Wednesday, March 21 , 2018, 3:58 pm | Light Rain Fog/Mist 57º


Marymount of Santa Barbara Celebrates with ‘Cabo at the Coral’ Fiesta Fundraiser

Benefit event brings in more than $300,000 for the school's students and programs

Amid swaying palms on a spectacularly balmy evening, Marymount of Santa Barbara celebrated its 35th annual benefit auction, “Cabo at the Coral.”

On April 30, guests donned their most fabulous fiesta attire and mingled oceanfront at the Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club in Santa Barbara with fresh margaritas, a nine-piece mariachi band and plenty of good cheer. And why not? The school has much to celebrate.

Marymount is reveling in a productive five-year stretch under beloved and outgoing Head of School Deborah David. Under David’s leadership, the school has experienced unprecedented academic achievement across all areas of its curriculum, landing students in the highest categories of the ERB standardized tests. Currently, 53 percent of students in grades 4-8 have qualified for programs at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth.

Co-chaired by parents Kim Blankenhorn and Sandy Shields, the benefit auction was a smashing success and exceeded the committee’s goal. More than $300,000 was raised to benefit the children and programs at Marymount.

“We chose this fiesta theme as it seemed the perfect reflection of the school’s celebratory nature,” Shields said.

Two heartfelt videos were a highlight of the evening. The first featured the children and faculty in action at Marymount. The second video was a special tribute to David, and there was not a dry eye in the La Pacifica Ballroom.

“We are extremely grateful to Debbi and the faculty and staff at Marymount,” Blankenhorn said. “Not only does the school provide our children with a top-notch education in a nurturing environment, but we also value its emphasis on character development and the importance of having a strong moral compass.”

Other highlights included the paddle raise that brought in more than $75,000 for the teacher endowment and the equally successful live auction led by auctioneer Todd Ventura. The live auction included trips to Cabo San Lucas, Fiji, Sun Valley, San Francisco and Aspen. An adorable 8-week old English cream retriever puppy was also auctioned to the highest bidder. A surprise second puppy from the same litter was brought out and sold for double the fun.

In addition to the live auction, there was a star silent auction, two raffles and a special section of students’ art projects. Silent auction items were also available for bidding online, enabling the school to raise nearly $30,000 of silent auction revenue before the event.

More than 40 parents served on the auction committee, but the key players included Kamala Parris (live auction), Linda Vannier and Pam Sanchez (silent auction), Jan Gomez (sponsorship), Nikki Greene (party book), Nina Gustason (invitations and publicity), Debbie Bettencourt (program) and Kim Curtis (toast). Marymount’s development staff — Andrea McFarling and Heidi Frost — also worked hard to make the event a success.

Top sponsors included Ralph and Melissa Iannelli, Sandy and Mike Shields, Ben and Cheryl Trosky, Kim and Chip Blankenhorn, Patricia and Brian Kelly, First Republic Bank, Helistrand, the Mammel Foundation and MarBorg Industries.

For more information about Marymount of Santa Barbara, click here or call 805.569.1811.

— Kim Blankenhorn is a Marymount of Santa Barbara parent and Board of Trustees member.

  • 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 >

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 through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

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 >