National Charity League of Santa Barbara, Senior Presents Class of 2014

For more than 50 years, National Charity League of Santa Barbara (NCL) has brought mothers and daughters together working on philanthropic projects. This year’s NCL Senior Presents takes place on April 6 at 5:30 p.m. at The Fess Parker Resort.

The graduating seniors of 2014, along with their mothers, gave an impressive 5,856 volunteer hours over their six years in National Charity League to local nonprofits in Santa Barbara.  Nonprofits included Dream Foundation, Safety Town, Special Olympics, CADA, Storyteller Children’s Center, Children’s Creative Project, Santa Barbara Museum of Art and Ridley Tree Education Center and more.

National Charity League Senior Class of 2014 (courtesy photo)

National Charity League Senior Class of 2014 (courtesy photo)

The graduating senior girls, known as “Ticktockers”  pictured include: (Top row from left to right) Sara Ashlin Doyle, Grace Copeland, Emma Eccles, Grace Jordan Woolf, Britten Barbara Ann Vilander, Clara Mae Madsen, Julia Rene’e McClintock; (Middle row from left to right) Madeleine Wall, Milana Rose Skiff, Sammi Schurmer, Rachel Rene Fay, Susan Madeline Marquis, Nicole Kristine-Marie Larson, Brenna Claire Geiger; (Bottom row from left to right) Hannah Rose Brisby, Olivia Jane Pickett, Olivia Belle Caesar, Kayla Zola, Caterina Jacquelyn Lafitte and Madeline Grace Frohling.

Says Ticktocker, Milana Skiff,  who has volunteered an inspiring 921 hours, “the Oncology Department at Cottage Hospital is my favorite place to volunteer.  I love it and everyone there is so kind.  It’s a good experience for me and because of it I will pursue a career as an oncologist in college.  My mom and I have also volunteered in the pasta booth at the I Madonnari every year for the past six years and we really enjoy it.  It gives us the chance to participate in community service together.”

Ticktocker Kayla Zola and Patroness Belinda Zola enjoyed volunteering together making flower arrangements for the Dream Foundation.  Belinda shares, “it feels more like we are sharing a hobby than anything else.  Kayla is very creative, and I have learned so much from her about just letting go and having fun!  Not only are we able to bring some joy to terminally ill people, but we can also share the joy of our efforts with other volunteers, with each other and ourselves!  This is just one example of how NCL has helped teach our three daughters how to get involved and give back to their community while strengthening mother, daughter and sibling relationships”

The NCL Senior Presentation Event is an opportunity for the girls not only be recognized for their service, but it is also the chance for them to share how these experiences have shaped their lives.  “It has been an privilege to work with the Class of 2014 NCL Ticktockers to help them achieve these outstanding goals,” say Luann Caesar and Ann Marquis,  co-chairs for the event.  “It has been an honor to work alongside our daughters for the past six years, to see them grow and mature while giving back through volunteer work to the the Santa Barbara community.”

Founded in 1962, the Santa Barbara chapter of NCL currently supports the works of 19 local philanthropies, often providing a valuable volunteer workforce for local organizations such as Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, Direct Relief International, Santa Barbara Public Library,Unity Shoppe, Cottage Hospital, McKinley School and many more.  The local chapter is an “hours only” chapter, meaning that members donate their time only, and do not raise funds to assist the charities.   Each mother and daughter member is required to fulfill a minimum of both league and philanthropy hours, or community service.  Each Ticktocker is part of an age-level class that conducts a monthly meeting, has guest speakers on various age-appropriate topics, and often does an off-site philanthropy project as a part of their meeting.   For more information click here.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on March 20, 2014.

Giving Back: Chuck Slosser

Chuck Slosser (courtesy photo)

Chuck Slosser (courtesy photo)

With the same engaging grin and focused attention that have pried philanthropic purse strings loose since he came to town in 1981, Chuck Slosser says he’s excited to tackle retirement after 18 years as executive director of the Santa Barbara Foundation.

What an amazing ride it has been. When Slosser, now 66 took the helm of the Santa Barbara Foundation–Santa Barbara County’s largest private source of funding for nonprofit programs–it had a staff of three, roughly $30 million in assets, and was giving out a few million in scholarships and grants a year.

Compare that to today’s foundation–under Slosser’s leadership, it now has a staff of 23, more than $300 million in assets, and donates about $27 million each year. He’s justifiably proud, but still ready for a slower pace, saying, “I thoroughly enjoyed the foundation and the work that we’ve done here and the great things that have happened in the community as a result. I’ve never objected to the 9 to 5, but it’s really the 5 to 9.”

Slosser and his wife of almost 38 years, Stephanie, who retired from UC Santa Barbara’s biology department three years ago, plan to travel, play golf and do yoga. He’s also interested in playing more basketball (he’s got a regular game at the Boys and Girls Club), taking Spanish lessons, picking up a guitar and a dissertation that have been collecting dust, and perhaps doing some consulting. He smiles. “I really do feel like a kid in a candy store. I want to do that, and I want to do that, and I can’t wait.”

Clearly, Slosser is a man with many interests, which is why the diverse Santa Barbara Foundation was “a dream job come true.” With an infinite variety of grant recipients–Music Academy of the West, Page Youth Center, Special Olympics, Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse, Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics, Red Cross, St. Vincent’s, Legal Aid, Transition House, Girls Inc. and Wildlife Care Network, to name a few — the foundation was a perfect place for this Renaissance man.

Originally published in Santa Barbara Magazine in January 2009.