Community news: Family Festival, Walk-n-Roll A-thon, Travis Weaver Children's Center

Under a harvest moon, children and adults of Washington Elementary School enjoyed the balmy weather Friday evening playing carnival games and snacking on pizza during the school's Family Festival.

Holly Bragg, PTA first vice president, estimated attendance at about 200 at the annual gathering, which raises funds for an art night, reading programs and bus transportation for field trips.

Maian Maouas, 7, dressed in a sorcerer's costume, tried the beanbag toss.

“There are lots of games, and I can have fun with my family,” she said about her favorite parts of the festival.

Patrick Hovsepian, 7, in a Batman costume, said he liked to win prizes. The second-grader was with his grandmother, Odat Dergellstin.

Emma Rodda, 6, looked lovely in her Sleeping Beauty costume and was having a butterfly painted on her face by artist Alycia Glaude.

“The festival is fun and it raises money for the school,” said Emma's mom, Lorraine Rodda.

About 25 parents and 20 junior high and high school students, working on their service hours, volunteered at the festival, said Aylin Galstian. The Student Council ran a bake sale, proceeds from which will go to the Outdoor Science School.

Children's center celebrates 20 years

A day of family fun is planned from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday when the Travis Weaver Children's Center celebrates its 20th anniversary, said Director Leslie Reese.

Admission is free, but tickets will be sold for carnival games, an obstacle course, a bounce house and dunk tank in the parking lot at 521 E. Olive Ave. The band Siren will perform from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Hamburgers, hot dogs and snow-cones will be sold.

The center offers before- and after-school care for students attending nine of the 11 elementary schools in the Burbank Unified School District.

The First Presbyterian Church of Burbank started the center in 1992 to provide a child-care program for working parents, Reese said.

The center was named after Travis Weaver, a teenager who attended the church and volunteered at the Sunday School program, Reese said.

Travis was killed in an accidental shooting in December 1991, Reese said.

Groups support fifth Walk-n-Roll A-thon

Burbank police, firefighters, Burbank Civitans and schools are supporting the fifth annual Walk-n-Roll A-thon Sunday at Johnny Carson Park. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., with the walk starting at 10.

The event benefits the Southern California chapter of Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Burbank resident Rosie Roope started the chapter, is a board member and served as president for 13 years.

Roope's son Tyler, 15, was born with the disease that destroys the nerves controlling voluntary muscle movement, which affects crawling, walking, head and neck control and even swallowing. Tyler's symptoms didn't appear until he was a year old, Rosie Roope said.

Last year's walk raised $70,000. All proceeds go to research and educational conferences for families to help them learn to cope with the disease.

To register, visit or call Roope at (818) 846-6589.

Taking humor to the next level

Tony Alfieri of Burbank Toastmasters Club 1320 has won the first two contests with his humorous speech, “No More Excuses,” and Friday he will deliver it at the Toastmasters District 52 Fall Conference at the Castaway Restaurant. Alfieri, a video editor and archivist at Walt Disney Studios, says he has always wanted to be a stand-up comic. Looks like he is getting his wish.

JOYCE RUDOLPH can be contacted at

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