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Community: Charity puts a little Americana into its fundraising

Community: Charity puts a little Americana into its fundraising
Master of ceremonies Jim Babcock, from left, with Family Promise board member Patrick Garney, holding the Cornhole trophy, and executive director Albert Hernandez. (Joyce Rudolph / Burbank Leader)

Board members of Family Promise of the Verdugos chose the weekend before the Fourth of July to start a new fundraiser in town with the inaugural Cornhole Tournament.

All funds raised go to the organization’s mission to end family homelessness. The event was held on the playground at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Burbank.

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Similar to horseshoes, another all-American pastime, cornhole is basically a bean-bag toss with contestants aiming at a raised board with a hole in it.

When a player hits 21 points, he or she wins the game. Scoring is three points if the bag goes into the hole and 1 point if it lands on the board.

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“We wanted to try to attract some new and younger people to learn about Family Promise and become supporters,” said Yvette Herrera, board president.

Those playing were a mix of serious competitors and others who didn’t know what they were in for.

“So far, it’s been a lot of fun,” Herrera added.

Forty teams made up of two people each had signed up before the day of the event and there were a lot of walk-ins, so a few teams played and took a break and then another set of teams took a turn.

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Seen perfecting his game was Albert Hernandez, executive director of Family Promise.

Cheering everyone on were Nancy Guillen, immediate past president, Renee Johnson, past president, and scoreboard volunteers Diane and Kenny Pawlek. Serving as master of ceremonies was the effervescent Jim Babcock, who works with the Disney divisions of consumer products and interactive media and special events.

Mike Sagun, from left, of Brewyard Brewery & Taproom, with Family Promise past presidents Nancy Guillen and Renee Johnson.
Mike Sagun, from left, of Brewyard Brewery & Taproom, with Family Promise past presidents Nancy Guillen and Renee Johnson. (Joyce Rudolph / Burbank Leader)

Patrick Garney, a member of the board for less than a year, borrowed the fundraising idea from area Rotary clubs, and helped a friend make the thematic trophy featuring an exaggerated replica of an ear of corn.

“It’s a game that is popular in the Midwest, and we’ve adapted it and merged it with a beer tasting,” he said.

Providing beer for the event were Brewyard Brewery & Taproom of Glendale, Tinhorn Flats Saloon & Grill of Burbank, Mt. Lowe Brewing Co. of Arcadia and Lagunitas Brewing Co. of Azusa.

Team Brewyard Brewery, made up of Dan McDonnell and David Collins, won the contest. The trophy is on display at the Brewyard Brewery, which sponsored the team.

Garney hopes to outgrow the location and make it an even bigger event next year. So start practicing now.

New president’s mission is recruiting

Increasing membership in the Cabrini Literary Guild is a priority for Brenda Lantieri.

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The Burbank resident was recently installed as president at the Oakmont Country Club.

Cabrini Literary Guild outgoing president Marie Urrutia, from left, incoming President Brenda Lantieri and installing officer Jan Kubani.
Cabrini Literary Guild outgoing president Marie Urrutia, from left, incoming President Brenda Lantieri and installing officer Jan Kubani. (Joyce Rudolph / Burbank Leader)

“Bring people who want to make this organization stand out,” she told fellow members after taking the reins from outgoing president Marie Urrutia.

Earlier this year, the guild celebrated its 75th year as a philanthropic and social organization.

Proceeds from the guild’s fundraisers go to students in the Archdiocesan high schools who compete in an annual creative writing contest as well as volunteer with local charities that support the needy.

Those charities received donations during the luncheon. They were YWCA Glendale’s domestic violence program, Catholic Charities’ Loaves and Fishes program, Glendale Public Library’s adult literacy program and the Covenant House California, a homeless shelter in Los Angeles for young adults ages 18 to 24.

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