Cocktails in a secret garden: Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara

Breast Cancer Resource CenterThe stunning ocean views and lush backdrop of Cynthia and Eric Spivey‘s Montecito garden were surpassed only by the outpouring of generosity and good will at the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara‘s ninth annual garden party benefit. Chairs Daryl Stegall and Pamela Massey and their hard-working committee outdid themselves this year, raising more than $138,000 to benefit the BCRC, which provides a warm and welcoming place where people with breast cancer, and their loved ones, find a caring network of people (mostly cancer survivors) ready to answer questions, lend an ear, and help them obtain information to make informed decisions.

KTYD DJ Matt McAllister worked his auctioneer’s magic touch through a fabulous bevy of auction items, including a Surfing Photo Safari with Jeff Divine, which sold for $10,000; a one-of-kind custom necklace created by local jeweler Daniel Gibbings just for the event; a Sun Valley Snowboarding Vacation with World Champion and inventor of the snowboard, Tom Sims; and an evening of dinner and poker with Peter Noone, lead singer of Herman’s Hermits. Guests inhaled the smells of gorgeous roses from Rose Story Farm, sampled tasty treats from Ernie Price Catering and enjoyed the new Boomerang Australian Vodka and Wattle Creek wines, but perhaps the afternoon’s most moving moments came when former Assemblywoman Hannah Beth Jackson shared her story of receiving comfort from the BCRC after being diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago.

The Breast Cancer Resource Center celebrated its tenth year of service in Santa Barbara on October 13, helping more than 6,000 clients with in-house services–such as support groups; complimentary massage, Reflexology and Reiki treatments; and mentor programs–as well as community outreach and education programs.

Originally published in Noozhawk

Something spooky this way comes

Image courtesy of samattiw,

Image courtesy of samattiw,

Five billion dollars buys a lot of wax lips, talking Draculas and glow-in-the-dark plastic maggots. The National Retail Federation (NRF) says that Halloween spending will be up 10 percent this year, carving out an absolutely mind-numbing, record-breaking chunk of cash from our pockets.

Why are we so enamored with inflatable skeletons, candy corn, and fake cobwebs? I’ve got a few theories:

Halloween is the naughty little sister of Christmas.

There are parties and candy associated with both, but little sis (Halloween) is a lot looser than big sis (Christmas). She doesn’t feel that same sense of tradition and responsibility. She just wants to have fun. Instead of mistletoe, which must be grown or purchased, little sis (Halloween) has cobwebs, which you can find for free at my house. Big sis (Christmas) takes herself so seriously, with all that ritual stuff about keeping traditions alive, not to mention the cooking, the tipping, the shopping, the wrapping, the cards. … No wonder she gets migraines.

Halloween has gone to the dogs.

Talk about tricks for treats, one in ten Halloween celebrants plan on putting Fifi or Fido in some kind of frightful frock this year. That’s 7.4 million furry friends getting in touch with their inner Devils (12 %), pumpkins (9.2%), witches (4.5%), princesses (3.8%) and angels (3.3%). What about Cat Dog? That’s always my pet fish’s favorite costume.

“Many consumers who own pets think of them as family members,” said NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin. “Pet owners will go all out to include dogs, cats and other critters in Halloween festivities, including trick-or-treating, handing out candy or even celebrating at a friend or family members’ house.”

Halloween is the new Christmas.

It comes earlier, lasts longer, and gets more expensive every year. While the boatloads of Mini Hershey Bars and paper pumpkin decorations that adorn store aisles just minutes after the Valentine’s Day conversation hearts and cupids are put on clearance pale in comparison to the plethora of dancing Santas, candy canes and fake snow, that’s only because my Christmas shopping theory of “one for you, one for me” is finally catching on. Otherwise, Halloween would be winning the consumer consumption race by now. Just think about how many of your Halloween purchases are edible (Reese’s peanut butter cups must be consumed with a week or they will haunt you), potentially delinquent (pumpkins will either end up as roadkill or as a landscape accoutrement to toilet paper), or non-repeatable (like that Monica Lewinsky costume from 1998).

The only “green” thing about Halloween is the glow-in-the-dark goblins.

The Grinch stole Christmas, but the adults stole Halloween.

