Foundation named 43rd Assembly District’s 2019 Nonprofit of the Year

On the State Assembly floor, Foundation Executive Director, Trena Pitchford, Assemblymember Laura Friedman, and Foundation Board member Suzanne Weerts, celebrate the honor of the 43rd Assembly District’s 2019 Nonprofit of the Year.

At Burbank Arts for All Foundation’s May Community Exchange, Sarojini Lall, District Director, Office of Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), announced that Burbank Arts for All Foundation was selected as the 43rd Assembly District’s 2019 California Nonprofit of the Year!

On June 5th, Foundation Board of Directors member, Suzanne Weerts, and Executive Director, Trena Pitchford, represented the Foundation and traveled to Sacramento to join one hundred other nonprofit organizations being honored by their state senators and assemblymembers at the California Nonprofits Day celebratory Luncheon, hosted by California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits), on June 5th.

Suzanne Weerts shared,

“It was humbling to be on the lawn of our State Capitol surrounded by so many nonprofit leaders who impact countless lives in California communities each and every day. I know I speak for the Foundation’s Board when I say that we are grateful to Assemblywoman Friedman and her staff, both in Burbank and in Sacramento.”

Assemblymember Friedman said,

“The Burbank Arts for All Foundation is one of the most successful nonprofits in my district. For over a decade, they’ve helped open the doors to a quality arts education for tens of thousands of students in Burbank schools. As a direct result, each of these kids has been given opportunities, knowledge, and experiences that have enriched their lives and prepared them for the future.”

During the luncheon, Foundation representatives were also greeted by Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D–La Cañada Flintridge) and Senate Majority Leader Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), who represent Burbank in the State Senate. Opening remarks were provided by the Honorable Monique Limon, Assemblymember, 37th District, and Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector, who thanked all of the nonprofits for their service, stating that nonprofits are the backbone of our communities and the economic engine that employs millions across the state.

According to “Causes Count,” a 2016 report commissioned by CalNonprofits, the nonprofit sector is the 4th largest industry in the state, employing nearly one million people. Each year, California nonprofits generate over $200 billion in revenue and bring in $40 billion in revenue from outside of California. The unpaid labor contributed by volunteers at nonprofits is equivalent to 450,000 full-time jobs every year.

Jan Masaoka, CEO of the CalNonprofits, explained,

“Nonprofits are often hidden in plain sight. California Nonprofits Day is an opportunity for our elected officials to celebrate the good work they see nonprofits doing in their districts, and for everyone to appreciate the collective impact of nonprofits in our communities.”

Keynote speaker, the Honorable Holly J. Mitchell, California State Senator, District 30, encouraged the more than 500 guests in attendance to work together to move the needle forward in our collective communities, emphasizing that no sector across the state can do it alone: not the nonprofit sector, the government, the private sector, nor the philanthropic sector.

As part of the celebratory day, Foundation representatives also discussed the state’s budget process with Assemblymember Friedman and received updates regarding bills supported by Burbank Unified’s recent Resolution 34, which calls for support to increase funding for California’s public schools. In addition, the Foundation and Assemblymember Friedman discussed jointly inviting State Superintendent of Instruction, Tony Thurmond, to the Glendale and Burbank area to tour the local public schools and meet with District leaders, parents, and community leaders.

Jill Vander Borght and Tom Vice, Co-Chairs of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, jointly stated,

“Burbank Arts for All Foundation is deeply humbled to be recognized by Assemblymember Laura Friedman as Nonprofit of the Year for District 43. Working together with the community, the Foundation believes all students should have equal access to a quality arts education that nurtures a balanced approach to life, develops 21st century skills for any career path a student chooses, and further enriches a healthy community and creative economy in Burbank.”

About California Nonprofits Day: 

Each year, California legislators are invited to choose a Nonprofit of the Year in their district and come together to celebrate at the California Nonprofits Day Luncheon. This event fosters relationships between elected officials and nonprofits doing important work in their communities. Since the first California Nonprofits Day in 2016 more than 350 nonprofits have been honored by their Assemblymembers and Senators. To see a program and a list of all of the 2019 honorees, click this link.



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