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United Way’s Red Feather Ball Raises $260,000 for Literacy Programs

Gala celebrates the service and contributions of the Boehms of ABC-CLIO and the Borgatellos of MarBorg Industries

The 15th annual Red Feather Ball has taken place. This successful gala event raised money for United Way’s United for Literacy programs and honored Eric, Ron and Marlys Boehm of ABC-CLIO and Mario and David Borgatello of MarBorg Industries for more than 125 combined years of community business, service and philanthropy.

Thanks to the generous support of individual and corporate sponsors and three anonymous donors with additional and/or matching gifts, the Red Feather Ball held Oct. 22 at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort concluded as one of the top three Red Feather Balls in history with more than $260,000 raised for United Way literacy programs.

The success of the event and the support received from those in attendance will allow United Way to expand the award-winning Fun in the Sun summer enrichment program and the Reading Plus scholarships available in the community.

Twenty-five Santa Barbara County schools and four after-school programs serving more than 3,500 students are experiencing exceptional reading results. Now, thousands more local students will have the life-changing opportunity to experience academic success.

Honorees Ron, Marlys and Eric Boehm with Judy Pochini, Becky Snyder and Paul Didier.
Honorees Ron, Marlys and Eric Boehm with Judy Pochini, Becky Snyder and Paul Didier. (United Way of Santa Barbara County photo)

The gala started with a salute to Eric Boehm, 92, and Mario Borgatello, 93. These patriarchs started businesses that have employed thousands of local people, do business with dozens of local professionals and vendors, and are successfully run by second- and third-generation family members who are committed to giving back to the community and education in so many ways.

The Art Deco & His Society Orchestra had the dance floor packed during and after dinner. Debbie Davison Phelps and Andrew Firestone added grace, humor and results to the program and auction.

The evening culminated in the presentation to the 2011 recipients of the Abercrombie Community Excellence Award to the Boehms and the Borgatellos for decades upon decades of philanthropy and service to the community.

For more information about United Way and/or the Red Feather Ball, click here or call 805.965.8591 x106.

— Kerstin Padilla is an event and marketing coordinator for United Way of Santa Barbara County.

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