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Montecito Bank & Trust Announces Foodbank as 2012 Beneficiary of Santa Barbara Triathlon

More than 10,000 community votes cast in support of the nine nonprofit contenders

For its fourth consecutive year, Montecito Bank & Trust is the presenting sponsor of the Santa Barbara Triathlon. In its 32nd year, the race is one of the oldest triathlons in the world.

The Santa Barbara Triathlon is a community-oriented event that encourages its triathletes to raise money for a designated nonprofit beneficiary that is chosen each year by the presenting sponsor. This special fundraising effort has raised more than $420,000 for local charities since 2002.

As the 2011 Santa Barbara Triathlon wrapped up in August, Montecito Bank & Trust again opened up the 2012 beneficiary selection process to community voting. The bank selected nine local nonprofit contenders and spread the word that community voting would make the decision in the selection of the lucky 2012 Santa Barbara Triathlon beneficiary. Montecito Bank & Trust posted the eligible nonprofits on its Web site with voting instructions and let the voting begin in September.

The eligible organizations were Casa Pacifica Centers for Children & Families, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Santa Barbara County, Easy Lift Transportation, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, Habitat for Humanity of Southern Santa Barbara County, Hospice of Santa Barbara Inc., the Santa Barbara Police Activities League, the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara and Transition House.

The local communication network instantly went into overdrive with each of these nonprofits stepping up to the challenge to bring out the votes. Clever strategies were employed, and the voting was left open until Nov. 30. The three voting months came to an end with more than 10,000 total votes cast.

“We are so proud to announce that the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County has been named the official beneficiary of the 2012 Santa Barbara Triathlon,” Montecito Bank & Trust President/CEO Janet Garufis said. “We were completely overwhelmed by the community support and votes that came in for all nine of the nonprofits, but in the end the Foodbank’s persistence and hard work led them to receive an impressive 30 percent of the votes. Montecito Bank & Trust actively supports the critical work of the Foodbank, and we look forward to working with Chief Executive Officer Erik Talkin and his team, along with Joe Coito, the Santa Barbara Triathlon director, and his team on another wonderful event.”

“As we approach our 30th anniversary of service, we are honored to have won the community’s vote to become the beneficiary of the 2012 Santa Barbara Triathlon,” the Foobank’s Talkin said. “The triathlon aligns completely with our new approach of ending hunger by replacing it with health and ensuring that exercise is seen as a vital complement to good nutrition in our programs. We appreciate Montecito Bank & Trust’s continued support of our mission and look forward to demonstrating the connection between good health, nutrition and exercise in our work.”

“It’s so generous of Montecito Bank & Trust to once again allow the community to select the beneficiary,” Coito said. “Working with the bank’s employees has been such a pleasure, and their commitment to the athletes, quality of the event and to the beneficiary continues to impress me. Registration for the August 2012 event opens on Jan. 1, 2012. I look forward to working with the Foodbank and Montecito Bank & Trust to make the fundraising component another great success.”

Montecito Bank & Trust has branch offices in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Solvang, Montecito, Carpinteria, Ventura, and Westlake Village, with a new Goleta branch opening in January at the corner of Storke Road and Hollister Avenue. The bank continues to demonstrate ongoing support of the community through unique giving programs such as Anniversary GrantsSM and Community Dividends, which annually gifts $1 million to more than 100 local nonprofits.

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


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