Increasingly, adults have been elbowing children out of the way to claim the creepiest holiday as their own. Nearly a third of adults will be hitting the town in costume this year and I’ll be right with them. After all, what’s not to like about a holiday where you can dress up in an esoteric costume and pat yourself on the back for being smarter than other people when you continually have to explain what you are. Or a holiday where you can knock on someone’s door while wearing a mask and don’t have to worry about them calling the cops, or eat mini candy bars and fantasize that you’ve become a giant.

But the very best thing about Halloween is that it’s the only holiday no one can claim you’re “forgetting the true meaning of.” It’s all about the two “C’s”: costumes and candy. Think about it. You get to wear slutty or scary (or slutty and scary) costumes and no one gives you a hard time, and then demand chocolate from other people because you did so. Now that’s my kind of holiday.

Leslie’s favorite Halloween joke is: “What did one ghost say to the other ghost? Do you believe in people?” Send yours to email. For more of Leslie’s columns visit

Originally appeared in the Santa Barbara Daily Sound on October 26, 2007.

The “F” Word

Candidate BarbieIt is ironic that feminism has become the “F” word at the same time a woman is finally the frontrunner to become president.

Maybe there’s something in the air, some kind of 2007-meets-1955 pheromones being emitted from our plastic water bottles. I felt like I entered a retro time warp zone the other day.

I was addressing envelopes, which felt a bit retro to begin with, but apparently hand written envelopes get opened 67% more frequently than others do. One of the nonprofits I’m involved with sent out an appeal to all of the neighbors in specific zip codes. We got the addresses based on a title search, and lo and behold, about 93% of the homes have a man’s name listed as the sole owner.

Now I know that the majority of these million dollar plus homeowners are not single men; in fact, I know a lot of their wives. And I know that we have community property laws in California, which means that the wives actually do own half their homes, regardless of whether their name is on the deed. But still, why on earth wouldn’t you put the house in both partners’ names? Surely not all women have credit like mine.

I’m seeing some other disturbingly retro trends in the air.

According to the Boston Globe, “asking dad for her hand in marriage” is a hot trend among bridegrooms to be. Call me old-fashioned, but doesn’t this set the stage for the old “I’ll give you five goats, three porcupines and half an acre of rutabagas for your daughter” negotiation? What if the daughter doesn’t want to marry the guy? And if dad gets a vote in the son-in-law race, doesn’t mom have anything to say about it?

Maybe mom’s not there to negotiate her daughter’s chattel merger because she’s too busy redecorating. That seems to be the not-so-subtle-message with new toys like Hasbro’s Rose Petal Cottage, a pretend house where little girls can make their housewife fantasies come true.

I checked, and the cottage does not come with any bon-bons, red wine, or a masseuse named Sven. Where’s the housewife fantasy part?

The Rose Petal Cottage tag line is: “Where dreams have room to grow.” One of the commercials croons: “I love when my laundry gets so clean/ Taking care of my home is a dream, dream, dream!”

More like a nightmare, nightmare, nightmare!

I don’t know what the elves at Hasbro were smoking when they came up with this idea, but maybe they were reading the Los Angeles Times, which recently did a story about the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s new program in holy homemaking. The “academic” homemaker major enrolls only women, and includes coursework on baking cookies, laundering and child rearing. I tease, but it turns out that the kind of women who enroll actually need the instruction–many had been rearing their laundry and baking children.

This is the kind of stuff that makes Brain Surgeon Barbie look like a feminist icon. Though I guess there’s some hope in the news that the “Barbie I Can Be” career series is being updated. Barbie’s new job opportunities include becoming a pet sitter, art teacher, ballet teacher, baby doctor, ocean trainer and a cake baker. Maybe she can bake us up a yummy smelling chocolate layer cake to counteract the scent of all this retro stuff in the air.

While she’d rather be eating bon bons and watching Grey’s Anatomy, than cleaning her house and baking cookies, Leslie’s computer is almost always on, and you can email her at email. For more columns visit
Originally appeared in the Santa Barbara Daily Sound on October 19, 2007.

