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Guests Kick Up Their Heels at American Cancer Society’s ‘Stetsons & Stilettos’ Gala

A special tribute honors Fess Parker, whose adult children express gratitude for the treatment their late father received for colon cancer

A rip-roarin’ good time was had by all last Saturday as more than 250 guests were rounded up for the American Cancer Society’s “Stetsons & Stilettos, Hope on the Range” event hosted by the Carriage and Western Art Museum of Santa Barbara.

Folks clad in wide-brimmed Stetson hats, colorful western shirts and stylish stilettos strutted their stuff at the second annual gala.

The afternoon began with a VIP greeting and reception hosted by master of ceremonies Stefan Carpenter of KRAZy Country 105.9 FM. Some guests mingled and posed for photos in front of historic carriages, buggies and wagons, and others sipped cowboy cocktails.

Attendees were then treated to a ranch-style barbecue dinner and enjoyed live music performed by Rebecca Chapman and The Scrub Jays.

During intermission, band member Jeness Johnson addressed the crowd and stressed the importance of replacing the fear of cancer with hope.

“My brother, Mike, was told that he had cancer and only a short time to live,” Johnson said. “That was 15 years ago, and he’s still here today.”

Honorary chair Ashley Parker Snider, director of admissions and public relations for Bishop Garcia Diego Garcia High School, extended heartfelt thanks to the volunteers and sponsors, and a special tribute was paid to her late father, Fess Parker.

“Thank you for coming and honoring dad,” Snider said. “This organization does great work. No one wants to think about this, but it’s reality.”

Event chair Katherine Hanna presented Snider and Eli Parker with a landscape painting created by Claudia Lash titled “Fess Paradise,” and the crowd was moved as Snider tearfully accepted the painting.

Parker, president of Fess Parker Winery, thanked the American Cancer Society of Santa Barbara for the treatment and preventive programs that helped his father fight colon cancer.

“Dad decided not to go with the old standard of treatment, and he was cancer free when he passed away,” Parker said. “Events like this make you think about all the wonderful people we have in the community.”

Honoree Peter Hilf received the Grand Visionary Award for his continued contributions to the American Cancer Society and the Camp Reach for the Stars program.

“I usually attend these types of events in a suit, but today I’m wearing dirty jeans,” Hilf said. “I thank Kate and ACS for promoting an event where I can dress down, and for that I’ll grant an additional $35,000.”

As the sun set in the west, a live auction hosted by Jeff Barry was just heating up. Barry’s fiery persona and witty one-liners roused the crowed into bidding for items, including an autographed Fender guitar by Richie Sambora signed by all four members of Bon Jovi, a visit to the set of Modern Family at the Fox Studio Lot in Los Angeles and a seven-night stay at a Steamboat Springs condo in Colorado.

Dessert and dancing followed the live auction, and the dance floor filled up quickly with the guests tapping boots and swirling heels.

The night concluded with a “Happy Trails” farewell and “Round Up Auction Wins” as the dust settled on a festive evening.

The event’s sponsors and volunteers included Peter Hilf and MacDonald Family Foundation; media sponsor — Santa Barbara Independent; Silver Spur — Ashley Parker Snider; Wagon Wheels for a Cure — Toyota of Santa Barbara; Bucking Bronco — Damitz, Brooks, Nightingale, Turner & Morrisset; stagecoach table sponsors — Santa Barbara Hematology Oncology Medical Group, Cottage Health System, the Lash family and Lynn Mazza; Diamond Jim — Dako North America Inc.; gala supporter — Judith Meyer, Ph.D.; physician honor roll — Aloe Dermatology and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in honor of Dr. Frederic Kass; underwriters — the Lash family; in-kind donors — Buttonwood Farm Winery, Country Catering, Everbloom, Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort, Fess Parker Winery, Glenda’s Party Cove, Jedlicka’s, MarBorg Industries, Richard and Karen Fryklund, Rob Hoffman Photography, Sanford Winery & Vineyard, Santa Barbara Ice Co., Telegraph Brewing Co., The Tent Merchant, Theil Shelton Design, Ventura Limoncello Co. and KRAZy Country Radio.

Noozhawk iSociety columnist 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.

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