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The Fund for Santa Barbara Honors Spring Grant Recipients

More than a dozen community organizations receive awards totaling $131,660

Members of Santa Barbara’s nonprofit community assembled Thursday evening at Cafe Buenos Aires as The Fund for Santa Barbara held its spring awards ceremony. More than a dozen organizations — covering a variety of efforts from environmental restoration to community activism — were recognized for the grants they received from the fund this year, with awards totaling $131,660.

The audience erupted in rousing applause for the Carpinteria Valley Foundation, which received $7,000 to assist its efforts to oppose Venoco Inc.‘s Paredon Project. The Barbareno Chumash Council was awarded $5,000 for its Rights of Indigenous People Campaign, aimed at promoting awareness among Native American communities around the country.

Perhaps one of the more unusual recipients of grant money this year was Project Gutpile, a nonprofit dedicated to educating ranchers and hunters about the health and environmental dangers of using lead ammunition.

“We need to educate people to give them an option,” said Anthony Prieto, a Project Gutpile spokesman, pointing out that sometimes, merely presenting a Spanish language education option can make a huge difference in spreading awareness about lead ammunition. He said many hunters in the area don’t speak English.

Other grant recipients this year include the AB 540 Coalition of Santa Barbara, which works to make higher education a reality for undocumented students; Doctors Without Walls, a medical provider focusing on the needs of homeless people; the Environmental Defense Center, for its Mission Creek restoration education project; the Santa Barbara County Action Network, which initiated a civic engagement program in Lompoc; Veterans for Peace, for its SBCC Teen memorial; and the Transitions Mental Health Association, which plans to bring community-based agriculture to Santa Maria to help treat mental health patients.

A few organizations received $10,000 multiyear grants as well, including Just Communities Central Coast, the Pacific Pride Foundation’s Strategic Alliance for Marriage Equality campaign, and the PUEBLO Action Fund, which seeks to expand its platform of community activism and political engagement into Santa Maria.

Founded in 1980, The Fund for Santa Barbara provides grants through a number of different donors, including the Sara Miller-McCune Foundation, represented at Thursday’s event. The fund has awarded nearly $4 million to more than 800 projects over the years.

Noozhawk staff writer Ben Preston can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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