Noozhawk Talks: One on One With William Macfadyen

Bill Macfadyen (courtesy photo)

Bill Macfadyen (courtesy photo)

Soft-spoken, with a courtly politeness that seems more Southern than Southern California, William (Bill) Macfadyen doesn’t exactly conjure up images of your typical work-into-the-wee-hours, Red Bull-drinking, pimply-faced Internet entrepreneur. But with this week’s launch of Noozhawk, Santa Barbara’s first comprehensive, free online newspaper, he’s aiming to be the local daily on everybody’s lips–and laptops.

Leslie Dinaberg: Tell me about Noozhawk?

William Macfadyen: It is a community newspaper without the paper. There are two parts to it: it will be professional reporters, like yourself, doing original reporting on news, business, sports, real estate, nonprofits, schools. So there will be original content that we provide on the site, and then the real hook to the site will be to get the community involved through contributions from what I’m calling community contributors.

LD: Do you mean blogs?

WM: No, what we want to do is tie Noozhawk into the community by getting involved with all the networks that exist within Santa Barbara, communities within the community. That would mean a church or a club sports program or a school or a nonprofit or a business even …They can tell the story, submit their stories to Noozhawk and then we can help them get that word out about their organization.

LD: Will there be some way for readers to distinguish whether they are reading something from a member of an organization versus a professionally written and reported story?

WM: Yes, because the consumer needs to know what’s professional objective reporting, and what is a contribution from somebody who has an agenda … when it comes to a small nonprofit group or a school, they’re just really enthusiastic about their mission and want to get that word out. I think a community newspaper is uniquely suited to tell that story and we think Noozhawk will be able to do that in a way that a [printed] community newspaper, with all of its infrastructure, can’t possibly tell or afford.

LD: Explain the economics of that. Why is it easier to do that online?

WM: It’s so much easier to do that online because the Internet is infinite space. It’s basically free. There’s not an artificial or arbitrary limit on paging or a time.

LD: Will there be an editorial page?

WM: Noozhawk itself won’t take editorial positions or make endorsements on candidates or projects, what we want to do is foster debate on community issues that aren’t being covered or serviced anywhere else in town.

Santa Barbara is the greatest community in the world but we do have some really big challenges ahead of us: housing, transportation, the change in demographics, all of those issues are crying out for some kind of community dialogue and it just isn’t there. So what we want to do is offer a place where people can have that debate and discuss those issues and ask the questions that need to be asked, and maybe through that process we can help develop some solutions to some of those challenges.

LD: One of the things that I hear from people that are relying on the Internet now for most of their local news is that “it’s out there but there’s so much other stuff to sift through.”

WM: That’s kind of where this whole concept came in because anecdotally many, many people in town have come up with their own routines to find out what’s going on in their community. …The problem with that is … you’re not trained to go out and search for the news. …You’re not a journalist. And the news delivery really should be brainless … it should just magically show up on your doorstep, in your driveway, in your inbox, wherever, and you shouldn’t have to go looking for it. … What we’re trying to do is pull that all together and then basically be a one stop shop for people to get their news and then move on with their day. … There is no newspaper of record or information source of record. Noozhawk aims to change that.

LD: Where does the name Noozhawk come from?

WM: News hawk is slang for a newspaper reporter, so we just had a little Web 2.0ish fun with the news end of it and named it Noozhawk. Plus hawks are flying everywhere and they see everything.

LD: Why are you personally doing this?

WM: Because I’m not qualified to do anything else.

I’m too old for the Dodgers, although they could use me. I’m personally doing this because I’m very committed to Santa Barbara. I’m proud to live here. I love this community and I don’t like the fact that it’s not being served by its media. I think I know how to put together a quality news product, and I know I know the community, and what I’m trying to do is marry those two and fill a void.

LD: Why will this succeed when other start-up news ventures have failed?

WM: I have no idea what you’re talking about. (Laughs) Henry Ford said, “Failure is an opportunity to start anew only more intelligently.” And that’s what I am doing. I would not have undertaken this endeavor without the Beacon experience and part of that is, I think the Beacon was a fantastic newspaper. Certainly it served its readers very well. … But it failed as a business because we weren’t able to connect with the advertisers quickly enough. And so with Noozhawk, the genesis and evolution of that has been the opposite. I started out talking to advertisers first.

LD: So it feels like they are ready to embrace the Internet?

