Among the greatest quotes to capture the act of caring were said by two legendary philosophers who each saw the world, and those in it, from a unique perspective.
Cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead perfectly captured the power of caring when she said: “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”
As for the emotional aspect of caring, that was summed up well by a silly ol’ bear with a penchant for honey, playing Poohsticks and Woozle hunting: “Some people care too much,” said Winnie-the-Pooh (with the caring guidance of A.A. Milne). “I think it’s called love.”
This past week caring for others was clearly on display as hundreds of individuals laced up their walking shoes and made their way to Johnny Carson Park to participate in the Family Service Agency of Burbank’s 15th annual 5K Care Walk.
Along with raising funds and awareness for the agency’s school-based, no-cost counseling programs that offer two student care centers, special education services and a staff of mental health professionals at 19 Burbank school campuses, the day also saw four Burbankers recognized for their caring spirit and support of FSA: Tim Murphy, Gloria Salas, Brenda Burroughs and Craig Durling.
Lauded for their volunteer efforts in caring service to others, the quartet were honored by Mary Alvord who serves as FSA’s board chairperson.
Murphy, who most Burbankers know as a former member of the City Council, is a retired superior court commissioner. A graduate of Loyola Law School, Murphy was first elected to the council in 1989. The end of that decade presented Burbank with numerous challenges and opportunities. The aerospace giant Lockheed had left the city which brought about a serious need to diversify and expand Burbank’s business base. Murphy was a member of the council, who facing that huge issue, created the Media District to lure larger and more prominent media-related companies. He also served during a time of vast revitalization in the downtown area that saw the mall built on 40 empty acres.
Three decades later, in 2018, Murphy once again took a seat on the council when he was appointed to replace Councilman Will Rogers who had died of cancer. His second stint on the council saw him face more challenging times in that the city was in the throes of dealing with a budget crisis.
Always a champion of youth, and a driving force in bringing the Boys & Girls Club to Burbank, Murphy has a longtime history of being a strong advocate for the homeless, those dealing with mental health issues, affordable housing, seniors, well-planned and balanced development, and the protection of schools, neighborhoods, and tenants facing eviction. Today, operating in private practice, he specializes in family and criminal law while continuing his long-time commitment to the work of FSA.
Murphy’s wife, Salas, also has a longstanding commitment to bettering the quiet of life for Burbankers. She has fought for social justice initiatives, participated in campaigns that empower women, and has served as a leader with the Zonta Club of Burbank, both locally and district wide. An engaged and passionate member of Burbank for Armenia and the Burbank Human Relations Council, Salas is also a moderator of the Peace and Justice Ministry at Saint Francis Xavier Church.
Prior to last week’s Care Walk, Murphy and Salas were presented with the Jeri Buliavac Service Award given in memory of Jeri Lynne Buliavac, who died of cancer in 2014. Shortly after Buliavac was diagnosed, friends staged a “Shoe Your Support” event in which they collected new and gently used athletic shoes that were donated to FSA, which she embraced as her favorite charity.
The day also saw Burroughs recognized for her dedication to numerous local nonprofit organizations and Craig Durling, for the time and sound equipment he has donated to the Care Walk over the past decade.
Burroughs, a dedicated community volunteer, has also played an instrumental role with the Burbank Arts for All Foundation, the Burbank Educational Foundation, the Renal Support Network, and Relay for Life. Durling, a retired police officer who served as a Burbank police reserve officer, now provides sound and DJ services for events.
Along with entertainment provided by the Dolores Huerta Middle School Jazz Band, participants in last week’s walk also enjoyed a pancake breakfast donated by the Luis Lara family and prepared by Command Performance Catering.
Among the many notables and dignitaries in attendance were FSA’s Executive Director Laurie Bleick and Assistant Director Chris Ramos, state Sen. Anthony Portantino, Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, Vice Mayor Nick Schultz, Councilmembers Zizette Mullins and Nikki Pérez, Burbank Police Chief Michael Albanese, and former Mayors Marsha Ramos and Anja Reinke.
All proceeds from this annual walk go to support FSA which, last year alone, served more than 2,700 local students.
For more information about the agency’s services, volunteer and philanthropic opportunities, visit familyserviceagencyofburbank.org.
DAVID LAURELL may be reached by email at email@example.com or (818) 563-1007.
First published in the June 3 print issue of the Burbank Leader.