Several hundred people gathered Thursday night to celebrate the achievements of Robert Emmons and Jane Habermann, named Man and Woman of the Year.
The winners of the awards were a closely guarded secret until Thursday night’s announcement, and after hearing of the award, Emmons took the stage and said it was honor to be named among past recipients.
“They’re heroes to all of us,” he said. “The people in this room get it. ... It’s all about making this world a better place.”
He and his wife are charter members of the Lotus Society, Lotusland’s planned giving society. Emmons is a supporter of CAMA, the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Foundation, the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts and the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.
Larry Crandell, aka “Mr. Santa Barbara” and a former Man of the Year, also was honored at the event for serving as emcee for the Man and Woman of the Year event for the past decade.
Habermann, whose father was a country doctor in North Dakota, said she learned the importance of home health care from her family.
A champion barrel racer, Haberman got involved with the nonprofit world shortly after moving to Santa Barbara. She’s a 20-year board member of Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care, an agency that provides hospice care to Santa Barbara residents.
Like Emmons, she’s a member of the Santa Barbara Foundation Board of Trustees.
“I think about this community and how generous you all are,” Habermann said. “You should be really proud.”