‘Twas the season for giving at the Ninth Annual Montecito Bank & Trust Community Dividends luncheon held recently at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara in the Loggia Room.

The event recognized a $1 million impact that Montecito Bank & Trust bestowed to local nonprofits during these tough economic times and maintains the bank’s important support of corporate philanthropy.

Attendees gathered for a pre-reception at the beautiful cobblestone courtyard adjacent to the Loggia Room, which despite the approaching winter season was still lush with varied hues of foliage.

Birds swooped overhead from tree to tree as guests mingled below forming new relationships and re-establishing old contacts.

“Helping our communities grow and prosper is the essence of who we are, and it is the patronage and loyalty of our customers who make it possible for us to continue this event,” said Janet Garufis, president and CEO of Montecito Bank & Trust.

Organizations within the region of the bank’s eight offices from Solvang to Westlake Village received funds that were shared among nearly 160 nonprofits, with a new office under construction in Goleta.

“Local nonprofit organizations contribute so much to our quality of life,” said Michael Towbes, founder and board chairman of Montecito Bank & Trust. “We are grateful once again to be able to take a meaningful share of our profits and distribute them to organizations in the communities we serve.”

The luncheon was a celebratory event with lively conversation as guests enjoyed a delicious butter lettuce, endive and watercress salad, slow roasted turkey with apple sage stuffing, cranberry jam and caramelized onion sweet potato pecan mash, asparagus and gravy.

And, in the spirit of autumn and the Thanksgiving holiday, diners delighted in a desert of pumpkin pie and caramel ice cream as Towbes addressed the crowd and explained that many nonprofit organizations are having a difficult time because of the down economy, which is even more reason for the bank to support and give back to the nonprofit sector.

Montecito Bank & Trust was founded in 1975 and is a locally owned community bank with programs such as Community Dividends and Anniversary Grants that provide unique contributions and support to the community.

The bank has succeeded in difficult times, surpassing expectations and the 1 billion mark in assets this year, with even more reason to share in the spirit of the holidays.

“We had a record 300 applicants for grants this year and approved 159 of them,” Towbes said. “As the footprint has expanded so has the need.”


» Adventures in Caring Foundation
» AHA! (Academy of Healing Arts for Teens)
» Alano Club of Santa Barbara, Inc.
» Alliance for the Arts
» Alzheimer’s Association, California Central Coast Chapter
» American Heart Association of Santa Barbara County
» American Red Cross, Santa Barbara County Chapter
» Angel’s Foster Care of Santa Barbara
» Anti-Defamation League
» Arthritis Foundation
» Atterdag Village of Solvang
» Bishop Garcia Diego High School
» Boys & Girls Club of Moorpark
» Boys & Girls Clubs of Ventura
» Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara
» Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara
» California Lutheran University
» California State University Channel Islands Foundation
» Cancer Center of Santa Barbara
» Carpinteria Beautiful
» Carpinteria Education Foundation, Inc.
» Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families
» Casa Serena, Inc.
» Catholic Charities
» Center Stage Theater
» Children’s Museum of Santa Barbara
» Coastal Housing Coalition
» Community Arts Music Association of Santa Barbara, Inc.
» Community Conscience / Under One Roof
» Community Counseling and Education Center
» Community Environmental Council, Inc.
» Community Memorial Health System
» Conejo Valley Senior Concerns, Inc.
» Congregation B’nai B’rith
» Cornerstone House of Santa Barbara
» Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse
» Court Appointed Special Advocates of Santa Barbara County
» Crane Country Day School
» Direct Relief International
» Domestic Violence Solutions for Santa Barbara County
» Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy Foundation
» Dream Foundation
» Easy Lift Transportation, Inc.
» Elings Park
» Elverhoj Museum of History & Art
» Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara
» Fielding Graduate University
» FOOD Share
» Foodbank of Santa Barbara County
» Friends of the Carpinteria Library
» Friends of the Library of the Santa Ynez Valley, Inc.
» Friendship Adult Day Care Center, Inc.
» Friendship Manor
» Ganna Walska Lotusland Foundation
» Garden Court, Inc.
» Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast
» Girls Incorporated of Carpinteria
» Girls Incorporated of Greater Santa Barbara
» Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital Foundation
» Goleta Valley Historical Society
» Habitat for Humanity of Southern Santa Barbara County
» Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County
» HomeShare of Ventura
» Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc.
» Hospice of the Conejo
» Housing Trust Fund of Santa Barbara County, Inc.
» Interface Children & Family Services
» Isla Vista Youth Projects, Inc.
» Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara
» Jewish Film Festival
» Kids Helping Kids
» La Casa de Maria Retreat & Conference Center
» Laguna Blanca School
» Laguna Cottages for Seniors
» Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County
» Lobero Theatre Foundation
» Marjorie Luke Theatre
» Museum of Ventura County
» Music Academy of the West
» NAWBO-SB Foundation
» New Beginnings Counseling Center
» Notes for Notes
» Old Spanish Days
» Opera Santa Barbara
» Pacific Pride Foundation Inc.
» Page Youth Center
» Parks and Recreation Community Foundation
» PathPoint
» Peoples’ Self-Help Housing Corporation
» Planned Parenthood of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties, Inc.
» Providence Hall
» San Marcos Parent Child Workshop
» Sansum Clinic
» Sansum Diabetes Research Institute
» Santa Barbara Birth Center
» Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Inc.
» Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation
» Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts, Inc.
» Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra
» Santa Barbara Channelkeeper
» Santa Barbara Community Housing Corporation
» Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Foundation
» Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society
» Santa Barbara Education Foundation
» Santa Barbara Family Care Center
» Santa Barbara Family YMCA
» Santa Barbara Historical Museum
» Santa Barbara International Film Festival
» Santa Barbara Maritime Museum
» Santa Barbara Meals on Wheels, Inc.
» Santa Barbara Museum of Art
» Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
» Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics
» Santa Barbara Partners in Education
» Santa Barbara Police Activities League
» Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center
» Santa Barbara Rescue Mission
» Santa Barbara Revels
» Santa Barbara Soccer Club
» Santa Barbara Symphony
» Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation
» Santa Barbara Village
» Santa Barbara Zoological Foundation
» Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital Foundation
» Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People, Inc.
» Sarah House
» Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara
» Segue Career Mentors
» Solvang Friendship House
» Solvang Senior Center
» Special Olympics Santa Barbara
» St. Vincent’s
» State Street Ballet
» Storyteller Children’s Center
» Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation
» Foundation for Girsh Park
» Foundation for Santa Barbara City College
» Howard School
» The Little Cottage
» Transition House
» Triad Properties
» Turning Point Foundation
» United Boys & Girls Club of Goleta
» United Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara West Clubhouse
» United Boys & Girls Club of Carpinteria
» United Way of Santa Barbara County
» United Way of Ventura County
» Unity Shoppe, Inc.
» Valley Haven, Inc.
» Ventura County Community Foundation
» Ventura County Housing Trust Fund
» Ventura County Medical Resource Foundation
» Ventura Music Festival
» Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care of Santa Barbara
» Westmont College
» Wilderness Youth Project
» Women’s Economic Ventures
» YMCA Youth and Family Services: Noah’s Anchorage Youth Crisis Shelter
» YMCA: Stuart C. Gildred Family Santa Ynez

Noozhawk iSociety columnist 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.