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Montecito Bank & Trust Awards $11,000 in Local Scholarships

Michael Towbes and his executive team honor the recipients at a special luncheon

The Montecito Bank & Trust college scholarship fund for high school seniors has been in existence for 22 years, funding more than $170,000 in scholarships through the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara. For 2012, the bank will provide $9,000 in scholarships with an additional $2,000 specifically for arts scholarships.

Montecito Bank & Trust continues to demonstrate a commitment to its long-standing traditions of giving back to the community.

This scholarship tradition doesn’t end with simply providing the money, however. Each year, the Scholarship Foundation selects the scholarship recipients to receive the bank’s scholarships, and the bank then extends to these students a special luncheon invitation hosted by Chairman Michael Towbes, President/CEO Janet Garufis and other members of the bank’s executive team.

At Friday’s luncheon, each student shared his or her plans for the future, and then Towbes provided the history of the Scholarship Foundation and a very personal message for these young adults.

He asked them to remember this luncheon day and the fact that their community assisted them in fulfilling their dreams. He also asked that as they become established in a community one day, they remember to give back to others in need in order to keep the tradition of support going.

“The bank’s philanthropic events like this scholarship luncheon mean a great deal to me,” Towbes said. “Hearing the achievements and ambitions of these very bright young adults reminds us all that there is hope carried by this next generation to tackle ever-increasing challenges. Their energy, innovation and, most importantly, active community participation, will make a significant difference.”

The Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara began in 1962, founded by a small group of individuals that included Towbes. He was a board member for many years and was active in the interviewing process with the scholarship selection committee.

In the early 1970s, his first wife, Gail, along with Montecito Bank & Trust board member Jerry Parent and others, elevated the vision and activities of the Scholarship Foundation, taking it to a new level of substantial funding. Today, the Scholarship Foundation is the largest community provider of scholarships in the nation.

“We are very proud to be the managers of this special scholarship fund for Montecito Bank & Trust for over 20 years,” said Colette Hadley, executive director of the Scholarship Foundation. “Mr. Towbes and the entire bank team are wonderful supporters of our work and are especially focused on providing opportunities for students. Montecito Bank & Trust demonstrates every day how much they care about our community.”

— Carolyn Tulloh is the director of marketing for Montecito Bank & Trust.

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