On The Town:

A day of remembering, fighting back

June 25, 2008|By DAVID LAURELL

Thirty-three Burbank teams gave up 24 hours of their life to help save the lives of others on Saturday.

They did it by walking 24 straight hours to raise awareness and funds for cancer research.

The “Relay for Life,” staged at Robert Gross Park and presented under the theme “Celebrate, Remember and Fight Back,” saw participants and volunteers brave 100-plus-degree temperatures to share educational information, offer support for survivors, celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer and remember those who have lost their fight with the disease.

Following Katie Trimble’s beautiful rendition of the national anthem, the event’s opening ceremonies commenced with welcoming comments from coordinator Stephanie Ives.


“We have gathered together today for the same purpose — to put an end to cancer,” said Ives whose 33-year old brother, John Metzcus, is fighting the disease.

Burbank Mayor Dave Golonski also welcomed and thanked the assemblage for their participation.

“This is a disease that has touched every one of us and in some cases multiple times,” Golonski said.

“It takes a community to battle back, and that’s what all of you are doing today.”

Among the special guests in attendance were cancer survivor Jennifer Anderson, who led the relay, actor Sean Holland and Sheryl Buhr of Quiet Hair Growing who, with her scissors in tow, gratefully accepted a donation of hair from Gin Williams, a breast cancer survivor who has donated her hair three times over the past five years.

The relay teams that participated in Saturday’s event represented a diverse cross-section of the community from businesses, civic organizations and schools to churches and city government.

Among those on hand for the event were incoming City Manager Mike Flad and his daughter, Bella; Fire Chief Tracy Pansini and his wife, Dana; Council members Anja Reinke and Marsha Ramos, City Treasurer Donna Anderson and Jennifer Wyatt, the city’s director of information technologies.

More attending were Jeanette Meyer of Burbank Water and Power; Assistant Community Development Director Ruth Davidson- Guerra; Burbank Police Capt. Janice Lowers and her daughter, Kelli; Terry Stevenson and Gina Oh of the city attorney’s office; Jenny Besse, of the American Cancer Society; and Sam Asheghian, Don Farquhar and Hazel and Harvey Brenmen representing the Kiwanis Club of Burbank.

Other participants included Community Development Director Sue Georgino, Public Works Director Bonnie Teaford, Library Services Director Sharon Cohen, Burbank Park Commissioner Steven Ferguson and many others including Carolyn Haywood, Connie Trimble, Meridith Dawson, Gaby Flores, Michael and Joy Forbes, Sana Ford, Chad Foydl, Tracy Steinkruger, Carol-Ann Coates, Andrew Harmon, Bob Kinzel, Mindy Ladin, Joe McDougall, Hazel Mendoza, Sherre Nakamura, Lisa Navas, Paula Ohan, Cory Wilkerson and Rosemary Worthen.

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

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