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Bill Macfadyen: Santa Barbara Education Foundation Likes the Sound of Music

Music fills the air Dec. 8 as SBEF holds instrument drive, honors Gina and Salud Carbajal and Pete Relis with HOPE Awards and tops it off with a Michael McDonald benefit concert

Gina and Salud Carbajal are recipients of the Santa Barbara Education Foundation’s 2009 HOPE Award for their longtime commitment and service on behalf of local educational opportunities.
Gina and Salud Carbajal are recipients of the Santa Barbara Education Foundation’s 2009 HOPE Award for their longtime commitment and service on behalf of local educational opportunities.  (Carbajal family photo)

By William M. Macfadyen, Noozhawk Publisher | @noozhawk |

Since its founding more than 20 years ago, the Santa Barbara Education Foundation has recognized music as an integral part of the learning experience. It would figure that it’s at the center of the foundation’s annual HOPE Awards (Honoring Outstanding Public Education) celebration Dec. 8 at The Granada.

The day begins with a musical instrument drive SBEF is holding on behalf of Santa Barbara School District music programs. From noon to 9 p.m., the public is encouraged to drop off new or used instruments at a curbside collection site in front of The Granada, 1214 State St. Volunteers from SBEF, Notes for Notes and the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation will be on hand to accept the donations. Pickup service is also available. Call 805.618.1021 to make arrangements.

That evening, Grammy Award-winning artist Michael McDonald will perform, at 8 p.m. at The Granada. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Santa Barbara Education Foundation in supporting school music programs and instrument purchases.

“We are so fortunate to have a talented artist like Michael McDonald so dedicated to public education here in Santa Barbara,” said Mark Ingalls, SBEF board president.

The concert will feature an opening song by local students and student musicians will join McDonald on stage for some of his most popular songs.

“This is an opportunity of a lifetime for some of these young musicians,” said music producer Harry Rabin, an SBEF board member. “Michael certainly understands the impact of music on kids’ lives, and we are very grateful.”

Preceding the concert is a VIP reception recognizing the the foundation’s 2009 HOPE honorees: Gina and Salud Carbajal and the César Chávez Leadership Institute, in memory of the late Pete Relis, the institute’s founder.

“Gina and Salud Carbajal are true champions of education in our community,” said Tim Schwartz, SBEF executive director. “We’re proud to add them, along with the inspirational Pete Relis for his work with the César Chávez Leadership Institute, to our distinguished list of HOPE Award recipients.”

Gina Carbajal was outreach and teen director for Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara and a consultant for the federal Head Start Program. Salud Carbajal, the two-term 1st District Santa Barbara County supervisor, has served on the SBEF board of directors, and as a board member of First5 Santa Barbara County, the county Schools Personnel Commission, SBCC’s Continuing Education Advisory Board, and the Santa Barbara Chapter of Literacy Volunteers of America. Both are graduates of UCSB and their children attend Roosevelt School.

Pete Relis
Pete Relis

Relis, who died earlier this year, developed the “Pathway to Success” math program at Franklin School in 2005. He also began the César Chávez Leadership Club at Santa Barbara High School to encourage increased math competency and college enrollments for Latino students. The institute moved to the Santa Barbara Junior High campus in 2007.

Past HOPE Award honorees are:

» Natalie Orfalea and The Orfalea Fund

» Michael Towbes and San Marcos High School Performing Arts

» Gisele Ben-Dor

» Marilyn Gilbert the Santa Barbara Independent weekly newspaper

» Pierre Claeyssens and KEYT

» Marilyn Gevirtz and Cox Communications

» Michael Caston

» James Keenan and Raytheon

» Santa Barbara Bank & Trust

» Peter MacDougall

Tickets for the VIP HOPE Award Reception and orchestra seating at the McDonald concert are $125. Tickets for just the concert range from $39.50 to $89 each. Click here to purchase tickets or call 805.284.9125 for more information. Click here to purchase tickets from The Granada box office.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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