9th Annual Heroes Of Hospice Of Santa Barbara Honors Local Heroes. Keynote Is #1 New York Times Bestselling Author, Elizabeth Gilbert

Beloved Event will now be 100% Virtual this Year

Elizabeth Gilbert (Above)

On Wednesday, September 22nd at 6 p.m., Hospice of Santa Barbara (HSB) will hold its 9th Annual Heroes of Hospice (HOH) to honor local community heroes with Keynote Speaker and #1 New York Times bestselling author, Elizabeth Gilbert.  The program will include honorees, an online auction, and more.

***After consultation with local infectious disease experts, Hospice of Santa Barbara has made the decision to transition Heroes of Hospice of Santa Barbara to a completely virtual event this year. The health and wellness of those in the community are their top priority.

Throughout this difficult time in our community, the demand for HSB’s services has been growing.  Fundraisers like Heroes of Hospice allows the organization to reach our community members struggling with grief or life-threatening illness, free of charge.

Each year, HSB recognizes the outstanding organizations and individuals who play a key role in service to those in the Santa Barbara community and/or support the organization’s mission of providing care to anyone experiencing the impact of a serious illness or grieving the death of a loved one.

HSB will honor Mi Vida, Mi Voz with the Partnership Award, the Beloved Bear Program with the Volunteer Award, Van Do-Reynoso, MPH, PhD, SB County’s Public Health Director, with the Medical award and Gary Simpson, owner of Home Improvement Center, with the Legacy Award.

Elizabeth Gilbert is best known for her memoir, Eat Pray Love, famously chronicling the year she spent traveling the world after a shattering divorce. In the years since, people from all walks of life have looked to Gilbert for guidance in leading brave, authentic, and creative lives. Elizabeth’s bestselling nonfiction book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, unpacks her own generative process and shares her wise, witty insights into the mysteries of curiosity and inspiration. Written in Elizabeth’s charming and conversational voice, Big Magic underscores Elizabeth’s status as a mentor for spiritual seekers and introspective explorers. In her presentation, Elizabeth will share how to discover creativity, release fear, and become more resilient, especially during this tumultuous time of COVID-19 and our re-entry back to “normal” life.

“We are very excited to have Elizabeth Gilbert as our Keynote Speaker. Her messages of transformation and moving forward from what is holding us back will be powerful for our attendees,” said David Selberg, CEO of Hospice of Santa Barbara.

Hospice of Santa Barbara’s “Heroes” event will be held September 22nd  at 6 p.m. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are now available. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit: www.hospiceofsb.org/heroes or contact Cheryll Puyot at cpuyot@hospiceofsb.org (805) 770-5291.


This year’s Heroes of Hospice award recipients are:

Partnership Award – Mi Vida, Mi Voz 

In response to the pandemic, Mi Vida, Mi Voz (MVMV) pivoted quickly to meet the need for timely, trusted information in Spanish — collating community resources in five basic categories – Health, Basic Needs (food, financial support, housing, legal), Mental Health, Children & Families, and Seniors – and sharing them in both Spanish and English to a network of trusted partners. Since then, MVMV has been able to establish ongoing partnerships with over 180 organizations, a network of over 550 community champions, and a reach of over 10,000 Latino families countywide.


Volunteer Award: Beloved Bear Program

The Beloved Bear Program was started in 2009 and provides comfort to adults and children grieving the loss of a family member or friend. Using a favorite article of clothing belonging to the loved one, Hospice of Santa Barbara volunteers handcraft an adorable stuffed bear or pillow to provide a tangible memory to be cherished. A small heart is lovingly sewn inside each bear. The Beloved Bear Program has created over 300 bears for our community.


Medical Award: Van Do-Reynoso, MPH, PhD

Van Do-Reynoso, MPH, PhD, is the Public Health Director for Santa Barbara County. Helping to coordinate our community’s response, Van has led the county through the ongoing pandemic and is a leading spokesperson in the Public Health Department. Her 12-to-15-hour daily shifts consist of coordinating response efforts, mitigating community needs, briefing elected officials, monitoring information from the state, and meeting with her response team.


Legacy Award: Gary Simpson

Gary Simpson is the owner and president of the Home Improvement Center, where he has helped provide critical support to many beloved local charities, including Hospice of Santa Barbara. Gary is a long-time supporter and champion of Hospice of Santa Barbara as is his partner, Jill Nida. Gary and his mother, Eleanor Simpson, both provided for Hospice of Santa Barbara in their estate plans and are members of Hospice of Santa Barbara’s Legacy Society.  Gary and Jill are also valued members of Hospice of Santa Barbara’s Shining Light Society.


Hospice of Santa Barbara

Hospice of Santa Barbara provides professional counseling, support groups, and patient care services free of charge to individuals and families who are grieving the death of a loved one or experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness. Hospice of Santa Barbara also provides counseling in our offices and on fifteen local junior and high school campuses to children and teens who are grieving the loss of a loved one. For more information about Hospice of Santa Barbara, including volunteer opportunities, call (805) 563-8820 or visit www.hospiceofsantabarbara.org.

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