WM: That’s interesting because when we had the Beacon and we talked about the web part of it, the readership just wasn’t there yet … That dynamic and that whole attitude has changed. What I found in talking to those advertisers is that when I went back to them last fall and started talking to them about this project, their reaction was, “I’m done with print, it no longer works for me, it’s all about the Internet. Internet, Internet, Internet.”

When I first had the idea, older readers, retirees, who had been the core newspaper readers for generations, were resistant to the concept. …Then as time went on, and the Santa Barbara situation kind of deteriorated, I was finding even at the retiree level, the former newspaper reader level, those people were saying, “You know what. I’m actually finding my news online and it’s not that bad. I don’t really miss that routine.” Plus it’s environmentally friendly

LD: Are there any other models or any other communities that are already doing this kind of thing successfully?

WM: Not that I could find with a successful advertising model. … For this to succeed, the business community needs to support it and see it as a worthwhile endeavor that’s effective for their needs.

Without going into the details, I think Santa Barbara has some unique circumstances that are lending themselves to this idea here at this time. That said, I think you need to have some authenticity, and you need to really know the community. And I think we have some advantages in that area. The folks we have involved really know this community. Both Jim Farr (former publisher of the Goleta Valley Voice and Noozhawk’s Operations Manager) and I, obviously, were both community newspaper publishers. We don’t see eye to eye on a lot of things in the political spectrum but we’re both passionate about this community and want the best for it, and I think we have a certain respect and credibility in the community, at least in the business community.

LD: What’s the business model? How will this venture actually make money?

WM: Advertising revenue. It’s advertising supported, it’s free to use. We’re asking people to register for the daily email that goes out, but the idea would be that advertising is paying for the site in most cases.

LD: What about if the people at the table next to us were talking about Noozhawk, what would you want them to be saying?

WM: We want them to be talking about it all the time, like my gosh, it’s the most effective, more informative source for news and Information I’ve ever seen. I think at its heart, we want them to recognize Santa Barbara within Noozhawk’s website, The community that they know, we want to make sure that it’s reflected on the site.

It’s a great community, you know, I know it, everybody knows it, but too often it’s just invisible.

LD: What do you know now that you wish you would have known when you started the Beacon?

WM: You know, I thought when we started the Beacon that I really knew Santa Barbara and I didn’t. I had lived here at that time about 17 years, and just didn’t quite know or appreciate how interconnected everything was. And I think partly through the Beacon and partly through the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, I think I have a great understanding and greater appreciation of how it all works, which is why I’m confident about Noozhawk’s success.

LD: When you’re not working, what do you like to do?

WM: It’s Dodgers Baseball and it’s killing me now.

LD: If you had to sum yourself up with just three adjectives, what would they be?




LD: Is there anything else you want to tell our readers?

I would say that Noozhawk is as much about them, actually is more about them than it is about our community, and so for them to take ownership of the site and get involved, our community will benefit, because at the end of the day, they have more knowledge about what’s going on in the community collectively than any single news source does individually. We really want their involvement.

Vital Statistics: William M. Macfadyen

Born: Sept. 8, 1960, Chicago

Family: Wife, Missy; children, Will, Colin and Kirsten; one Alaskan malamute

Civic Involvement: Board chairman, Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce; board secretary, Regional Legislative Alliance; board member, Coastal Housing Coalition and Santa Barbara Community Housing Corp.; past senior warden, All Saints By-the-Sea Episcopal Church

Professional Accomplishments: Co-founded the late South Coast Beacon newspaper, recipient of the California Newspaper Publishers Association’s General Excellence Award in its first year of eligibility; charter member, American Copy Editors Society

Little-Known Fact: Grandfather, Jack Macfadyen, founded the Malibu Times newspaper in the 1940s

Originally published in Noozhawk on October 16, 2007. Here’s the link to the original story.

The Itty Bitty Titty Charity

© Alfredofalcone | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

© Alfredofalcone | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

Men are such boobs.

I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to hear about the latest “charitable” Internet scheme, where “philanthropically-inclined” guys go online to support women in their quests for fake breasts. That’s right, I’m talking about, the testosterone- and alcohol-fueled brainCHILD of Jay Moore and Jason Grunstra, a Bay Area entrepreneurial duo who first came up with the idea during–what else?–a bachelor party in–where else?–Las Vegas.

