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On the Town: Coordinating Council delivers the goods

December 24, 2013|By David Laurell
  • Packing up their truck and getting ready to deliver a sackfull of goodies are, from left, Lily, Tom and Maile Neston.
Packing up their truck and getting ready to deliver a sackfull… (Photo by David Laurell )

Just as he had asked us to imagine a better world and to give peace a chance, singer/songwriter John Lennon also posed a question in his 1971 holiday offering “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).”

“And so this is Christmas,” sang the ex-Beatle, “and what have you done?”

What have we done?

It is a question we all pose to ourselves on this day, as the holiday season hits its crescendo, and we move into the final few days of the year.

In Burbank, the volunteers and supporters of the Burbank Coordinating Council have been able to answer that question for over 80 years by knowing they have done something that has made a tremendous difference in the lives of families who, without their care, concern, giving and work, would have seen Christmas slip by without a special dinner and gifts.

Every Christmas season, with assistance from local churches and temples, PTAs, studios, businesses, service clubs, the Burbank Temporary Aid Center, the city of Burbank and individual residents, the Coordinating Council’s Holiday Basket Program matches up families who are in need with those who “adopt” them.

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This year, with 525 Burbank families provided for, the assembling and distribution of the baskets was coordinated by former Burbank Mayor Dave Golonski and his wife, Barbara Sykes.

With the campus of George Washington Elementary School serving as the hub, volunteers with vans and trucks were in full-on delivery mode last week to make sure the food and gifts would get to their destinations and be ready to go for today’s celebrations.

Among those who were out on the delivery routes were City Manager Mark Scott, former Mayor Bob Kramer, Burbank Water and Power General Manager Ron Davis and his wife, Cheryl, former Burbank Police Capt. Janice Lowers and her daughter, Kelli, and Burbank Public Information Officer Drew Sugars as well as members of Job’s Daughters, the Burbank Fire Department and the Sunrise Rotary Club.

Also standing in for Santa, complete with the appropriate head-wear, were Ken and Lynn Hearn, who have made adopting a needy family and delivering items an annual tradition.

“We’ve been doing this for 15 years now,” said Lynn Hearn. “It is very rewarding and has become a part of our holiday season.”

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

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