Monday, November 12 , 2018, 10:13 am | Smoke 68º


Santa Barbara Montessori School Goes Wild with ‘Out of Africa’ Auction Extravaganza

Guests dress the part for Friday evening's themed fundraiser at Bacara Resort & Spa

The annual Santa Barbara Montessori School Auction Extravaganza is well known for imaginative and innovative party themes with which parents, faculty and the community have an opportunity to dress up and celebrate to raise funds for a worthy cause.

This year’s theme was “Out of Africa,” and it did not disappoint as guests arrived Friday evening at Bacara Resort & Spa clad in safari attire, including jungle-themed clothing, hats, trousers, stylish dresses and even animal-print painted fingernails.

The evening began with a silent auction, but the atmosphere was festive as guests mingled, sipped champagne and moved about the spacious lower-level rooms of the resort, filled with an array of items up for bid including specialty gift baskets, jewelry and spa certificates.

Diners sat by campfires and under mosquito netting in Bacara’s ballroom, tastefully redecorated by Montessori-trained teachers and sisters Aran Klingensmith and Allwyn Fitzpatrick to coincide with the African-inspired theme.

Co-founder and Head of School Jim Fitzpatrick welcomed the guests and said the secret about Santa Barbara Montessori School is out.

“There are SBMS alumni attending or graduating from UC Berkeley, Brown, UC Santa Cruz, UCSB and dozens of other colleges and universities,” he said, “but there is a collective group of Montessori alumni around the world who are just now beginning to be recognized for their contributions to our contemporary culture.”

Notable Montessorians mentioned include Prince William, founder Jeff Bezos and the late Santa Barbara chef Julia Child.

During dinner, guests were treated to a charming video titled “The Secret Is Out,” directed by Colin Fitzpatrick, director of Santa Barbara Montessori School’s Coryat Media Center. The video featured Montessori students in character for the evening events with their faces painted as lions, zebras and leopards, dancing and playing on the school grounds.

Later, a live auction was hosted by grand master safari leader Bill Pintard, a longtime SBMS parent and manager of the Santa Barbara Foresters baseball team. The auction included items and special projects created by the students in each of the school’s classes, in addition to a custom “SBMS” Surfboard hand-shaped by Craig Angell.

Jose and Leah Sahagun’s 6-year old son, Emilio, who has been at Santa Barbara Montessori School since he was 18 months old, said the teachers and environment at SBMS helped the boy thrive by following his growth individually and helping inspire his love of learning and kindness toward others.

Funds raised from the event will assist in paying for half of Emilio’s tuition next year and provide other contributions to SBMS and students.

“We are so grateful for this gift so that Emilio can continue his amazing education at the best school in Santa Barbara,” Leah Sahagun said.

Santa Barbara Montessori School was founded in 1975 as the Montessori Children’s Home and is now celebrating its 36th year offering progressive educational programs for children ages 18 months to 12 years.

Sponsors of the event included Renaud’s Patisserie, Business First Bank, the Quinn Family, Melissa and Don Pritchett, McGowan Guntermann, Bacara Resort & Spa and Jensen AV.

— Noozhawk society correspondent Melissa Walker can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews, and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >