Former Burbank Mayor Michael Hastings, who currently serves as the president of the Burbank Police Foundation, was standing at the entrance of the Los Angeles Equestrian Center's Equidome this past Saturday morning.
While Hastings spent the prior week sweating over how successful the foundation's inaugural Hoof and Woof Walk fundraiser would be, that concern was allayed as hundreds of folks and their canine companions made their way into the venue, thus leaving his continued perspiration only chalked up to the temperature that was striving to hit the triple-digit mark.
Staged to raise funds for the Burbank Police Department's K-9 and mounted units, Saturday's event saw young people and adults donate $10 and $35, respectively, to enjoy the day's festivities that included a support walk, various activities and demonstrations, the opportunity to meet USC's Tommy Trojan and his horse, Traveler, pet adoptions and presentations by local vendors.
Established to cultivate a partnership between the police department and residents, businesses, and institutions, the foundation's mission is to enrich the community by enhancing police services.
Along with providing sponsorship for, and financial support to designated programs involving public safety, the foundation also plans and coordinates educational programs and encourages all residents to become active, involved and responsible in fighting crime.
Comprised of citizens, business owners, organizations and rank-and-file police officers as well as elected and appointed officials, the organization raises money for their general funds as well as earmarked causes including the Matthew Pavelka Scholarship Fund, established in memory of the 26-year-old Burbank police officer who was killed in the line of duty in 2003.
The Downed Officers Fund and the National Law Enforcement Officers' Memorial have also benefited.
Saturday's Hoof and Woof Walk, chaired by foundation director Andrea Cunningham, was made possible by the support of numerous local studios, companies and businesses along with private donations from Dave and Pat Augustine, Denis Cremins, John and Linda Kemmerer, Sydney Heins and Alisa Cunningham.
Along with volunteer assistance from the Walt Disney Co.'s VoluntEARS and the Burbank Jaycees, the success of last week's event was made possible by foundation officers Shelley Rizzotti, Blima Tuller and Susan Augustine, directors Alan Arzoian, Jeff Cable, Anita Hutchinson, Claudio Losacco, Gary Olson, Rick Ramirez, Eric Rosoff, Darin Ryburn, Chris Welker and Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse.
Others at the event, which raised $25,000 — exceeding Hastings' goal by $5,000 — included Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, Councilman Gary Bric, foundation representatives Sgt. Adam Cornils, officers John Embleton, Todd Burke, Joel Rodriguez, Adam Change and Kiyomi Scott and dedicated supporters Chris Rizzotti, Martin Small and Lauren Hastings Ciulla.
For more information about the work of the foundation, visit http://www.burbankpolicefoundation.org.
DAVID LAURELL may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or (818) 563-1007.