On the Town: Realtors get together as one big family

Composed by Robert Allen with lyrics by Al Stillman, few songs capture the sentiment of this season like the 1954 Perry Como holiday hit "(There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays."

Along with our respective faith-based beliefs and the desire to be with those who are near and dear to us, nothing means more to people at this time of the year than their homes.

This past week, the people responsible for putting so many Burbankers into their homes — members of the Burbank Assn. of Realtors — gathered to celebrate the season, tip their hat to their outgoing president and board of directors, honor their members who have made significant contributions throughout 2013 and install their 2014 president and board of directors.

Convening at Lakeside Golf Club, more than 300 local Realtors and affiliate professionals were joined by Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, Vice Mayor David Gordon, Councilman Jess Talamantes and the association's new Chief Executive Officer Cheritta Smith to honor the work of the association's 2013 president, Eric Benz, and welcome their new president, Julian Munoz.

Munoz, who will oversee the organization throughout 2014, was installed during the festivities along with President-Elect Alisa Cunningham, Treasurer Caleb Gonzales and board members Linda Barnes, Bryan Ochse, Karen Volpei, Ed Sanchez, Eric Benz, Marty Del Cid, Karol Kochova, Harry Timuryan, Jay Geisenheimer, Courtney Korb and Dan Sanchez.

The festive luncheon, which included a performance by the Muses of the musical program at John Burroughs High School, also saw Christopher Rizzotti named Realtor of the Year and the Cunningham Community Service Award given to Volpei.

The Burbank Assn. of Realtors is a professional trade organization representing Realtors and affiliate members engaged in real estate that has been serving Burbank since 1922.

The organization established a community service foundation in 1986 that operates as the group's charitable arm.

Among those who have benefited from the group's philanthropy over the past quarter century are local high school seniors who have received scholarships, Habitat for Humanity, the Burbank YMCA, Burbank Temporary Aid Center, the Kid's Community Dental Clinic and Family Promise.

Among those who made last week's event a success were members of the event committee including Marion Chase, Jodi Borelli, Sharon Fane, Robin McCary, Betty Zaun and association staff members Yesenia Martinez, Dusty Brandel, Adriana Contreras, Yael Wachspress and Carlos Espinoza Jr.

DAVID LAURELL may be reached by email at dlaurell@aol.com or (818) 563-1007.

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