Of course, I visited the site as soon as I got to my computer–my cups runneth over with comedic possibilities. According to the founders, during the bachelor party a conversation started up about “how one of the ladies had the most perfect set of breasts.” It was probably right between discussions of Darfur and the Democratic primary.

Anyway, the perfect-breasted woman told them how she had recently gotten implants, and “her beautiful friend (Natasha, who became the first woman to get implants from the site, and is now the company’s official spokesmodel) chimed in and mentioned that she wanted to get hers done but could not yet afford the $6,000 price tag that her friend had just paid. One of us yelled out ‘I got $5 on it’ and then someone else offered $10, and then $20, and then $50. By the time we got around the suite there was a verbal commitment amongst all the guys in the room to pay for 25% of her implants!”

Just think, if Natasha hadn’t been beautiful, that light bulb would probably never have ignited and the more than 20 other women that have been “helped” by this site since it’s 2005 debut would still be flat chested and unfulfilled in their life’s ambitions. Bless you, Natasha.

When the site refers to its suckers, I mean donors, as “benefactors,” somehow I’m thinking this endeavor is not the gateway to inspire a new generation of young men to join the Peace Corp. or volunteer at the Red Cross. But you never know. People who are really involved in charity work always say that helping others is addictive. I’m that when there’s a hops crisis, these are the guys who will be there for “Beer Aid.”

Maybe my mind is in the gutter, and the site’s plea to, “Help the girl of YOUR dreams, get the body of her dreams. Develop a connection with a girl of your choice and help her earn Free Breast Implants!” is just a charitable appeal, pure and simple. ‘Cause it doesn’t feel like porn at all. offers “benefactors” the opportunity to “interact with real girls, receive custom photos, send ladies donations, receive custom videos, and chat with girls online.” Bizarrely, this is the same bosom buddy interaction that Sally Struthers’ Christian Children’s Fund offers in exchange for your support of orphans in Africa.

The site’s banner ads feature a bikini-clad cartoon female, on her hands and knees as a hand drops coins into her back and her breasts grow, above the headline: “Create the Perfect Girl at!” Classy. If nothing else, it proves the one and only proven theory about the Internet–where there are breasts, there’s an audience.

Sadly, increasing the size of one’s breasts does nothing to the intelligence of the person they’re attached to–but it can affect the brainpower of the person staring at them.

This is why I’m starting a website with nothing but boobs on it, called

So are these guys philanthropists, marketing geniuses, or just a bunch of boobs? They do offer this disclaimer: “While we at MyFreeImplants do not believe that physical beauty is all there is to a person, we do firmly believe that those with confidence in themselves and their appearance are more likely to be happy and content in their everyday lives. Please, let us help you to become all that you are capable of. Change your life for the better, one step at a time.”

Maybe I’m the boob, for giving these guys even more publicity. Then again, it is my job to keep you abreast of this sort of thing. Bad Leslie! If only there was a

Send your thoughts on the online knife life to email. For more of Leslie’s columns visit
Originally appeared in the Santa Barbara Daily Sound on October 12, 2007.

Sometimes I feel like bologna on wry

© | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

© | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

I had one of those “aha” moments the other day when I found mold in a piece of frozen bread. Isn’t that why we freeze bread in the first place? To keep those gross green spores from invading our otherwise pristine baked goods?

It’s a metaphor, I realized. My life is sandwiched between the beginning and the end. I’m somewhere between that fresh, hot-out-of-the-oven, mouth-watering, buttery baguette, and a dried-up end of old pumpernickel that you’ve been saving in the back of the freezer for a science experiment. And the mold is … ignore the mold. It doesn’t work in my metaphor, but it was gross and I thought I’d share.

How did this happen? It seems just a minute ago that I was in the middle of elementary school, and now my son is there. Wasn’t it just yesterday that my mom was the one running errands for her parents and schlepping the kids around town? Why am I driving carpool? Where are all the adults? Shouldn’t there be a grownup here to pass my overflowing plate of stresses and responsibilities along to?

