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Honoring the fallen

Mark R. Madler

More than 400 people turned out Saturday for a fund-raiser benefiting

a proposed museum at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial

in Washington, D.C.

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While the exact amount collected won’t be known until next week,

$113,000 had already been received by the day before the “Cool Blue:

A Night of Respect” fund-raising dinner, said Vic Georgino, one of

the event’s organizers.

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“It was an extraordinary evening because to get 450 people to have

dinner, the whole community has to turn out,” Georgino said. “They

turned out with their pocketbooks in the form of donations.”

The evening, for $100 a ticket, featured emcee “West Wing” actor

Bradley Whitford, live music by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, a silent

auction, and one live-auction item -- a child-sized motorized car

painted like a Burbank Police squad -- that went for $11,000.

The Cusumano family won the live auction and then donated the car

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to the Burbank Police Officers Assn. to be included in the museum,

Georgino said.

The planned $80-million museum would house photos, plaques and

other objects left by visitors to the memorial on Judiciary Square.

With the event a success, it is now the department’s task to get

other police agencies to get on board with fund-raisers of their own,

Burbank Police Det. Joseph Dean said.

“I’ll probably be going to Las Vegas and Seattle in the coming

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months to get other cities to use our template,” Dean said.

Among the donors are Crown Realty & Development, owner of the

Burbank Town Center Mall; the Walt Disney Co.; Warner Bros. Studios;

M. Cunningham Realtors; the city of Burbank; Cusumano Real Estate

Group; and NBC/Universal.

The Burbank Police Department was among the first in the nation to

contribute to the memorial, which was dedicated in 1991.

The memorial is inscribed with about 15,000 names of officers

killed in the line of duty.

The Burbank department has five officers listed, including officer

Matthew Pavelka, who was killed in the line of duty in November 2003.


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