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An endEARring evening of thanks

March 11, 2011
  • BTACs Barbara Howell, left, with Minnie Mouse and Joan McCarthy of The Walt Disney Company at last weeks Top Award For Citizenship fundraiser.
BTACs Barbara Howell, left, with Minnie Mouse and Joan…

From the inner sanctum of Disney’s Burbank campus to the most remote corners of the world, the sight of a large circle topped off with two smaller circles is immediately recognized as Mickey Mouse. Indeed, that trio of iconic circles representing Mickey’s head and ears has become the trademark of the Walt Disney Co.

It is fitting that Disney is recognized by the symbol of ears because throughout its 71 years as a corporate resident of Burbank, it has both heard and heeded the call to support and assist numerous local charitable and nonprofit organizations.

That long-term heeding of that call was honored this past week as the Walt Disney Co. accepted top honors from the Burbank Temporary Aid Center (BTAC) at the organization’s annual Burbank’s Top Award For Citizenship fundraiser.

Welcomed by the endEARring ones themselves — Mickey and Minnie Mouse, BTAC supporters were joined at the Castaway Restaurant for the gala evening by government officials including state Sen. Carol Liu, Burbank Vice Mayor Jess Talamantes and Council Members Dave Golonski, Gary Bric and David Gordon. Other notables in attendance included Kevin Callahan, who serves as Disney’s vice president of corporate citizenship; the studio’s Senior Manager of Global Community Outreach Joan McCarthy; former Burbank City Manager Mary Alvord, who served as the evening’s mistress of ceremonies; former Mayor Mary Lou Howard; BTAC Executive Director Barbara Howell; and the Chairman of BTAC’s Board of Directors, Will Rogers.


“Any city in the world would be ecstatic to be able to boast of being home to The Walt Disney Co.,” said Rogers. “Burbank not only enjoys that honor, but also benefits from the company’s enthusiastic support for community causes that run the gamut from education, to infrastructure, from charitable organizations, to civic promotion.”

This year’s gala, marking 37 years since BTAC began serving the local poor, homeless and seniors, was chaired by Vicki Williams, co-chaired by Maddy Horne, and made possible by the gala committee comprised of Susan Borders, Priscilla Davis, Darryl Forbes, Nancy Gams Korb, Jocelyn Paris, Teri Suarez and BTAC board members Dee Call, Dan Linegar, Jennifer Magerkurth, Ron Sorensen and Michael Walbrecht.

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