I read a study recently that says the average person will spend 17 years taking care of a child and 18 years taking care of a parent. But my parents have been taking care of me for 44 years now and I’ve been “helping out” with them for, well, I’m planning to start next week. Which means they’ve got to live a good long time if we’re ever going to even things up statistically.

Again, I’m the grown-up? When did I make the switch from having mom to cut the crusts off my bread to being the one making sure we had peanut butter in the cabinet and cheese in the fridge?

And when did my membership shift from Generation X (by marriage–it counts) to the Sandwich Generation? Did I miss a meeting? I’m definitely missing some brain cells. The other day, I was driving away in my car when it dawned on me that my 8-year-old son was still sitting in our living room, home alone, since my husband had gone out to pick up his mother.

I know–from friends I’d like to keep, who shall therefore remain nameless–that this kind of “whoops, I forgot Johnny” incident happens to people with lots of kids all the time. But, let’s face it, they have extra children, so leaving one of them behind by accident is only a minor disaster.

As an only child, Koss is our not just our only contribution to the future of the planet, he’s also our great white hope for the future (a.k.a. our retirement plan), so if something were to happen to him, well, let’s just say that wouldn’t be chopped liver.

Although I think he’s caviar, or whatever that really rare and precious Japanese fish is that people pay millions of dollars for–he’s an open-faced sandwich, with no siblings to keep the ingredients together. When eventually it’s his turn to juggle that massive Dagwood sandwich made up of his kids on one side, us (his parents) on the other and him jammed in the middle, he’ll have no one to help him.

This does not bode well for me, ’cause he’s already killed a fish and lost a dog.

Another “aha” moment: We may have to adopt a nurse someday.

If life is a sandwich, which kind are you? Tell us at email. For more of Leslie’s columns visit
Originally appeared in the Santa Barbara Daily Sound on October 5, 2007.

Lionesses of Winter

They Take Pride in Giving Back

It takes passion, money and a lot of hard work for Santa Barbara’s most treasured nonprofit organizations to thrive. This community tradition of giving back by supporting education, caring for those in need, and sharing a love for nature and the arts has an incredibly generous cast of leading ladies at its helm. Not content to simply be the torchbearers, they are also keeping an eye toward the next generation of the philanthropic community.

“I’m trying to spread the circle,” says Shirley Ann Hurley. “I’ve brought young women into my life who care passionately about these sorts of things that I do and they stimulate me and …I love the excitement that is getting to know all of these wonderful people.”

Let’s meet a few of the women who help keep the community alive and well.

The Leading Ladies

Betty Hatch

La Belle Foundation, Granada Theatre, Girl Scouts, Girls Inc., Hospice, CAMA, Cottage Hospital, Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, the Arts Fund, Santa Barbara Zoo, Santa Barbara Art Association, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, Santa Barbara Ballet

“My life has been dedicated to the teaching of self-esteem,” says Hatch, founder of La Belle Modeling Agency (1963-1991), and now executive director of the La Belle Foundation, which offers young women free training in self-esteem, self-development and personal and social responsibility.”

“Giving to the community is just a pleasure; it’s a demonstration of our gratitude and our love for everybody here.”

Shirley Ann Hurley
Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation, Family Service Agency, Santa Barbara Public Education Foundation, CALM, Anti-Defamation League, Santa Barbara Foundation

“The things I’ve wanted to spend my time on are the things that help children and young people become the best that they can be, which means to live up to their full potential … The organization that I have probably put the most years into and time is the Family Service Agency. The concept that we could intervene early in a child’s life and with that child’s family and help them raise a more secure child was what hooked me.”

“People keep saying what do you do for fun. I said everything. All of this is fun. And it is. It’s work, but it’s fun. There’s nothing I like better than working with a group of deeply caring people. It is so exciting. And the fact that you know that together you can make a difference in somebody’s lives and your community is just such a reward.”

Gerd Jordano
Cottage Hospital Building Campaign, Westmont College Foundation, CALM

“Board members are ambassadors for those organizations. They are sort of cheerleaders and are able to sort of talk and share what that organization is and what it’s all about. It’s really an opportunity to educate people about that organization and that gives me great joy to share my passion and my knowledge about that particular organization.”

“I’m a former cheerleader so I continue that same passion, only I’m just not jumping up and down anymore (laughs). But I do get very passionate about what I get involved with and it just brings me a lot of joy.”

