Paving a way to praise

Molly Shore

Hollywood has its walk of fame immortalizing stars, and soon Burbank

will sport its own Walk of Fame at George Izay Park.

Unlike the Tinseltown walk, Burbank’s will honor men and women who


distinguished themselves through their volunteer athletic efforts

with children.

The Walk of Fame will be completed and dedicated at the start of

the spring softball and baseball season, said Eric Hansen, the city’s


interim director of Parks, Recreation and Community Services.

“A lot of people are very dedicated in this city, and this is a

way we can honor people who have been specifically involved in youth

sports,” Hansen said.

At a City Council meeting earlier this month, council members

unanimously approved the $166,000 project, which begins this winter.

In the past, Councilwoman Marsha Ramos said the only way to honor

someone was to place a nameplate on a park bench or name a building


in someone’s honor. However, she added, “there are so many people in

our community who have done good work that it consolidates things in

one place ... and has the ability to name many more people than a

public facility.”

The walk, consisting of pavers set in the ground, will display the

names of volunteers, as well as Park, Recreation and Community

Services Department employees.

Hansen said the first name to be placed on the Walk of Fame will


be for the late Danny Gonzalez, who coached in the Ponytail Softball

League for 15 years, basketball for six years and umpired and

officiated in city sports leagues. However, Hansen said that no date

has been selected for the installation. The park is at 1111 W. Olive


Candidates for the walk will be submitted to a committee formed to

establish criteria, Hansen said.

The walk, beginning at field No. 2, is designed to continue in the

directions of both the first and third baselines and will expand

along the ball field’s exterior boundaries, as names are added.

Additional work will also be done to preserve the existing George

Izay Memorial Courtyard entrance and planter area in front of the

Olive Recreation Center.