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On The Town:

Supporters do some careful walking

April 22, 2009|By DAVID LAURELL

The Family Service Agency of Burbank officials have embraced a vision to imagine a city where families live in peace and no one walks alone.

In support of that vision, more than 200 Burbank residents and city employees gathered Saturday at the Chandler Bike Path for the second annual Care Walk of Burbank.

Convening at Whitnall Park, Family Service Agency staff and volunteers checked in registrants who then began the 5K trek.

Among those who welcomed partici- pants were Council- woman Anja Reinke, Burbank Library Services Director Sharon Cohen, Burbank Unified school board member Debbie Kukta, Pat Smola, Vernell Carranza, Gloria Stenberg, Isabel Abolian, Terra Bridgeham, Chris Ramos, Heather Sardella, Ginny Goodwin and Laurie Bleick, who is the agency’s executive director.

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“We’re thrilled over the support we have gotten for this year’s walk,” Bleick said. “I would love to see this event continue to grow and ultimately become our main fundraiser of the year.”

Among the earliest supporters to hit the path were George Mauney, Mary Christensen, Burbank Police Chief Tim Stehr accompanied by his dog, Bella, Sue Georgino, Michael Forbes and Ruth Davidson-Guerra of the city’s Community Development Department.

Making the walk with a stylish flair were Mekah Leins, Kathryn Ely and Lauren Shryock of Magnolia Park’s Wax Poetic Salon and Spa.

Others who came out to support the agency in Saturday’s walk were Vice Mayor Gary Bric, Councilman-elect Jess Talamantes and his daughter, Keristin, Burbank Fire Chief Tracy Pansini and his wife, Dana, Burbank Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Shanna Warren, Elise Stearns-Niesen, Terri Stein, Kathleen Linblom, Vic Georgino, Charlie Reinke, Eric Hansen, Mickey DePalo, and a contingent of Burbank firefighters.

Established in 1953 to assist families by providing low- or no-cost professional services, the agency provides individual, couple and family counseling, parenting programs, violence intervention, art and music therapy, child abuser treatment program, school-based counseling programs, anger management and community outreach services.

With a staff of 85 professionals, the agency serves more than a thousand members of the Burbank community on a monthly basis.

From confused teens, a troubled parent or a broken couple to lonely individuals, and battered women and their children, agency makes life-changing, and often life-saving, differences, in the lives of our community’s youth and families.

Upon completion of the walk, participants were welcomed back to the park by volunteers Haylee Garcia, Brianna Matallana, Isabelle Caronna, Samantha Mellon and Bailey and Savannah Simmons who encouraged them to visit the booths of the event’s sponsors.


 DAVID LAURELL can be reached by e-mail dlaurell@aol.com or (818) 563-1007.

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