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Life and Arts

Community: Sunrise Kiwanis and Boys & Girls Club share special partnership

Former mayors are, back row from left, Jef Vander Borght, Todd Campbell, Tom Flavin and Bob Frutos;
Former mayors are, back row from left, Jef Vander Borght, Todd Campbell, Tom Flavin and Bob Frutos; front row from left, Anja Reinke, Mary Lou Howard and Emily Gabel-Luddy.
(Courtesy of Donna Anderson)

A very special bond continues to grow between the Burbank Sunrise Kiwanis Club and the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and Greater East Valley.

The Sunrise Kiwanis members presented a $5,000 donation from its foundation to the Boys & Girls Club following the 20th annual Mayors’ Cup Golf Tournament recently held at DeBell Municipal Golf Course.

The funds go to the Boys & Girls Club’s College Bound program that offers college preparation assistance for free to all high school teens.

The program provides resources and guidance for financial aid, SAT and ACT exams and college admissions. There are also workshops, guest speakers and tutoring available.


Many members of the Burbank Boys & Girls Club are the first in their families to attend college.

Several former club members are receiving a higher education thanks to this grant, said Shanna Warren, chief executive of the organization.

“Our past successes include twin brothers who were accepted to Yale University on full scholarships, where they plan to study engineering,” she said.

“Two other members now attend UC San Diego, where they study child development and engineering, and six additional members enrolled at Cal State Northridge are tackling subjects like psychology or nursing. These are amazing accomplishments,” she added.


The Sunrise Club also recently sponsored 30 children from the Boys & Girls Club for a full-day fishing trip.The children all enjoyed the day and everyone caught a fish, said Donna Anderson, past president and a foundation member.

The fishing trip has been an annual event for almost 20 years and is organized by “Captain” Sal Moreno, a member of the Sunrise Kiwanis.

For its ongoing support of the youth club, the Sunrise Kiwanis Club received the 2017 Kiwanis Club Impact Award from the Boys & Girls Club of America.

The honor is given annually to only one Kiwanis club that has made an impact on its local Boys & Girls Club. One of the reasons the club received the award is because it sponsors a K-Kids group at the Burbank Boys & Girls Club.

K-Kids is a Kiwanis club for children in first through fifth grades. They meet weekly and have goals and workshops that are set by Kiwanis International.

Accepting the award were President Danny King, Key Club adviser Jennifer Vaughan, former president Larry Schwartz, who started the first K-Kids club; and Vice President Brittany Vaughan, who submitted the application for the award and is also a member of the Sunrise Kiwanis.

The Sunrise Kiwanis Club contributes approximately $45,000 each year to many local charities, including the Burbank Salvation Army, Burbank Temporary Aid Center, Family Service Agency, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Providence St. Joseph Medical Center, Counseling for Kids, Kids Community Dental Clinic, Burbank Unified Schools with scholarships for the John Burroughs High School Key Club and supplying school folders for all 6,000 elementary school students.

Another project the Sunrise Kiwanis conducted was to sponsor 75 children from the Burbank Salvation Army to go shopping for back-to-school clothes.


Each child was given $100 to shop for anything they needed, from jackets to shoes. The club worked on the project with Salvation Army Lt. Brittany Baker.

All of the charitable contributions are a result of the Sunrise Kiwanis Club’s annual Mayors Cup Charity Golf Tournament. This year, the tournament saluted local military veterans in addition to honoring Burbank’s past and present mayors.

Mayor Will Rogers attended, along with former mayors Jef Vander Borght, Todd Campbell, Tom Flavin, Bob Frutos, Anja Reinke, Mary Lou Howard and Emily Gabel-Luddy.

JOYCE RUDOLPH can be reached at