2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara.

Joanne Rapp

Joanne Rapp

In 1962, a group of volunteers and PTA members formed the Scholarship Foundation, and provided nine students with $100 book awards. Today, the Scholarship Foundation is the largest community-based scholarship foundation in the United States. After 50 years of service, the foundation continues to create opportunity and transform lives — one scholarship at a time.

To commemorate this milestone, the Scholarship Foundation is conducting a public awareness, friend-raising and fundraising celebration to provide more deserving students scholarships, and expand its effective and efficient Financial Aid Advising services. Leading this effort are past presidents Patty MacFarlane and Joanne Rapp.

Rapp has been an important part of the Santa Barbara nonprofit community for more than 30 years, benefiting countless local youth and seniors. In addition to serving as president of the Scholarship Foundation (1992-1994), she has shared her time, energy and philanthropic support with many local groups, including the Santa Barbara Foundation, CALM, the Cottage Hospital Foundation, Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics, the Human Services Commission, the New Beginnings Counseling Center, the Senior Center, The Garden Club, and the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.

Rapp and her husband, Brian, enjoy traveling and spending time with their children and grandchildren.

MacFarlane joined the Scholarship Foundation as a volunteer and supporter 10 years ago and has made an indelible impact. Since moving to Santa Barbara in 1994, she has served as president of the Scholarship Foundation (2009-2011) and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (2008-2009), and was active at Circle of Friends Children’s Center and Crane Country Day School.

She served on the Chairman’s Campaign Cabinet at the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation.

Patty MacFarlane

Patty MacFarlane

MacFarlane and her husband, John, enjoy exploring everything from music to nature with their two sons.

For 50 years, the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara has helped students succeed by providing more than 30,000 scholarships totaling more than $65 million. Additionally, the Scholarship Foundation presents free financial aid advising workshops and offers financial aid counseling to more than 25,000 Santa Barbara County students and parents each year. Its mission is to inspire, encourage and support Santa Barbara County students in their pursuit of higher education through financial aid advising and scholarships.

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— Rebecca Anderson is the development director for the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara.