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Girls Inc. of Carpinteria Luncheon to Honor Local ‘Women of Inspiration’

Meredith Scott, Janet McCann, Janet Garufis and Marni Cooney will be recognized for their accomplishments at the March 19 community event

Girls Inc. of Carpinteria invites the community to celebrate strong, smart and bold women at its “Women of Inspiration: Garden to Table Celebration Luncheon” from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday, March 19 at 5315 Foothill Road in Carpinteria.

Recognizing heroic local women is a hallmark of the annual luncheon, which serves as a key to raising awareness and funds for the organization’s mission to cultivate confident, successful girls.

This year’s event will feature keynote speaker Kathleen de Chadenedes, professional chef and sustainable foods advocate who serves as director of the Orfalea Fund’s s’Cool Food Initiative. This program helps Santa Barbara County school districts implement and sustain nourishing, cook-from-scratch food service operations. School gardens, at the heart of the program, help schools procure as much locally produced food as possible.

“School gardens do so much more than grow food,” de Chadenedes said. “They plant the seeds of a lifelong love of gardening and healthy eating habits.”

Women of Inspiration is co-chaired by Nini Seamen and Sandra Tyler.

“Girls Inc. of Carpinteria is dedicated to improving the lives and the futures of local girls,” Seamen said. “This year’s luncheon is themed ‘Garden to Table’ for its focus on locally grown, healthy foods and their growing role in our organization. Girls Inc.’s expanded gardening and cooking programs encourage an enhanced connection between youths and the foods they eat and an increased understanding the importance of fresh foods to their health.”

The luncheon will also honor four women whose achievements in Santa Barbara County make them important role models for local girls. Meredith Scott, Janet McCann, Janet Garufis and Marni Cooney will receive well-deserved recognition for their many accomplishments.

Scott has served the Santa Barbara community as an active volunteer for several nonprofit organizations, including the Children’s Creative Project, CALM, the Assistance League of Santa Barbara, the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara and Casa Pacifica.

McCann is co-owner and vice president of Hazelwood Allied and McCann Mini Storage LLC, both headquartered in Carpinteria. She is also a real estate broker and devotes much of her time to volunteer and philanthropy efforts on behalf of several local charitable foundations.

Garufis, who is also very active with local nonprofits, accepted her current position as president and chief executive officer of Montecito Bank & Trust in September 2006. Under the stewardship of Garufis, MBB&T has grown from $940.5 million to $1.02 billion in assets. Since coming to the community, she has been actively involved with the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara, Women’s Economic Ventures, Habitat for Humanity and United Way of Santa Barbara County.

Cooney is a longtime community volunteer and philanthropist. She is also the co-chair of the Family Service Agency’s Board of Directors.

The ticket price for the luncheon is $60. To purchase tickets or for more information, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 805.684.6364.

— Victoria Juarez is executive director of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria.

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