In a runway show rivaling New York City’s Fashion Week, the National Charity League of Santa Barbara’s Ticktocker Class of 2013 presented a classy fashion show and presentation the night before Mother’s Day at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort.
The theme, “In Black and White,” was carried out initially with a choreographed music march that featured the qualities of “hope, inspire, fierce, passion and tenacious.” Young Ticktocker women sported black and white pants and long-sleeved shirts with the words emblazoned on their clothing. More than 350 parents, siblings, sponsors and friends attended the dinner event.
The National Charity League of Santa Barbara began in 1962 as an organization comprised of mothers and daughters working together in four ways: philanthropically, educationally, culturally and developing leadership skills.
Ticktocker is affiliated with the National Charity League. Now in its 50th year, the Santa Barbara chapter of NCL supports the work of 19 local philanthropies, providing volunteers for organizations such as the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, Direct Relief, the Santa Barbara Public Library, Special Olympics, Unity Shoppe, B.U.N.S., Safety Town, Cottage Hospital and many more.
The local chapter is an “hours only” chapter, meaning that members donate their time only and do not raise funds to assist the charities. Each mother and daughter member is required to fulfill a minimum of both league hours and philanthropy hours, or community service.
Each daughter member, or Ticktocker, is part of an age-level class that conducts a monthly meeting, has guest speakers on various age-appropriate topics and often does an off-site philanthropy project as part of their meeting. The girls learn the board positions and leadership skills of running a proper business meeting, practice time-management tools, learn to communicate effectively by speaking in public and practice diplomacy in working together on projects.
Following the initial ”hope, inspire, fierce, passion and tenacious” presentation, the young Ticktocker women donned clothing from Saks Fifth Avenue, Lana Marmé, Diani, K. Frank and Dressed and Ready in a state-of-the-art fashion show orchestrated and directed by Julie Martin. Contemporary music resounded in the ballroom, including songs “Let’s Go,” “Put Your Hands Up” and “Turn Up the Music.”
“The experiences that NCL have given me over the last six years have been not only educational, but life-altering,” said senior Ticktocker Lauren Van Valkenburgh, who was awarded the Senior Service Award. “The opportunity I was given to work with Cottage Hospital and Valle Verde have furthered my aspirations to seek out a career in health care. More importantly, I think the greatest gift NCL has given me is a passion for helping others, something I hope to hold on to for the rest of my life.”
Van Valkenburgh completed an impressive 856 hours of volunteer service at Safety Town, the Valle Verde Retirement Community and the Santa Barbara Zoo.
“We work training for the fashion show itself for nine months under the direction of Julie Martin,” Ticktocker Blair Butler said. “This is along with the hours we spend volunteering.”
Chapter president Gina Bifano did an artful job heading up the program along with event co-chairs Mario Fazio and CJ Miller. She lauded the high school seniors for their 4,211 hours of volunteer work together over the past six years.
Following the fashion show finale, fathers and brothers, donned in black tie attire, led a touching dance with the graduates.
“The teens really become knowledgeable about the many Santa Barbara organizations that provide support and services to the less fortunate,” said Lois Mitchell, mother of a ninth-grade daughter in NCL. Her older daughter represented her senior graduating class last year, stating in her presentation speech: “I was an NCL volunteer because I wanted to give something substantial to my community. I wanted to share the enthusiasm I felt, and still feel, for learning and making connections with others.”
Rachael Steidl said: “Putting together scrapbooks for the Dream Foundation of loved ones who have passed away has had a huge impact on both my daughters and I, making us realize how valuable each day is, and grateful for the memorable acts of kindness provided by the Dream Foundation.”
NCL senior Alexandra Demopoulos added, “It’s been great to combine my love of horses with helping handicap kids enjoy a sport when I volunteer for Hearts Therapeutic Riding Center. You realize how much these kids are capable of if given the chance, and how horses can brighten anyone’s life.”
The mothers in NCL are grateful to the organization for strengthening their relationship with their daughters.
“Kids are so busy these days, and having an opportunity to work side by side with your daughters on a fun community service project is a wonderful experience,” said Cynthia Frohling, mother of two daughters in NCL. “It’s nice to share the time together, and at the same time, do something valuable for others.”
Summaries of some of the 25 senior Ticktockers provided by NCL’s Melissa Abrams described their charity work:
» Taylor Atelian completed 99 hours of volunteer service with doing the majority of her work at Safety Town and the Children’s Creative Project.
» Blair Butler has completed 266 hours of volunteer service, with the majority at Museum of Art & Ridley Tree Education Center, McKinley School and the Santa Barbara Public Library.
» Alexandra Demopoulos has completed 261 hours of volunteer service with the majority at HEARTS Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Safety Town, & Cottage Hospital.
» Kate Evans completed 165 hours of volunteer service with the majority Museum of Art & Ridley Tree Education Center, Dream Foundation and Safety Town.
» Therese Fazio has completed 315 hours of volunteer service with the majority at Museum of Art & Ridley Tree Education Center, McKinley School and Children’s Creative Project.
» Eliza Giles completed 198 hours of volunteer service with the majority at Cottage Hospital, Museum of Natural History & Sea Center, and the SB Museum of Art & Ridley Tree Education Center.
» Maureen Hogan completed 214 hours of volunteer service with the majority at Safety Town, BUNS and Dream Foundation.
» Alanna Kjoller completed 286 hours of volunteer service with the majority at Safety Town, HEARTS Therapeutic Equestrian Center, and Special Olympics.
» Kayla Klopstein completed 183 hours of volunteer service with the majority at Safety Town, Children’s Creative Project and Cottage Hospital.
» Gabriella Koepenick completed 112 hours of volunteer service with the majority at Safety Town and Children’s Creative Project.
» Hannah Koper has completed 187 hours of volunteer service with the majority at McKinley School and Safety Town.
» Emma Mascari completed 151 hours of volunteer service at Safety Town.
» Marley Miller completed 231 hours of volunteer service with the majority at Safety Town and Cottage Hospital.
» Eva Saint Denis completed 216 hours of volunteer sat the SB Museum of Art & Ridley Tree Education Center, Safety Town and Children’s Creative Project.
» Cassidy Shevitz completed 219 hours of volunteer service at the Museum of Natural History & Sea Center, Storyteller Children’s Center and McKinley School.
» Caroline Stoll completed 86 hours of volunteer service at the Zoo and McKinley School. She was also a member of the Monterey NCL chapter.
Click here for more information about the National Charity League of Santa Barbara.