Another year means another chance for Montecito Bank & Trust employees to hand-pick 10 local nonprofits to receive $15,000 to, essentially, keep up the good work.
The local bank hosted its 22nd consecutive Anniversary Grants awards reception Thursday evening at its downtown State Street office, which was crowded with nonprofit volunteers, local business people and the bank employees who hand-picked the nonprofit recipients.
The annual award program that originated to mark the anniversary of the bank’s opening in March 1975 has solidified its place as a tradition that also highlights the good work of bank employees serving Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
Montecito Bank & Trust President Janet Garufis explained that each bank employee chose a nonprofit and worked to persuade colleagues to vote for it.
“Anniversary Grants represents the voice of our associates,” Garufis said. “The Anniversary Grants program is significant not only because of the financial support it provides, but also because it reflects Montecito Bank & Trust’s commitment to empowering our associates to personally make a difference.”
Groups that each received a $1,500 grant included A Different Point of View, Bethania Preschool and After School, the Breast Cancer Resource Center, the Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation, Dog Adoption & Welfare Group (DAWG), K-9 Pals, the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center, the Santa Ynez Valley Therapeutic Riding Program, United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County and the Westminster Free Clinic.
Bank employees working in Solvang to Westlake Village introduced the lucky recipients with kind words and by showing a Cox Communications-produced short video about each organization.
Many bank associates had personal connections to the organizations they staunchly supported, including Kathy Kalp, vice president and senior portfolio manager of wealth management.
Kalp proudly held up a blown-up photo of Camper, the adorable dog she adopted through K-9 Pals, which provides veterinary care, adoption promotion and advocacy for the homeless and abandoned dogs in Santa Barbara County shelters.
Janelle Ward, founder and president of the nonprofit, thanked bank founder and chairman Michael Towbes for the grant that will help hundreds of fellow canines.
“This is such an honor because there are so many wonderful nonprofits in our community,” Ward said. “The competition is really stiff.”