Comedy to bring music lessons to students

The 2013 Leadership Burbank Class is planning a comedy night to raise funds for its community project, “31 Violins”, a program to expand instrumental music instruction to Burbank’s elementary schools.

The event, “Laughs for Leadership Burbank,” will take place on March 28 at Flappers Comedy Club and Restaurant, 102 E. Magnolia Blvd. Doors open at 6 p.m. Show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling (818) 845-9721 or visiting

Leadership Burbank offers leaders and emerging leaders the opportunity to enhance their personal and professional skills, gain a deeper understanding of community dynamics, and cultivate civic involvement.

The Burbank Unified School District eliminated weekly elementary instrumental music programs in 1992, but in 2007 a general music program was developed for grades 2-5 that allowed students to attend classes twice a month. Today, five elementary schools offer general music education but only two — Providencia and Roosevelt — teach instrumental music instruction within the school day.

“After learning about the decline in music instruction in our community, we felt inspired to help expand the programs for more children to have the opportunity to learn music,” said Monica Newhouse, Leadership Burbank 2013 participant. “Our vision in the creation of ‘31 Violins’ is to not only provide instruments, but to also increase instruction time, reduce music class sizes, free up district resources and eliminate the financial burden from the district and schools.”

Teacher writes book on skateboarder

Former Burbank resident Janet Eoff Berend, a high school English teacher, has written a novel about a teen skateboarder that now is available through major book sellers.

Berend said her inspiration to write “Vertical” came from years of listening to students in her English class at La Costa Canyon High School in North San Diego County, where she has taught for 17 years. She grew up in Burbank and moved to Encinitas when she was 19.

It has been released by Breakaway Books, a New York publishing house. “Vertical” is written for junior- high- and high-school-aged audiences. Berend has included descriptions of skateboarding and references to classic literature throughout the story, while exploring the topic of bullying and the theme of friendship.

“I think 'Vertical' has something to offer all kinds of readers — skaters, non-skaters, kids who love to read, kids who think they hate reading.” Berend said. “I just tried to write a story that would speak to kids in a meaningful way.”

Addition to Boys & Girls Club

Anja Kloch has joined the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and Greater East Valley as Chief Development Officer. The Burbank resident has been working in the nonprofit fundraising field for 20 years.

“I have a belief in the power of well-timed support,” she said. “If you make yourself truly present for a child at a critical moment, you can have a positive impact on the rest of their lives.”

Kloch is passionate about helping children and making a difference, said Shanna Warren, chief executive officer.

“She has the energy, talent, commitment and experience to help the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and G.E.V. go from good to great,” Warren said.

A great chance to meet Kloch will be at the club's 18th annual gala on May 11 at the Burbank Airport Marriott. For tickets, call her at (818) 842-9333, Ext. 14.

The club serves more than 1,500 youth each day. More than 60% of families of children who attend the club are low income and receive financial assistance.

Card party raises $4,000

Providence St. Joseph Medical Center Guild raised $4,000 during a card party on March 6 at Lakeside Golf Club. The 200 people attending enjoyed lunch and then played their favorite card games or bingo with their friends, said Terry Campbell, publicity chairwoman. There were opportunity prizes won by five happy winners.

The funds will go toward the guild’s pledge of $500,000 to the Hycy and Howard Hill Neuroscience Institute at the medical center for the treatment of strokes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, brain tumors, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy.

Another card party will be held during the summer. The guild is also planning its spring fashion show on April 6. More information will be forthcoming.

Charities benefit from pizza night

The Burbank Emblem Club #86 will raise funds for its many charities with a pizza night from 5 to 8 p.m. April 15 at Shakey's Pizza, 1300 N. San Fernando Blvd.

Some of the charities the club supports are Salvation Army Burbank Corps., Burbank Temporary Aid Center, Burbank Family Service Agency, scholarships for graduating high school seniors, Foothill Service Club for the Blind, Scholarships for Teachers of the Hard of Hearing and others.

Ask your server to place your receipt in the Emblem Club container. For more information, call Elaine Paonessa at (818) 845-6851.


JOYCE RUDOLPH can be contacted at

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