For the upcoming Easter holiday alone, Zappala will donate at least 65 baskets to charities filled with Easter-themed gifts. The baskets will be auctioned off at spring fundraisers for the Verdugo Hills Council Boy Scouts of America, Kiwanis Club of Glendale, the Glendale Assn. for the Retarded and Soroptomist International of Glendale.
The Zone Academy, the Salvation Army Glendale Corps’ after-school program for middle-school students, helps Zappala make her holiday baskets. Zappala donates all of the materials and then goes to the after-school program to help students put baskets together. This year, Zappala has organized a day for the Zone Academy to dye Easter eggs and fill the baskets with candy.
Zappala is currently the Salvation Army’s advisory board chairwoman. Last Christmas, Zappala helped organize and decorate for the Salvation Army’s Kettle Kick Off Breakfast, where volunteers walk between tables with red collection kettles asking people at the event for donations. The event raised $3,400.
“Cathy made our first-ever Kettle Kick Off Breakfast a success, working countless hours on every detail, from the guest list, to the menu to the decorations, ” said Rio Ray, the captain of the Glendale Corps.
Christmas is a busy season for Zappala. She has also helped the Kiwanis Club of Glendale organize the annual Christmas Gala fundraiser for the past seven years.
Because of her hard work at the gala and her overall dedication as a Kiwanis member, Zappala was elected Kiwanian of the Year in 2005.
“She is a fabulous lady,” said Mercy Velazquez, the Kiwanis’ chairwoman of membership and past vice president. “She’s always willing to help.”
In addition, Zappala donates fleece blankets and Christmas gifts to foster children through the Family Adopts program at the Assistance League of Glendale. Last season, Zappala donated about 20 gifts.
“Cathy is a wonderful woman who has given her time, resources and talents to make Glendale a better place,” Ray said.
Zappala reflected upon why she enjoys donating her time and resources to charity.
“The more you give, the more it comes back to you,” she said.