On the Town: Cartoon Network gives the community a Valentine

On Valentine's Day, when we all exude a little more care and appreciation than we do on the 364 other 24-hour cycles of the year, Zita Lefebvre, the director of operations of Cartoon Network Studios has made it an annual tradition to show the love to representatives from the city of Burbank, school district, business community and nonprofit organizations that she and the studio work with throughout the year.

Serving as the hostess of the downtown animation studio’s ninth annual Valentine’s Day luncheon, Lefebvre welcomed her guests that included Police Chief Scott LaChasse, the city’s new fire chief, Tom Lenahan and Community Development Director Joy Forbes this past Wednesday.

“We started doing this as our way of showing our appreciation and saying thank you to the people we work with and who work with us,” Lefebvre told the group. “We owe you all a big debt of gratitude, and this is our small way of saying what a pleasure it is to work in Burbank and with each one of you.”

The studio, with three new shows in production — “Uncle Grandpa,” “Clarence” and “Steven Universe,” the latter created by Rebecca Sugar, the first woman to create a show for Cartoon Network — works with Burbank youth by partnering with the school district and nonprofits including the Burbank Temporary Aid Center, the local Family Promise chapter, BCR — A Place to Grow, the Burbank Kids Community Dental Clinic and the Boys and Girls Club of the East San Fernando Valley.

Representing those organizations at the Valentine’s Day luncheon were Laurie Bleick and Ginny Goodwin of Family Service Agency, Shanna Warren of the Boys and Girls Club, Lonna Dunson and Teri Prince of BCR — A Place to Grow, former Burbank Police Lieutenant Rick Madrid, who now serves as the head of security investigations and emergency services at Paramount Pictures, Lisa Rawlins, who serves as the senior vice president of studio and production affairs at Warner Bros., Dale Gorman of Burbank Kids Community Dental Clinic, Susan Papadakis and Sandra Tabacchini of Warner Bros., Jan Britz who serves as the superintendent of the Burbank Unified School District and David Starr Jordan Middle School Principal Stacy Cashman.

Cartoon Network works with Jordan Middle School having students from various grades create a three-minute animated cartoon. Judged by a panel of teachers and parents, the winning student receives a unique opportunity to work with Cartoon Network animators and voice artists to professionally produce their creation.

The downtown Burbank-based Cartoon Network Studios, owned by Turner Broadcasting, a Time-Warner Company, which also owns Hanna-Barbera Productions, was launched in 1992 to establish a cable animation showcase.


DAVID LAURELL may be reached by email at dlaurell@aol.com or (818) 563-1007.

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