MEDIA ADVISORY Media Contacts: Angel Pacheco/Chris Davis 805-687-3322
United Way of Santa Barbara County Hosts 94th Annual Awards Celebration on May 24
Awards Honor Outstanding Efforts of Individuals and Organizations in the Santa Barbara Community
UWSBC will be presenting 22 awards to community supporters who have played an instrumental role in the success of its 2016 campaign and award winning activities, such as Fun in the Sun, United for Literacy and United for Financial Empowerment. Recipients will include local volunteers, businesses, schools, and organizations. The night will include dinner, music, dancing and, of course, the awards ceremony.
“The Annual Awards Celebration is a fun occasion to publicly recognize and celebrate the people and organizations who help us build better futures all year round,” said Steve Ortiz, CEO and President of United Way of Santa Barbara County. “I’m always inspired by the hard work and dedication of our volunteers and community partners, who do this work above and beyond their everyday commitments. We’re all incredibly excited to thank everyone who helps to make our programs possible.”
Some of this year’s award winners include:
Goleta Union School District – Community Impact Organization of the Year
Over the past year, Goleta Union School District (GUSD) has worked diligently with UWSBC to launch the Goleta Literacy Partnership, a three-year, district-wide literacy improvement project. Because of the hard work of GUSD and its stellar staff, thousands of their students will be able to practice and develop their literacy skills through UWSBC’s Power Reading online literacy improvement program. In the six months since the Power Reading program began, the percentage of students working at or above grade level material within Power Reading software and who met the recommended usage has increased from 60 to 90 percent. Thank you, Goleta Union School District, for building better futures in Santa Barbara County!
GUSD Superintendent William Banning said the District is honored to receive this recognition from UWSBC. This ongoing partnership supports Fun in the Sun and the districtwide implementation of Power Reading’s Lexia Reading program.
“Through these programs and other productive relationships with United Way, there are students receiving more services than we would be able to offer on our own,” said Banning. “Both of these initiatives are providing opportunities for our neediest population to excel in school. And as a separate benefit, we are able to use qualitative performance data that supports highly individualized information about student growth and needed areas of improvement for any student in the District who participates with the Lexia Program. We are grateful to United Way of Santa Barbara County for their generous support.”
Atlantic Aviation – Outstanding New Philanthropic Partner
UWSBC is proud to honor Atlantic Aviation as this year’s Outstanding New Philanthropic Partner. Under the leadership of Brianne Whitney, General Manager of the Santa Barbara Area, Atlantic Aviation has gone from providing a corporate gift of $2,000 to nearly $8,000 in less than one year. Their generosity supports hundreds of students in four of United Way’s educational programs and partnerships. Because of Atlantic Aviation, hundreds of children and their families are on the path to brighter futures!
Brianne Whitney, Atlantic Aviation General Manager-SBA, said giving back to the communities Atlantic serves is more than just a commitment; it’s part of the organization’s DNA.
“United Way’s focus to identify and resolve community issues and make measurable changes in the community is truly inspiring,” said Whitney. “The UWSBC team has been a delight to work with. They are very responsive and take the time to talk about their goals as an organization. We look forward to growing our relationship and becoming more involved in all that they have to offer.”
Montecito Bank & Trust – Most Outstanding Employee and Corporate Campaign
Montecito Bank & Trust and its staff continue to be a vital partner in programming offered to the community by UWSBC. Employees are encouraged to work with local populations in need and their personal engagement goes unrivaled. Montecito Bank & Trust’s total employee volunteer time throughout the year exceeds all other banks combined. In addition to their volunteer efforts, Montecito Bank & Trust raised over $44,000 during their 2016-17 United Way Campaign. It is United Way’s honor and pleasure to recognize Montecito Bank & Trust for their generous donations of time and funding!
“Our team is so dedicated to the good work of United Way. It’s always an honor to work together to make a positive impact in our community,” said Janet Garufis, Montecito Bank & Trust’s Chairman & CEO.
94th Annual Awards Celebration
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Date: Wednesday, May 24
Location: Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore, 1260 Channel Drive, Santa Barbara, CA 93108
Tickets: $100 a ticket or $900 per table
About United Way of Santa Barbara County
United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) has the unique and positive vision that “in our community, everyone has a hopeful future.” Since 1923, UWSBC has served Santa Barbara County community through funding, volunteer development, and by utilizing its own unique initiatives that involve dozens of local non-profit and public sector agencies. UWSBC’s local community driven Power of Partnership™ priorities help children, families & seniors with a focus on Education, Income and Health.