On August 13, Toluca Lake Beautification Partners (TLBP) hosted a gala event at The Garland to celebrate the spirit of giving back and honor those who have helped make Toluca Lake a thriving place to live and work. With many of the community’s dedicated civic and business leaders in attendance, the evening included music, dinner, raffles and an auction, with all proceeds benefiting the beautification of Toluca Lake.
Mistresses of ceremonies Alicyn Packard and Becky Baeling Lythgoe (both past Toluca Lake Magazine cover stars, as they noted) kicked things off with an original song about the neighborhood before awards were presented to Shannon and Mark Hartman, Kari Negri and Craig Strong for their tireless and wide-ranging community service; Comcast NBCUniversal for serving as a business champion for TLBP’s work and Toluca Lake as a whole; and Ryan Altoon for his outstanding community leadership, including as the co-founder and chair of TLBP. City Councilmember Paul Krekorian and State Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian were on hand to present commendations to the honorees.
The event was also an opportunity to highlight TLBP’s success in making Toluca Lake a safer, more sustainable and more vibrant community. The program concluded with an exciting announcement by Nazarian demonstrating the power of TLBP’s work to influence and inspire. “When you see a group of individuals coming together, harnessing their individual talents and putting their might — whether financial or expertise — to benefit the greater community where they live, you like to see that as an elected official, and you want to continue emulating that and hope that it catches on in other places,” he explained. After consulting with TLBP on how its model of local partnerships could be extended to beautification projects in other neighborhoods, Nazarian was able to secure $2 million from the state budget to fund community improvements throughout greater Toluca Lake, North Hollywood, Valley Village and other areas of the East Valley, with the funds to be administered by the city and used by TLBP working in partnership with other local organizations. “I want you all to know,” he told the assembled community members, “this should speak to the strength of what you’ve been able to accomplish and what I want to see you accomplish.”
Photos by Daniel Deitch