt Disney Company, Entertainment Partners, Cartoon Network, The Hub and NBC Universal for their longstanding and ongoing support of the local Boys & Girls Club.
Along with an evening of fundraising and dining, guests enjoyed musical and dance performances by the organization’s dance club and deaf and hard-of-hearing club members that included Gianni and Daniela Maucere, Marius and Andrei Voinea, Abby Smith, Brent and Daniel Fuente, Andrew and Naomi Taylor, Zahra and Ashanti Chauhan, Greta and Margo Akopov, Aaliyah Arellano, Angela Ayvazyan, Tamara Chehata, Annika Galloway, Amanda Kang and Stephanie and Linda Reyes.
Saturday’s gala also saw the assemblage tip their hats to the club’s 2012 Youth of the Year honoree, Andrea Baghaee, for her dedicated service to the club, community and family as well as for her academic success, strong moral character, poise and public speaking ability. A club member since she was in first grade, Baghaee is now a high school senior who leads the club’s teen leadership program and serves as the president of the Keystone Club. She has served as a mentor to younger club members and has a long history of assisting club staff with general office work, cleaning up after projects, and assisting with programming.
Among those that made the event a success with their support and presence were club President Leena Mathew; Vice President Sherine Saad; Executive Director Shanna Warren; and staff and board members Michael Dragan, Darrin Borders, Dan Stillwell, Michael Walbrecht, Dave Augustine, Michelle Bouse, Lorrie Copeland, Lynn White Shelby, Ron Davis, Kevin McCarney, Douglas Raymond, Al Shapiro, Tom Steele, Robin Tarufelli, Barrington Edwards, Brittany Vaughan, Jeudy Mom, Yeva Aslanyan, Jay “Jax” Jackson, Jose “Giovanni” Quiroz, Julio Herrera, Sherry Delizia and Iris Romero. Others who served on the event committee included Darin Ryburn, Zachary Hult and Barbara Sykes.
The Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and the Greater East Valley was founded in 1995 in response to the local need for safe, healthy, productive activities for youth during after-school hours. Today, headquartered on North Buena Vista Street, the club has 16 sites and serves 1,200 daily youth in the Burbank and neighboring communities. For more information on the club, its programs and how you can help with their support, log on www.bgcburbank.org.
DAVID LAURELL can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.