Friday, August 17 , 2018, 5:00 am | Fair 66º

 
 
 
 

Montecito Bank & Trust Gives $20K to Local Nonprofits in Anniversary Grant Program

Program created by late founder Michael Towbes celebrates philanthropic work in the community

Montecito Bank & Trust President and CEO Janet Garufis, Dan La Berge of Mothers’ Helpers, Montecito Bank & Trust employees Reyna Kaufman and Antoinette McCauley and George Leis, the bank’s chief operating officer, attend the Anniversary Grants program Thursday. Click to view larger
Montecito Bank & Trust President and CEO Janet Garufis, Dan La Berge of Mothers’ Helpers, Montecito Bank & Trust employees Reyna Kaufman and Antoinette McCauley and George Leis, the bank’s chief operating officer, attend the Anniversary Grants program Thursday. (Clint Weisman photo)

Montecito Bank & Trust awarded $20,000 in grants Thursday to 10 local nonprofits hand-selected by employees during a celebration of the bank’s 43rd anniversary.

Bank employees awarded $2,000 to each grantee after they nominated the organization, campaigned and voted for the nonprofit they value most.

More than $305,000 have been awarded since the program began in 1993, bank spokeswoman Jamie Perez said.

Thursday's gathering at the downtown branch of Montecito Bank & Trust marked the first Anniversary Grant reception since the bank's founder and owner Michael Towbes’ passing in April 2017

President and CEO Janet Garufis said the program was created by Towbes to celebrate the “philanthropic work of our associates in the communities we serve and to give each of them a choice in the direction of our corporate giving.” 

Programs like the Anniversary Grant continue Towbes' legacy and values of the bank founded under his leadership, Garufis said.

Garufis thanked the associates for honoring the Santa Barbara County Search & Rescue and National Disaster Search Dog Foundation in wake of December’s Thomas Fire and Montecito’s debris flows.

From left, Montecito Bank & Trust employee Viara Vachovska, Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy student Lora Vachovska, DPEA founder and director Amir Abo-Shaeer and DPEA student Emma Schottattend the Anniversary Grants program Thursday. Click to view larger
From left, Montecito Bank & Trust employee Viara Vachovska, Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy student Lora Vachovska, DPEA founder and director Amir Abo-Shaeer and DPEA student Emma Schottattend the Anniversary Grants program Thursday. (Clint Weisman photo)

“The community response to the disasters, including the actions of these two organizations, has been remarkable and is a true testament to the pride and commitment we all feel for this wonderful place we call home,” Garufis said.

“Montecito Bank & Trust stands strong and committed to the Central Coast communities. We will continue to help our community rebuild — it’s at the core of what our community bank is all about.”

The 2018 grant recipients were:

» Court Appointed Special Advocates of Santa Barbara County, known as CASA

» Dog Adoption & Welfare Group, known as DAWG

» The Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy

» Many Mansions

» Mothers Helpers, Inc. 

» The National Search Dog Foundation

» Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue 

» Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center 

» Solvang Theaterfest, Inc. 

» Wilderness Youth Project

Recipients received a brief promotional video produced by Cox Communications showcasing each organization’s work, in addition to the grants.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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