Carol Palladini
Santa Barbara Women’s Fund

“The concept of the Santa Barbara Women’s Fund (which will have given away more than $1 million by the end of the year) is making your time and money most effectively used by a lot of women writing checks and putting them together and doing direct fundraising, so that you’re not spending a lot of money to make money… Our umbrella is giving in support of the greater Santa Barbara area; it has to be local, to benefit unmet needs for women, children and families.”

“A lot of the work that I’ve done in the past, on and off boards, has some Heartache mixed in with the joy of it. This has been a pleasure from the beginning.”

Joanne Rapp
Santa Barbara Foundation, Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation, CALM, Cottage Hospital, Botanic Gardens, Laguna Cottages, Montecito Community Foundation

“I have enjoyed working with organizations that are targeted at helping youth with their educational goals, in particular the Scholarship Foundation and the Santa Barbara Foundation student loan program. Everything that you work on and within the nonprofit community enhances the quality of life and the effectiveness of our community, but helping the students transfers anywhere. … It will strengthen the fabric of whatever community that they land in.”

The Next Generation

Tiffany Foster
Storyteller, Crane Country Day School, Howard School, All Saints by the Sea Parish School, Lotusland, Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara Museum of Art SMART Families

“When I arrived in Santa Barbara four years ago … it seemed that every fabulous, intelligent person I met was volunteering for either Storyteller or Lotusland. Before I knew it I was in the center of a vibrant group of caring women and men who dedicated their energy, financial resources, and business acumen to help make a difference in our local community.”

“Storyteller Children’s Center provides daycare and preschool to homeless toddlers in Santa Barbara as well as support services for their families. Young children deserve security, safety and a stable environment. … It is difficult to find a more worthy cause.”

Kisa Heyer
Lotusland, Santa Barbara Museum of Art SMART Families, Crane Country Day School, Storyteller, Lobero Theatre, Sarah House, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, CAMA

“Even after being involved with Lotusland for so long, I’m still amazed by it–not only with its collections, design, architecture, and programs–but also with the story behind the garden. Madame Ganna Walska’s wonderland is such a benefit to our community. It’s magical to see joy that children (all 4th graders visit) and adults express after visiting the garden, and no surprise, really, that we are becoming world-renowned as a one-of-a-kind experience.”

Jill Levinson
Lotusland, Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care of SB, Storyteller, New Beginnings Counseling Center, Lobero Theatre, All Saints by the Sea Parish School, Santa Barbara Museum of Art SMART Families.

“I think everyone has a need for hospice care for themselves or their loved ones at some point in their life. I just feel like it’s very important to support these organizations because they’re necessary. If they disappeared that would be a travesty for our community. Our community is so fortunate to have so much to offer everyone. I think that’s part of what’s really special about Santa Barbara, it tries to take care of people.”

Laura Shelburne
Storyteller, Crane Country Day School, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Stanford University, Lotusland, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

“Winston Churchill once said, ‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.’ I spent a number of years practicing corporate law, working around the clock during the Silicon Valley boom, and I always regretted that I didn’t have enough time to do worthwhile pro bono work. While I was one of those oxymoronic happy lawyers, I have to say that now it is wonderful to be able to choose my own “clients” based on causes I believe in and use my skills and experience to help non-profits. I also feel strongly that I should set an example for my children by doing things for others and for institutions that will outlast us and continue to benefit future generations.

Lisa Wolf
Santa Barbara Ballet, CAMA, Storyteller, Lotusland, Santa Barbara Zoo, Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara Museum of Art SMART Families, French Heritage Society, Laguna Blanca

“We started a group at the art museum because we had a feeling that the art museum was reaching out really effectively to kids in town, elementary school students and underprivileged kids and it was also a great resource for very very serious art collectors, but there was nothing in the middle. … So we created this group called SMART families (and it’s Santa Barbara Museum of Art, not that we think we’re especially bright) but a really wonderful group.”

“When you know that you’ve helped make it possible for somebody to attend a program or for somebody to be exposed to opera or some great cultural moment, or to just alleviate human suffering, it’s a great privilege to be able to do it.”

Originally published in Santa Barbara Magazine, 2007