The Burbank Magnolia Park Optimist Club and the Burbank Police Department have a lot in common when it comes to serving the community.
A shining example of that shared interest was illustrated when three of the department’s finest were honored for their outstanding service during the annual Optimist “Respect for Law” dinner held at the Burbank Elks Lodge.
Doreen Wydra, club president, along with event chair Vonda Neundorf, welcomed members and honorees’ families.
No one was prouder than the recipients’ boss — Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse — who read their resumes and enthusiastically thanked them for their dedication.
Motor Officer Dan Turpin received the Officer of the Year for 2017. He joined the department as a police recruit in 1993 and has been a patrol officer, school resource officer and is now the motor field training officer for police who serve on motorcycles.
“You are known to take the motorcycle training to the next level, consistently honing the unit’s riding skills by introducing innovative and challenging training — all the while maintaining an excellent safety record,” LaChasse said.
Turpin exhibits impressive skills when dealing with the public, which is proven by the numerous notes, cards and commendations sent in from citizens commending his courtesy and professionalism while enforcing laws, LaChasse added.
“It is clear you embrace the Burbank Police Department’s core value of excellence,” LaChasse said. “Obtaining your master’s degree in August 2017 further demonstrated your pursuit for continuous improvement and inspired and encouraged your entire team to pursue their formal education.”
Forensic specialist Carly Lott was selected as the Non-Sworn Employee of the Year for 2017. She joined the department in 2002 as a police technician, and she gained experience at the front counter as well as in the warrant office and identification section.
Lott has found her passion in the science of fingerprints while serving in the investigation division of the forensic bureau. Her expertise in examining every minute detail of finger or palm prints has been instrumental in helping detectives solve cases.
One such case was a series of auto burglaries. Her fingerprint analysis identified a suspect who was on parole. The detective recovered the stolen property from the suspect’s residence and obtained a confession from a second suspect.
Elaine Stevens received the Volunteer of the Year honor. After graduating from the Burbank Police Department’s Community Academy in 2013, Stevens began her first assignment in the traffic bureau’s film permit office.
She then moved to the patrol division, where she has donated more than 1,186 hours improving reports and documentation procedures.
“This has enabled patrol supervisory staff to have a better understanding of the effectiveness levels of their personnel in field operations,” LaChasse said. “You never consider any assignment too big or too small — you exemplify the meaning of teamwork.”
Burbank Civitans toast to 47th annual Irish brunch
The Burbank Civitans Club had a very successful 47th annual St. Patrick's Day champagne brunch, according to Elaine Paonessa, the organization’s president.
There were 83 people who relaxed while enjoying the beautiful surroundings of the Rose Garden Room at the Pickwick Gardens Center.
The O'Connor Irish Dancers performed a jig and other Irish favorites, while the audience dined on a wonderful brunch and bid on silent-auction items.
Proceeds benefit community nonprofits such as BCR “a place to grow,” Baseball Jamboree and Special Olympics.
Special guests attending were City Council members Emily Gabel-Luddy, Sharon Springer and Bob Frutos.
Civitans helping were Randy Garcia, DeeDee Ruhlow, Shari Epstein, Barry Kessler, Richard Bertain, Barbara Zagon, Bobbie Garcia and 9-year-old gift runner, Chase Fulp, making great- grandmother Paonessa proud.
Card party is prelude to major spring fundraiser
The Providence St. Joseph Medical Center Guild recently celebrated a game day with lunch at Lakeside Golf Club.
Chair Lucy Brown, assisted by co-chairs Terri Lee and Maria Balke, welcomed guests, along with Julie McArdle, guild president.
Eighty guests joined 20 members in playing bingo, canasta, bridge and progressive rummy. A delicious Chinese chicken salad, followed by key lime pie, was enjoyed during intermission.
Proceeds will go to defray expenses of the “Puttin' on the Ritz” fashion show and luncheon on April 21 at the Sheraton Universal. Lucinda Miedena of Couture Productions will produce the show, and George Pennacchio, entertainment reporter for ABC7 Eyewitness News, will return as master of ceremonies.
Proceeds go to the guild’s $500,000 pledge to the Cusumano Family Neuroscience Outpatient Center.