Society

Kiwanis 2012 Gala Chairwoman Marsha Jackson, center, with honorees, Ken and Rose Nielsen arriving at Lakeside Golf Club for the organizations 15th Annual Gala. (August 28, 2012)

Just a decade short of being a centenarian, like its host city, the Kiwanis Club of Burbank staged its 15th annual gala fundraiser at Lakeside Golf Club this past week. Chaired by Marsha Jackson, this event, established in 1998, which honors dedicated Burbank residents along with business and civic leaders for their leadership, compassion and generosity, this year tipped its hat to recently retired Woodbury University President Kenneth Nielsen and his wife, Rose.

Nielsen, who served as the Glenoaks Boulevard university's 12th chief executive, came to Woodbury in 1996 after serving as the president of the College of Saint Mary in Omaha.

During his time at Woodbury, Nielsen oversaw major accomplishments and milestones, including the development of new master's degree programs, the establishment of a San Diego campus, record increases in endowment, annual giving and alumni participation, and the planning and implementation of major on-campus renovation and construction projects.

Last week's gala, made possible by Kiwanis Club of Burbank President Harvey Branman, gala Co-chairs Gary Peterson and Wally Kendig, and the event committee comprised of Ron Rothacher, Joe Terranova, Bob Penrod, Cynthia Faust, Nancy Serpa, Lisa Malm, Phil Jue, Hazel Schrefel, Angela Akmakjian, Don Hurst, Edsel Curry and Hamilton Lloyd, will add well over $40,000 to the $650,000-plus raised by this event since its inception.

“The proceeds from our annual gala have helped countess youth groups and other worthy causes which are so important to us all,” Jackson told the assemblage.

“As you enjoy this evening's activities, we hope you will gain additional pleasure as you remember every dollar you help raise is helping to make someone's life a little better or a child's smile a little brighter.”

Among the notables who enjoyed the evening were Burbank Vice Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, recently appointed City Treasurer Debbie Kukta, School Board Members Ted Bunch and Larry Applebaum, former Mayor Larry Stamper and Deputy City Manager Joy Forbes.

Others in attendance included Sharon Terranova, Michael Forbes, Nan Rae Parker, Bruce and Leslie Lilly, Chuck and Nancy Johnson, Chris Gargaro, Joan Chandler, Sam and Millie Engel, Bob and Georgine Archer, Tom and Diane Barber, Charles and Veronica Chavoor, John and Mary Jo Hjelmstrom, Kerk Brown, Jane Lloyd, Mary Hurst, Joyce Patterson, Mike Shepard, Chuck and Judy Stuart, Lucy Burghdorf and Laureen Endoso.

Among the numerous nonprofit charities and organizations the Kiwanis Club of Burbank has supported over the years are the Roy and Patricia Disney Cancer Center, the Boys and Girls Club of the East San Fernando Valley, Burbank and Burroughs high school music programs, Habitat for Humanity and the Burbank YMCA.

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