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On the Town: Family Service Agency hosts ‘Imagine A City’ fundraiser

Family Service Agency’s 2019 honoree Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, center, is flanked by Linda Walmsley, left, and Karen Volpei.
(David Laurell)

For the past 66 years, the Family Service Agency of Burbank has cultivated and celebrated relationships with Burbank and Los Angeles County as well as with those who have been in need of its vital services.

Those relationships were honored as the agency presented its annual “Imagine a City” fundraiser on the terrace at the Burbank Town Center this past Friday evening.

The more than 300 supporters who gathered for the event enjoyed perusing an elaborate silent auction during a pre-dinner, sunset cocktail reception.

Welcomed by Laurie Bleick, the agency’s executive director, Pat Smola, the organization’s finance director, and agency board chairman Michael Albanese, supporters joined in to honor Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger as the 2019 recipient of the Mary Alice O’Connor Vision Award.


The award is given annually at the event to honor the memory, work and spirit of O’Connor, a longtime dedicated community volunteer and founding board member of the agency who died in 2010.

It was O’Connor’s intention that the award spotlight an individual who shares the Family Service Agency’s sense of urgency to create and sustain safe spaces where Burbank’s youth, adults and families can access, without obstacle, mental-health counseling, awareness education, prevention programs and critical advocacy.

Among the notables in attendance at Friday’s FSA event were former Burbank Mayor Marsha Ramos, center, and her parents Richard and Lila Ramirez.
(David Laurell/Burbank Leader)

Among the dignitaries and special guests in attendance were state Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge), state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), Burbank Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, Vice Mayor Sharon Springer, Council members Jess Talamantes, Bob Frutos and Tim Murphy, City Clerk Zizette Mullins, City Treasurer Debbie Kukta, Police Chief Scott LaChasse, and former Mayors Marsha Ramos and Gary Bric.


Dedicated to its mission of offering quality counseling, care, education and advocacy at low or no cost, the agency has dramatically changed and saved the lives of local individuals, couples and families as well as active and veteran members of the armed forces.

Providing housing, crisis intervention, legal guidance, safety in the face of domestic violence and hope for those in the grips of mental illness and substance addiction, the agency has been embraced and supported by Burbank’s governmental, corporate, business, residential and faith-based community.

For more information about the agency and its services, to volunteer or to make a financial donation, call (818) 845-7671 or visit

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