Community: Burbank brewery puts fundraiser on tap

More youngsters will get the chance to join in educational — and fun — activities at the Boys & Girls Club, thanks to a tapping party at Gordon Biersch.

The club provides after-school and summer programs for boys and girls ages 6 to 18 in Burbank and the East Valley. Youngsters are offered opportunities in leadership training, health and life skills, education and career development and the arts as well as sports and fitness.

The fundraiser honored the brewery restaurant's 25th anniversary on July 9. Proceeds will go to the club's scholarship fund, allowing more youngsters to attend the summer and school-year programs, said Chief Executive Officer Shanna Warren.

This was the second time Gordon Biersch coordinated a fundraiser for the club and it drew more people than the first event, Warren said. Half of those attending are special patrons of the restaurant who come to support the tapping nights.

Kelley Vassar, assistant general manager of Gordon Biersch restaurant, worked with the club to organize the fundraiser.

Warren said she appreciates that the restaurant coordinated the event.

"[Gordon Biersch does] it for Burbank Temporary Aid Center and I believe that BTAC Chief Executive Officer Barbara Howell recommended the Boys & Girls Club to Gordon Biersch, and so I am very grateful that they chose to add us to the list of nonprofits they support in Burbank."

Among the more than 75 guests attending were educators Sandi Sutter, Lesli Melchor and Sonia Arce; actress Bergen Williams from "General Hospital;" Zonta Club President Grace Farenbaugh; and Donna and Scott Hall, coming all the way from Simi Valley.

The Boys & Girls Club is also benefiting this month from a fundraising project implemented by JCPenney. When customers check out, employees at the register ask them if they would like to round up their total to the nearest dollar, which will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club.

"They do that for us every year," Warren said. "All those funds will come to our club to support the Project Learn program, which provides tutoring and homework assistance to club members."

Over the summer, Warren said there are many activities for youngsters from academic programs to recreational activities. There are educational projects geared to "summer learning loss" to keep kids up to speed as they prepare to start the next grade level, such as spelling bees, math and science projects and academic decathlons.

Also this summer, the club is partnering with DeBell Golf Club and the Professional Golfers' Assn. on a pilot program to provide golf lessons to youngsters. Golden State Gymnastics in Burbank allows club members to come twice a week for free gymnastics classes.

Foothill Civitans recruiting members

The Foothill Civitan Club of Burbank will hold its annual prospective members meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Holiday Inn, 150 S. Angeleno Ave.

President Mary Bernier invites men and women to hear speaker Terri McDonald, a 24-year veteran of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, who was recently appointed assistant sheriff by Sheriff Lee Baca and will oversee the custody division of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The Foothill Civitan Club's charity work includes underwriting the cost of three assistance dogs for Canine Companions for Independence at a cost of $10,000 per dog; as well as supporting the Salvation Army, Hands Across the Battlefield, sponsorship of the annual Girls Ponytail Jamboree and the Burbank Police K-9 Unit.

Dinner is available and may be ordered from the restaurant menu. For reservations, contact Karen Hubbard at (818) 842-4370.

Gallery works filled with passion

The San Fernando Valley Art Club kicked off its summer exhibition on Friday night with an awards reception at the Burbank Creative Arts Center Gallery. The show consists of portraits, landscapes and still lifes that are illustrated in oil, watercolor, mixed media, cut paper and acrylic collage.

It was a lucky night for artist Karren de Gorricho, who had never won an award for her works. She snapped up five honors — more than anyone else.

"I'm thrilled!" said the Studio City resident. "It's exciting for me. I did not expect anything."

Her Best of Show and People's Choice awards were for the same oil painting, titled "Lilies in My Garden." She took a photograph of lilies in her backyard and painted the image.

She began her journey in visual arts with mixed media nine years ago and then started painting abstracts and doing collage two years later. She has been working in the Impressionist style and painting portraits for two years.

Judging the show was a tough task, said artist Tim Forcum of Silver Lake.

"When I first came into the gallery, I felt all the artists should be rewarded for their hard work," he said. "Seeing the effort, creativity and the passion here was very touching."

The show continues through July 25 at the art center, which is at 1100 W. Clark Ave. Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.


JOYCE RUDOLPH can be contacted at

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