Advertisement

On the Town: Civitan Club goes green for champagne brunch in Burbank

On the Town: Civitan Club goes green for champagne brunch in Burbank
Civitan President Randy Garcia, left, and Vice President Richard Bertain, welcoming O'Connor School of Dance performers Piper Cognata, left, and Julianna James. (David Laurell / Burbank Leader)

Members of the Burbank Civitan Club, which merged with the Foothill Civitan Club this past October, took to the wearin’ o’ the green as they welcomed members and guests to their annual St. Patrick’s Day Champagne Brunch in the Rose Garden Room at the Pickwick Gardens Banquet Center this past Sunday.

In what has become one of Burbank’s longest-standing service-club traditions, more than 100 Civitans, supporters, family members and friends gathered for the 49th time to honor the patron saint of Ireland, while also tipping their hats to the organization’s 64th year of service to the community.

Advertisement

St. Patrick’s Day has always had a special significance to the Burbank-Foothill Civitan Club because its charter was granted on March 17, 1955.

Among local Civitans who made Sunday's brunch a success were Karen Karraker, from left, Barry Kessler, and Sheri Epstein.
Among local Civitans who made Sunday's brunch a success were Karen Karraker, from left, Barry Kessler, and Sheri Epstein. (David Laurell / Burbank Leader)

Since then, the group has provided both monetary and in-kind support for numerous local nonprofit organizations including the Burbank Park, Recreation and Community Services Department’s annual Baseball Jamboree, which stages an annual parade of decorated trucks and cars that carry hundreds of local players and Special Olympics participants through the streets of Burbank to George Izay Park.

Advertisement

The club also works to raise funds to benefit the international organization of Civitan Clubs, which supports the Research Center for Mental Retardation in Birmingham, Ala.

The highlight the local event was a performance by members of the O’Connor School of Dance, who performed traditional dances of Feis (pronounced “Fesh”), which are a part of competitions that honor Celtic culture and pride.

Established in Waterford on the Emerald Isle, the O’Connor School of Dance came to the United States in 1960, and has been operating in the San Fernando Valley, under the direction of Bella O’Connor Yerina, since 1978.

O'Connor School of Dance performers Nikolaus Webber and Grace Flores, flank the school's director, Bella O'Connor Yerina, who was a special guest at Sunday's event.
O'Connor School of Dance performers Nikolaus Webber and Grace Flores, flank the school's director, Bella O'Connor Yerina, who was a special guest at Sunday's event. (David Laurell / Burbank Leader)

Among those who enjoyed a brunch of corn beef and cabbage, silent auction and entertainment were City Councilman Jess Talamantes, Burbank-Foothill Civitan president Randy Garcia, and the event’s committee members and volunteers, who included Barry Kessler, Sheri Epstein, Elaine Paonessa, Karen and Randy Karraker, Richard Bertain, Bobbie Garcia, and Dee Dee Ruhlow.

Advertisement

The mission of the Civitan Club is to build good citizens dedicated to serving individual and community needs, with an emphasis on helping people with developmental disabilities.

David Laurell may be reached by email at dlaurell@aol.com or (818) 563-1007.

Advertisement
Advertisement