Friday, July 20 , 2018, 5:38 pm | Fair 73º


Cynthy Ardell Joins Hillside House Board of Directors

Cynthy Ardell has joined the Hillside House Board of Directors.

Cynthy Ardell
Cynthy Ardell

Located on Veronica Springs Road, Hillside House provides a home and therapeutic learning community for 59 people with developmental disabilities.

Ardell is motivated by a strong sense of compassion and community. In addition to volunteering at her church and with other local charities, she joined the Board of Directors of Hillside House this past fall.

She is also a long-term member of the Assistance League of Santa Barbara and, with ALSB, volunteers at Hillside House, creating activities and events for the residents.

Ardell and her husband, Dave, have also been donors to Hillside House for many years, despite the fact that they do not have a family member living at Hillside House.

With so many worthy causes in the world, one might ask “why Hillside House?” Ardell replies, “I believe that Hillside House and ALSB share a common value to do their very best as institutions to improve people’s lives in the community and that both organizations are able to accomplish a lot on very modest budgets. It is so amazing to see how kind and patient and loving the staff is to the residents.”

Ardell was a member of the Assistance League in Los Angeles for more than 40 years and even served as president there. When she moved to Santa Barbara in 2001, she joined the Assistance League here and, as part of the training, was introduced to Hillside House.

“I was immediately impressed with the opportunity to actually interact and connect with the residents of Hillside House,” she said. “That is not always possible with many nonprofits serving clients with disabilities. I immediately chose to have a Secret Pal at Hillside House. I still have one today.”

ALSB members send their Secret Pals gifts and notes on birthdays and special occasions.

In addition, Ardell says some of her favorite times at Hillside House include the bingo night that the Assistance League hosts several times a year and “The Valentine’s Dance organized by the Assist-teens, high school age kids who volunteer for ALSB, is a big hit. The disc jockey who comes each year and is disabled himself really puts on a show and the teenagers and the residents really connect with each other through the music.”

About volunteering at Hillside House, Ardell encourages others, “Just give it a try. It may be the most rewarding thing you do all week and it truly means so much to many of the residents.”

Craig Olson, executive director of Hillside House, says, “Cynthy truly brings the spirit of compassion and community service to our board in an inspiring way. We need more people like Cynthy in our community and in our world.”

— Maxima Kahn is the development manager for Hillside House.

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