An endEARring evening of thanks

From the inner sanctum of Disney’s Burbank campus to the most remote corners of the world, the sight of a large circle topped off with two smaller circles is immediately recognized as Mickey Mouse. Indeed, that trio of iconic circles representing Mickey’s head and ears has become the trademark of the Walt Disney Co.

It is fitting that Disney is recognized by the symbol of ears because throughout its 71 years as a corporate resident of Burbank, it has both heard and heeded the call to support and assist numerous local charitable and nonprofit organizations.

That long-term heeding of that call was honored this past week as the Walt Disney Co. accepted top honors from the Burbank Temporary Aid Center (BTAC) at the organization’s annual Burbank’s Top Award For Citizenship fundraiser.

Welcomed by the endEARring ones themselves — Mickey and Minnie Mouse, BTAC supporters were joined at the Castaway Restaurant for the gala evening by government officials including state Sen. Carol Liu, Burbank Vice Mayor Jess Talamantes and Council Members Dave Golonski, Gary Bric and David Gordon. Other notables in attendance included Kevin Callahan, who serves as Disney’s vice president of corporate citizenship; the studio’s Senior Manager of Global Community Outreach Joan McCarthy; former Burbank City Manager Mary Alvord, who served as the evening’s mistress of ceremonies; former Mayor Mary Lou Howard; BTAC Executive Director Barbara Howell; and the Chairman of BTAC’s Board of Directors, Will Rogers.

“Any city in the world would be ecstatic to be able to boast of being home to The Walt Disney Co.,” said Rogers. “Burbank not only enjoys that honor, but also benefits from the company’s enthusiastic support for community causes that run the gamut from education, to infrastructure, from charitable organizations, to civic promotion.”

This year’s gala, marking 37 years since BTAC began serving the local poor, homeless and seniors, was chaired by Vicki Williams, co-chaired by Maddy Horne, and made possible by the gala committee comprised of Susan Borders, Priscilla Davis, Darryl Forbes, Nancy Gams Korb, Jocelyn Paris, Teri Suarez and BTAC board members Dee Call, Dan Linegar, Jennifer Magerkurth, Ron Sorensen and Michael Walbrecht.

Always well-attend by representatives of the city, local businesses and other nonprofits, this year’s gala was also honored with the presence of City Clerk Margarita Campos, City Treasurer Donna Anderson, Deputy City Manager Joy Forbes, City Attorney Dennis Barlow, Airport Commissioner Don Brown, School Board Members Larry Applebaum, Roberta Reynolds and Debbie Kukta, School Superintendent Stan Carrizosa, Police Chief Scott LaChasse, Fire Chief Ray Krakowski, Burbank Chamber of Commerce President Gary Olson and longtime BTAC supporters Dave and Pat Augustine.

Others who enjoyed the evening included Tom and Susan Angel, Janice and Xavier Baldwin, Rich and Shanna Warren, Dan and Sandra Navarro, Bruce Redmann, T.J. Baptie, Brian and Linda Bowman, Vince and Kristy Carnagie, Lucy Burghdorf, Ron and Linda Barone, Kimberly Clark, Michael and Penny Forbes, Barry Gussow, Seta Javor, Kevin and Eileen Mitchell, Rick and Jeanette Meyer, Pete McGrath, Dan and Sandra Navarro, Sharon Olson, Bert and Judy Pierce, Nat and Alma Rubinfeld, Greg Simay, Dean and Lynn Shelby, George and Stacy Schumacher, Sandy Talamantes, Bob and Sandie Tomer, Shelly Bric, Ernie and Angela Burger, Nancy Carrizosa, Annelle Barlow and Tricia Krakowski.

The Burbank Temporary Aid Center was established in 1974 by the Ministerial Assn. and the Burbank Coordinating Council, who recognized the need for a centralized source of services for the community’s less fortunate.

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