Students, families, staff, alumni and donors — young and old — all joined together on Friday to experience the magic of “Vaquero Square” at the Santa Barbara City College Sports Pavilion. The event kicked off the SBCC Foundation’s 2014 Campaign for Student Success, which seeks to raise $2 million in eight weeks from 10,000 donors.
The goal is expected to be reached with 12 call-night sessions staffed by SBCC students, alumni, volunteers and community leaders. The campaign theme is “Show Us Your Love,” which resulted in $1.1 million in gifts last year.
The SBCC gymnasium was expertly transformed into Vaquero Square with colorful booths presented by different SBCC departments, a pink faux fountain, live Latin music by guitarist Tony Ybarra, and a buffet of delicious food that included Mexican staples such as taquitos and salsa plus churro ice cream.
“This is such an important campaign,” SBCC Foundation board president Madeleine Jacobson said. “We seem to double our goal each year.
"It’s necessary because there are so many kids to help. The campaign not only raises money for much-needed scholarships and book scholarships, but we keep the library open seven days a week until 10 p.m. Five thousand students use the library! We also offer child care for single parent students and provide 6,000 hours of tutoring in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).”
Supporting Jacobson on the fundraising effort are campaign chair Robyn Freedman and Alumni Association campaign chair Robyn Parker, along with foundation board vice presidents Stan Fishman and Ken Pash, secretary Kandy Luria-Budgor, treasurer Michael Giles and other trustees.
A highlight of the evening was the showing of the SBCC “Vaquero Pride Nationwide” video, featuring friends and fans of SBCC performing the chant throughout the community.
“The Campaign for Student Success is one of the most important fundraising initiatives that the SBCC Foundation embarks upon,” said Vanessa Bechtel, SBCC Foundation executive director. “As state funding for education is dwindling, efforts by the community to financially support Santa Barbara City College students are ever more important. People really are beginning to see the linkages between educating students who live and work in Santa Barbara and a thriving community. Preparing students for the local workforce benefits us all.”
The Campaign for Student Success was started in 2011 as an initiative of the SBCC Foundation to raise funds for critical programs and student support, so that all Santa Barbara County residents who want to attend college can do so regardless of their income. Click here to donate, or text "sbccLOVE" to 41411 for more information about the campaign.
The mission of the SBCC Foundation is to support SBCC students and programs through sustained philanthropy. For more information, call 805.730.4401 or click here.
— Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.