ON THE TOWN:Police chief given Western send-off

This past Saturday was a day of reflection in Burbank as dignitaries, family and friends reflected on the career of retiring Burbank Police Chief Tom Hoefel, and the women of the La Providencia Guild of Childrens Hospital Los Angeles honored those who have served as the organization's presidents over the past 60 years.

Brownstone Street on the back lot of Warner Bros. was the beginning of the trail that will ultimately lead Hoefel and his wife, Bunni, into the sunset of Texas retirement.

Close to 400 well-wishers gathered at the storied film studio to honor the man who has served as our city's top cop for the past seven years. Among those on hand were retired and active members of the Burbank Police Department, former Police Chief Glen Bell, police chiefs from all over Los Angeles County, and Sheriff Lee Baca, who called Hoefel one of the most honorable individuals he has ever known.

Attendees at the Western-themed send-off were treated to a Texas-style barbecue, followed by a tribute led by Assistant City Manager Mike Flad. Looking like he had just stepped out of a scene from a spaghetti western, the high plains driftin' Flad deftly guided the evening from humor to honor.

Among those who lauded Hoefel were City Manager Mary Alvord, Mayor Marsha Ramos, Glendale Police Chief Randy Adams, Pasadena Police Chief Bernard Melekian, Burbank Police Commission Chairwoman Claudia Bonis and incoming Police Chief Tim Stehr.

Along with members of the Hoefel family, others on hand to wish the chief and his wife happy trails were Vice Mayor Dave Golonski, City Council members David Gordon, Gary Bric and Anja Reinke, former Mayor Bill Wiggins and his wife Marilyn, Rick Madrid of Paramount Studio security, Lisa Rawlins of Warner Bros., Peggy Peters of the Burbank Police Department, Bob Hope Airport Police Chief Ed Skvarna, and the city's executive team — Dennis Barlow, Sue Georgino, Bonnie Teaford, Bob Torrez, Fire Chief Tracy Pansini, Jennifer Wyatt, Sharon Cohen, Judie Sarquiz, Eric Hansen and Ron Davis.

City Clerk Margarita Campos and City Treasurer Donna Anderson joined forces to send Hoefel into the sunset with their own rendition of the Kenny Rogers song "You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me Lucille," modified to "It's a Sad Time Your Leavin' Chief Tom."

Saturday also saw the La Providencia Guild of Childrens Hospital Los Angeles celebrate its 60th anniversary of service in Burbank at Glendale's Oakmont Country Club.

The guild kicked off its seventh decade by honoring the women who have served as the organization's past presidents. Presided over by current President Judy Pierce, the event, which included a fashion show, was attended by 26 former presidents, including Lynne Meares, Charlene Dettmann, Tomme Lenz, Marj Overstreet, Yvonne McMillan, Janet Puchlik, Tracy Canfield, Doris Palmer and Mary Jo Hjelmstrom.

Enjoying the celebration were Suzanne Lapis, who serves as the director of associate and affiliate groups for Childrens Hospital, Barbara Gross, Lynn Hawkins, Kathy Levine, Courtney Murray, Lynn White-Shelby, Haley Taylor, Rosemary Witten, Cheryl Butler-Crosland, Ann Marie Gray, Tina Kalayjian, Leslie Lilly, Becca Murray, Dorothy Patrick, Christine Smith, Shanna Warren, Cathy Zoradi, Darcy Collura and Anita Laughlin.

Among those who made the event a success were Marilyn Teasley, Rosemary Witten, Katherine Richards, Sharon Terranova, Judy Gragg, Gene Marie Watson, Diane Campbell, Alicia Metzger, Sue Ann Gordon, Mary Christensen, Linda Wilson, Linda Hanson, Chris Welker and Lisa Murray.


  • DAVID LAURELL can be contacted at dlaurellaol.com or (818) 563-1007.
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