Pat Smola, from left, and Laurie Bleick of the Family Service Agency, welcomed special guest Joan “J.P.” O’Connor, the daughter of Mary Alice O’Connor, to last week’s “Imagine a City” gala.(David Laurell / Burbank Leader)
Family Service Agency board member Mary Alvord, left, and Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy at Friday’s gala that honored the long-standing dedication of the city of Burbank to the organization.(David Laurell / Burbank Leader)
Chuck and Tracy Cusumano arriving at the Burbank Towne Center for last week’s gala fundraiser.(David Laurell / Burbank Leader)
Out in support of the work of the Family Service Agency were Rey and Gema Sanchez, left, with Assemblymember Laura Friedman, and school board Vice President Armond Aghakhanian.(David Laurell / Burbank Leader)
Longtime supporters of the Family Service Agency, Vic and Sue Georgino, were among the 300-plus who gathered for last week’s “Imagine a City” gala.(David Laurell / Burbank Leader)
Among the event-sponsoring Cusumano family members in attendance at last week’s gala were Michael and Caroline Cusumano.(David Laurell / Burbank Leader)
Burbank Airport Commissioner Bill Wiggins, accompanied by his wife Marilyn, was one of seven former mayors who came out to support the work of the Family Service Agency.(David Laurell / Burbank Leader)
Among the dignitaries who honored the City of Burbank for their commitment to the Family Service Agency was City Councilman Jess Talamantes and his wife Sandy.(David Laurell / Burbank Leader)
For 65 years, the Family Service Agency of Burbank has forged, cultivated and celebrated relationships with the community 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” gala on the new 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 members Mary Alvord and Teri Stein, supporters joined in to honor the city of Burbank as the 2018 recipient of the Mary Alice O’Connor Vision Award.
The award is given annually to honor the memory, work and spirit of O’Connor, a long-time dedicated community volunteer and founding board member of the agency, who died in 2010.
Serving as the event’s mistress of ceremonies was Joan McCarthy of the Walt Disney Co., who joined the Cusumano family, represented by Chuck, Tracy, Roger, Evelyn, Michael and Caroline Cusumano, and Cartoon Network Studios, represented by the studio’s senior vice president Brian Miller, as the evening’s principal sponsors.
Among the dignitaries and special guests in attendance were Joan “J.P.” O’Connor, daughter of Mary Alice O’Connor, state Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge), Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, Vice Mayor Sharon Springer, council members Jess Talamantes, Bob Frutos and Tim Murphy, school board members Roberta Reynolds, Steve Frintner, Char Tabet and Armond Aghakhanian, and seven former mayors: Bill Wiggins, Dave Golonski, Marsha Ramos, Gary Bric, Anja Reinke, Bob Frutos and Jess Talamantes.
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, families and 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.
The gala was made possible by the event’s committee and board members including Anita Schackmann, Bruce Osgood, Jim O’Neil, Michael Albanese, Michael Wilford, Ross Purdy, Stacy Cashman and Yasmine Wolfe.
For more information about the Family Service Agency and its services, to volunteer or to make a financial donation, call (818) 845-7671.
David Laurell may be reached by email at email@example.com or (818) 563-1007.