To kick off this month of gratitude and thankfulness, the Burbank Coordinating Council, or BCC, held its third annual Spirit of Giving luncheon at the First Presbyterian Church of Burbank this past week.
Janet Diel has been a member of the organization for nearly three decades and currently serves as the group’s president and co-chair of its Holiday Basket program.
She welcomed close to 200 supporters at this year’s fundraiser that recognized the 2018 Spirit of Giving honorees Steve and Mary Frintner and the Burbank Unified School District.
The luncheon was emceed by former Mayor Marsha Ramos, who lauded the efforts and generosity of the honorees as an outstanding example of the spirit of generosity that made America strong and continues to thrive in Burbank.
“This year’s honorees, like those before them, are dedicated to improving the lives of children and families in our community,” Ramos said.
Burbank’s school district has partnered with the BCC’s Holiday Baskets program since the 1930s.
The program matches up needy families with individuals, families and organizations that provide them with food and gifts for their children.
Each year, the school district’s food services department handles applications for families in need of assistance.
Student services officials collect the applications, and school administrators provide the coordinating communications between the families and BCC.
The district also provides the use of McKinley Elementary School as a staging area on delivery day, along with a team of volunteer drivers who deliver the baskets.
“Our sincere thanks go out to Supt. Matt Hill, Assistant Supt. Tom Kissinger, all the administrative staff, principals, teachers and school board members Armond Aghakhanian, Steve Frintner, Roberta Reynolds, Steve Ferguson and Charlene Tabet,” Ramos said.
As this year’s Spirit of Giving recipients, Steve Frintner, an account manager at the Walt Disney Co., and his wife, Mary, who provides hearing solutions to infants, children and families at the Burbank Audiology Center, have been longstanding supporters of BCC’s Holiday Basket program.
Steve Frintner has served on the Burbank schools facilities oversight committee and as president of the Burbank Council PTA, overseeing 16 PTAs.
He was elected to the Burbank Unified school board in 2016.
Since 1946, the organization has been making the holidays brighter for those with children, who, due to financial difficulties, may otherwise have no holiday meal or gifts.
Always embraced by a broad cross-section of the community, last week’s event was attended by numerous notables including state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, council members Bob Frutos and Sharon Springer, and members of the event’s committee, Brenda Burroughs, Hank and Jason Diel, Fatima Khalefeh, Joan Graves, Deanna Holloway, Socorro Oseguera, Doris Palmer and Sandra Thompson.
As it does every year, the coordinating council is seeking volunteers to help assemble the baskets, which, according to Diel, will help more than 550 families this year.
If you are interested in getting involved, the organization is also looking for donations of gift certificates, food items, unwrapped toys and personally-requested items that are provided to those who adopt a specific family.
The BCC will then need of volunteers to help deliver baskets from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 16.
For more information, call (818) 216-9377 or visit burbankcoordinatingcouncil.org.