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Helping coordinate Burbank for 70 years

Laura Sturza

Even living in Southern California, an umbrella can come in handy.

The Burbank Coordinating Council -- which celebrates its 70th

birthday this year -- has been the city’s umbrella organization for


more than 70 nonprofit groups that help keep the city in top form.

In monthly meetings, these city movers and shakers, described by

member Police Lt. Tim Stehr as an “extremely dedicated” group whose

members “really care about the community,” meet to exchange


information and cheer one another on accomplishing their civic goals.

Treasurer Pat Gunn joined the group 30 years ago as a Parent

Teacher Assn. representative because she found the programs and

speakers interesting, but said she stayed for the camaraderie between

the members.

“It’s not a stiff meeting,” Gunn said. “Everybody has a good


Each month, a speaker from one of the city’s departments or one of


the organizations updates the group on its activities. Recent

meetings featured guest speakers from the Joslyn Adult Center and the

city manager’s office.

The group has been a spawning ground for new organizations, such

as the Middle School Citizenship Awards, which was started by the

council and taken over by the Woman’s Club of Burbank 18 years ago,

club president Julia Larsen said.

“It honors students who are never recognized, who do their


homework, are involved in school politics, have good attendance and

are not tardy,” Larsen said.

In addition, the council has sponsored two programs for several

decades. A summer camp program that sends children from low-income

families to camp has been operating since 1938, with more than 200

children attending each year. Since 1946, the group has distributed

holiday baskets. In 2002, more than 600 families received baskets.

Luncheon meetings are the first Monday of the month, October

through May. For information about the Burbank Coordinating Council,

call Sue at 845-3252.