Kiwanians gather for all-American gala

Independence Day may still be weeks away, but the Kiwanis Club of Burbank got a start on celebrating the spirit of America with a patriotic-themed gala on June 4 at Lakeside Golf Club. A well-attended event since its inaugural gathering 14 years ago, this year’s gala honored longtime community activist Sunder Ramani and the Burbank Healthcare Foundation, of which he is a board member.

Since 1998, the local Kiwanians have honored numerous individuals who have demonstrated dedicated commitment, leadership, compassion and generosity to the community. Ramani, a local businessman and post-production media executive, perfectly fits that bill, with a resume that includes more than two decades of service to Burbank in numerous capacities and on dozens of boards and committees.

Emceed by Brooks Gardner, last week’s event saw close to 300 of the city’s movers and shakers welcomed by the event’s chairwoman, Marsha Jackson, vice chair Gary Peterson, and Kiwanis Club of Burbank President Cynthia Faust.

Among the special guests in attendance were the honoree’s wife, Mandy Ramani, and the couple’s son and daughter, Kira and Collin. Other notables included Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), Mayor Jess Talamantes and his wife, Sandy, Councilmember Gary Bric and his wife, Shelly, Councilmember Emily Gabel-Luddy, City Treasurer Donna Anderson, School Board Members Ted Bunch, Dave Kemp, Roberta Reynolds and Debbie Kukta, former-Mayor Bob Bowne and his wife, Dianne, Police Commissioner Nat Rubinfeld and Park, Recreation and Community Services Board Member Barry Gussow.

Staged by committee members Ron Rothacher, Joe Terranova, Stephen Veres, Wally Kendig, Don Hurst, Edsel Curry, Gary Kessler and Hamilton Lloyd, this year’s gala was made possible by supporters Robert and Georgine Archer, Hazel Schrefel, Ray and Joyce Brown, Gene and Diane Cripe, Cathy Curry, David and Shirley Elliot, Tom and Theresa Engman, Sherman Spiegal, Chris Gargaro, Joan Chandler, Bob and Sydney Heins, John and Mary Jo Hjelmstrom, Mark and Evalina Hungerford, Mary Hurst, Neal and Janet Jack, Diane Green, Bruce and Leslie Lilly, Jane Lloyd, Bob and Nikki Penrod, Joyce Peterson, Barry and Cindy Ross, Rod, Lynn and Mirta Rothacher, Ron and Debbie Spang, Chuck and Judy Stuart, Elizabeth Veres, Midge Gisel, Sharon Terranova, Vera Rubin and Phil Jue.

Others who enjoyed the evening, which featured silent and live auctions, dinner and patriotic music, included Laurie Bleick, Barbara Howell, Lucy Burghdorf, Gary and Tracy Canfield, Vic and Sue Georgino, Stan and Nancy Carrizosa, Sharon Cohen, Ron and Cheryl Davis, Gerri Dickinson, Laureen Endoso, Sam and Millie Engel, Kay Farquhar, Michael and Joy Forbes, Robert and Sue Ann Gordon, Maxine Hurwitz, Judy Brookshine, Walt and Judy Gragg, Barry Gussow, Bruce Osgood and Alma Rubinfeld.

Since its formation 89 year ago, the Kiwanis Club of Burbank has provided support to countless charities and organizations that have included arts programs in Burbank’s two public high schools. The club also has supported the Burbank Temporary Aid Center, Relay for Life, the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and the East Valley, the Salvation Army, the Burbank Kids Community Dental Clinic and the Burbank YMCA. Along with those organizations, funds raised at this year’s gala will also support the anti-bullying program in local schools.

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