United Way honors philanthropic community and partners

United Way of Santa Barbara County celebrates history of partnership with members of the organization’s Alexis de Tocqueville and Leadership giving circles.  

Santa Barbara, Ca, June 6, 2022 On June 2nd, 2022, United Way of Santa Barbara County joined local philanthropists and community members for an outdoor reception to celebrate the organization’s supporters in the Alexis de Tocqueville and Leadership giving circles. The event was sponsored by City National Bank and held at the home of Nick and Rosemary Mutton in Montecito.

In brief remarks to the group, Steve Ortiz, President and CEO of United Way stated, “Your focused philanthropic involvement has a lifetime of impact on the families we serve. Your willingness to contribute your leadership, insight, and experience on top of your generous contributions to our organization has adapted a very traditional funding model into an impactful philanthropic partnership that manifests in more efficient, targeted programming, and more resilient communities.”

The organization is currently seeing the highest annual revenue in its nearly 100-year history, thanks to support from the group in attendance and the recent partnership with the County of Santa Barbara in facilitating restricted federal funding for rental assistance and relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program also included personal remarks from Kavya Suresh, a local high school student and current volunteer at Fun in the Sun, United Way’s award-winning summer learning program for local students. Describing her experience as a mentor during the program, Suresh said, “Seeing the impact I made on the participants as their faces lit up with smiles when I arrived every morning affirmed my previous wish of becoming an educator. I want to continue to be a mentor for people who may just need one person to guide them on the right path to empower them to transform the world. We all have the power to be that person, not just for Fun in The Sun participants today, but for the creators, activists, leaders, and innovators of tomorrow.”

The event also acknowledged three of the organization’s supporters in each of the giving circles. Presented by United Way’s Board Chair, Cliff Lundberg, the Time, Talent, and Treasure award was given to David Prichard, who has supported United Way for more than 20 years with active participation on the organization’s Leadership Giving Committee, events like the annual Day of Caring service event, and as a Member of the United Way Board of Directors.

The Alexis de Tocqueville award for Outstanding Philanthropy honored Merryl and Chuck Zegar, philanthropists whose focus is both global and local. The Zegars’ support for the Fun in the Sun summer learning collaborative brought expansion and innovation to the program, allowing United Way to provide even more resources and experiences to participating students.

United Way leadership expressed appreciation to all attendees for their dedicated support and looks forward to continued partnerships in furthering the organization’s mission and vision of more resilient communities.


About United Way of Santa Barbara County

Since 1923, United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) has been a key leader in local efforts to empower children, families, and communities through its own unique collaborative programs and initiatives, partnership convening efforts, volunteer development, and funding. UWSBC’s mission is to enrich the lives of children and families and build resilient communities by leading local programs and partnerships that improve school readiness and academic achievement, financial empowerment, and crisis response and recovery. To learn more, please visit



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