The sounds of classic Frank Sinatra tunes and spinning roulette wheels filled the room during “Sinatra at The Granada” to support the 16th year that Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) has worked to ensure safe, permanent and nurturing homes for abused and neglected children of Santa Barbara County.

More than 200 guests gathered at The Granada on April 30 as CASA presented a Sinatra-themed gala event in a casino setting. The benefit raised $200,000 for disadvantaged youths.

The night kicked off with cocktails and Vegas-style mock gaming followed by an award presentation. A surprise award was given to CASA President Michele Neely-Saltoun, who received a standing ovation from audience members as she accepted the Heart of CASA Award presented by CASA Executive Director Kim Davis.

Judge James Herman was presented the Light of Hope Award for his continued support. Youth speaker Suamhirs Rivera delivered a heartfelt speech about the hardships of his youth and extended special thanks to CASA for helping him transform his life.

“CASA was there when no one else was,” Rivera said.

Later, as guests enjoyed a sit-down dinner from New West Catering, there was a live auction hosted by auctioneer Sean Kelly. Some of the auctioned items included an assortment of fine wines from California vineyards, an autographed guitar by the Rolling Stones, and trips to Hawaii, New York and Paris. After dinner, guests danced to Sinatra classics performed by Brian Duprey and the Ojai Big Band.


The evening’s sponsors included Celeste Turbeville, Just Folk, Montecito Bank & Trust, the Riordan Family Foundation, the Bank of America Foundation, Greka, Impulse Advanced Communications, the Santa Ynez of Chumash Indian Foundation and Santa Barbara Bank & Trust.

— Noozhawk society correspondent Melissa Walker can be reached at mwalker@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews, and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

Noozhawk iSociety columnist Melissa Walker can be reached at mwalker@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.