The Burbank Chamber of Commerce took members and supporters on a nostalgic stroll down a lane of musical memories as it presented its annual gala fundraiser Saturday at the Sheraton Universal Hotel.
Arriving guests were welcomed by Chamber of Commerce President Gary Olson, Sue Sebastian of the Burbank YMCA, and event Chairman Don St. Clair, who serves as the organization's chairman of the board, and the vice president for enrollment planning and marketing at Woodbury University.
Optimistic that the storm of economic challenges may be slowly passing, St. Clair said the chamber has reasserted its pledge to make Burbank and the region a better place to live and work.
â€œAt the chamber, we are proud of our role in advocating for business,â€ St. Clair said. â€œWe are mindful that we are but one part of a complex machine.â€
Staged under the theme â€œShowcase Cabaret,â€ the event featured the musical talents of Gretchen Brenke, Christopher Campbell, Vanessa Cedano, Gino Gaudio, David Hood, Leslie Tinnaro, Linda Eldridge, Steven Liu and James Miller, who performed selections from classic operas such as â€œLa Boheme,â€ and some of Broadway and Hollywood's most beloved musicals including â€œCabaret,â€ â€œMy Fair Lady,â€ â€œCamelot,â€ â€œSouth Pacificâ€ and â€œChicago.â€
Among those whose attendance and planning made the event a success were chamber staff members Shari Rang, Kimberly Thompson and Melinda Martin, members of the organization's executive committee comprising Tom Smith, Scott Rife, Marcia Amoroso, Barry Burnett, Lee Wochner, Whit Prouty, Chuck Rosen and Tom Whelan, and chamber board members Charles â€œBudâ€ Alleman Jr., Ernie Burger, Ray Cruickshanks, Michael Cusumano, Mike Flanagan, Joan McCarthy, David Nos, Jim O'Neil, Jack O'Neill, Pat Patterson, Sunder Ramani, Lisa Rawlins, Rich Roche, Keith Sanneman, Scott Scozzola, John Sinnema, Tony Tartaglia and Michael Thomas.
City officials on hand included Mayor Gary Bric and his wife, Shelly, Vice Mayor Anja Reinke, Councilman Jess Talamantes, former Mayors Mary Lou Howard and Bill Wiggins, Deputy City Manager Joy Forbes, City Atty. Dennis Barlow, Airport Commissioner Don Brown, Police Commissioner Nat Rubinfeld, and school board members Ted Bunch, Roberta Reynolds and Debbie Kukta. Other notable guests in attendance were Sharon Olson, Terre Hirsch, Don Baldaseroni, Dan Fager, Victor Gill, Lucy Burghdorf, Gail Stewart, Ron and Cheryl Davis, Mona Moore, Barbara Howell, Vic and Sue Georgino, Heather Scozzola, Pete McGrath, Katherine Richards, Seta Javor, and Burbank Leader Editor Dan Evans and his wife, Donna.
The Burbank Chamber of Commerce represents nearly 1,000 local businesses. Its mission is to be the leading public policy advocate for business; to promote economic growth; to be a strategic partner in initiatives that enhance and preserve the quality of life in the Burbank community; and to provide valued services to members.