HomeCommunity NewsDavid Laurell: Burbank Temporary Aid Center Celebrates 50 Years of Service

David Laurell: Burbank Temporary Aid Center Celebrates 50 Years of Service


Looking back at the Burbank Temporary Aid Center’s 50 years of service, the organization presented its annual gala last week with the theme “Honoring Our Past, Present and Future.”

In 1974, Burbank’s Ministerial Association and Coordinating Council joined forces to establish the Burbank Temporary Aid Center, an organization envisioned to be a centralized source of services for individuals and low-income families struggling to get by financially.

The nonprofit has worked for the past half-century with government agencies, local businesses and faith-based communities, and individual supporters to provide help to the working poor, veterans, the unhoused, crime victims and senior citizens.

With the assistance of businesses, churches and volunteers, BTAC has established a legacy of providing compassion in meeting the short-term needs for food and basic services for those in need.

Keeping the festive evening of fundraising moving along was emcee Stephanie Jonke.

Recognizing the vital role the aforementioned entities have played in making BTAC’s mission a reality, it was apropos that this year’s gala honored two individuals, the late Rev. Larry Stamper and volunteer Dorothy Murray, and an organization, the Burbank Chamber of Commerce, who have symbolized the support BTAC has relied upon to touch countless lives.

More than 300 supporters gathered at The Castaway Burbank to pay tribute to the evening’s honorees and raise much-needed funds for BTAC. Nancy Gams-Korb, who serves as the chairperson of the BTAC board of directors, welcomed attendees gathered in the restaurant’s Starlight Ballroom.

“While we are celebrating BTAC’s 50th anniversary, tonight’s gathering is more than that,” said Gams-Korb. “It is a testament to the enduring spirit of compassion and community that defies BTAC and to honor those whose dedication has been instrumental in shaping our journey.”

The evening’s honored guests included Jim Stamper and Judie Wilkie, who represented their father, Larry Stamper, who died in 2021, Chamber of Commerce CEO Jamie Keyser Thomas, and Murray, who has logged more than two decades of volunteer service to BTAC and their clients.

Larry Stamper was a founding member of BTAC. He also served as the senior pastor at Burbank’s First United Methodist Church, a member of the Burbank City Council, and as the city’s mayor.

Murray has been called an “extraordinary volunteer” and a “volunteering tsunami.” She has devoted between 4,500 and 5,000 hours of volunteer service to BTAC over the past two decades.

The Burbank Chamber of Commerce was honored for providing a foundation to support the business community for its role in achieving a stable economy and employment that provides both financial and in-kind assistance to organizations such as BTAC.

Roger Koll, Vicki Williams, Leslie Smith, Michael Walbrecht, Jeanette Meyer and Jess Talamantes were among the BTAC board members in attendance.

Last week’s gala, chaired by Vicki Williams and presided over by entertainment writer, producer and performer Stephanie Jonke, included a live auction conducted by Justin Worsham. Among the elected officials in attendance were Mary Hovagimian representing Rep. Adam Schiff, Arda Tchakian representing state Sen. Anthony Portantino, Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, Burbank Mayor Nick Schultz, City Councilwomen Zizette Mullins and Tamala Takahashi, City Clerk Kimberley Clark, and Burbank Unified School District Board member Armond Aghakhanian.

Other notables in attendance were Barbara Howell who serves as the executive director of BTAC, Burbank City Manager Justin Hess, Assistant City Manager Courtney Padget, City Attorney Joe McDougall, Police Chief Michael Albanese, Parks and Recreation Director Marisa Garcia, and Management Services Director Betsy McClinton.

For more information about BTAC’s services, donation needs, and financial or volunteer opportunities, visit burbanktemporaryaidcenter.org.

Jim Stamper and Judie Wilke represented their late father, the Rev. Larry Stamper, who was a founding member of BTAC.
Honored for her dedicated volunteer service to BTAC is Dorothy Murray with Mary Hovagimian, representing the office of Rep Adam Schiff.
Honored guest Jamie Keyser Thomas of the Burbank Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Nick Schultz enjoyed last week’s BTAC gala.
Justin Worsham oversaw a live auction that included items from the L.A. Dodgers and The Walt Disney Company.

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

First published in the March 23 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

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