On the Town: Chamber cruises to an evening gala

While folks are accustomed to turning west off Hollywood Way into Bob Hope Airport to travel, this past Friday evening saw more than 250 members and supporters of the Burbank Chamber of Commerce make an easterly turn to the Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel for a traveling experience not usually associated with Burbank — cruising.

Setting sail for adventure, the organization presented its annual fundraiser gala as “Anchors Aweigh,” a cruise-themed evening of casino gaming, cabaret shows and lounge entertainment. The brainchild of Lisa Rawlins, who serves as the senior vice president of studio and production affairs and public relations for Warner Bros. Entertainment, the evening included food stations, the magic of Murray Zahn, the juggling of David Cousin, and the musical stylings of Douglass “The Crooner” Roegiers and pianist Barry Lamster.

Chamber of Commerce President Gary Olson was joined by his staff members Sheri Rang and Kimberly Thompson, Chairman of the Board Barry Burnett and the gala committee, Eric Foster, Mike Thomas, Terry Walker and Rawlins to welcome “cruisers” aboard the S.S. Chamber. Among those who were granted permission to board were Mayor Dave Golonski, Vice Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, Councilman Jess Talamantes and former Mayors Mary Lou Howard and Bill Wiggins.

“We are proud that after 93 years, we remain a vital part of what makes Burbank the great city it is,” said Burnett. “While much hard work, vision and fortitude will be needed to overcome the financial challenges (we face), we remain diligent to preserve and prosper as a community.”

Included in the list of those who made the evening a sailing success by their contributions or presence were Chuck Rosen, Lee Wochner, Tom Whelan, Fred Bell, Ernie Burger, Darin Chase, Ray Cruickshanks, Michael Cusumano, Mike Flanagan, Vic Gerogino, Nancy Guillen, Janet McIntyre, David Nos, Jim O’Neil, Pat Patterson, Sunder Ramani, Scott Rife, Riche Roche, Harpal Sadhal and Keith Sanneman.

Other “passengers” who enjoyed the nautical night were 28th Congressional District Field Representative Mary Hovagimian representing Rep. Adam Schiff, City Attorney Amy Albano, City Treasurer Debbie Kukta, and representatives of Bob Hope Airport including Commissioners Don Brown and Sue Georgino, Executive Director Dan Feger and staff members Victor Gill and Lucy Burgdorf.

Established in 1920, the Burbank Chamber of Commerce is the leading business advocate for Burbank-based businesses. Funds raised at this annual fundraiser help the chamber promote economic growth and prosperity and continue its service as a vital strategic partner in initiatives that enhance and preserve the quality of life within the community.


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

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