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Arthritis Foundation Names Honorees for 35th Annual Taste of the Town Santa Barbara

The Arthritis Foundation Central Coast has chosen three key volunteers to honor for their support during the 35th Annual Taste of the Town Santa Barbara, held from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, at Riviera Park Gardens, 2030 Alameda Padre Serra.

The event is the Santa Barbara area’s signature culinary event and features tastings from 80 of the finest local restaurants and Central Coast wineries, breweries and distillers as well as live music and an impressive silent auction.

All proceeds from Taste of the Town Santa Barbara support the local programs and services of the Arthritis Foundation. 

The 2016 Youth and medical honorees will be acknowledged for their volunteer service and contributions during the event. 

Karen and William Gallivan Jr. Click to view larger
Karen and William Gallivan Jr. (Courtesy photo)

2016 Taste of the Town Santa Barbara medical honorees are William Gallivan Jr., M.D., and his wife Karen Gallivan, R.N. 

Dr. Gallivan is a fourth generation surgeon. He earned his medical degree and completed his orthopedic training at Jefferson Medical College and the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia.

In 1992 he began his orthopedic practice and continues today at The Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara. Dr. Gallivan specializes in arthritis and joint preservation surgery, robotic and computer assisted surgery, arthroscopy and sports medicine. 

Karen Gallivan, who obtained her nursing degree at the University of Virginia, provides care and support to patients in their Santa Barbara and Solvang offices.

Both William and Karen have served as Arthritis Foundation volunteers since 2011 and were co-chairs of the 2013 Santa Barbara Walk to Cure Arthritis that raised more than $100,000.

When not busy with orthopedics or nursing, Bill and Karen enjoy traveling and spending time with their six children.

Erin Mahan Click to view larger
Erin Mahan (Courtesy photo)

Erin Mahan of Santa Barbara is the 2016 Taste of the Town Santa Barbara youth honoree. Erin is a 17-year old senior at Dos Pueblos High School diagnosed in 2014 with ankylosing spondylitis (arthritis affecting the spine and other joints).

Many assume that children cannot have arthritis, but over 300,000 children in the United States have the diagnosis.

Mahan shares her story so that people can understand that kids get arthritis, too.

“A couple of years ago, I started to have fairly severe pain in my ribs; a few months later the pain spread to the rest of my joints. I saw a Dr. Miriam Parsa, a pediatric rheumatologist specialist, who diagnosed me and began treatment immediately that has really helped.

“This summer, I went to Arthritis Foundation Camp Esperanza for the first time. It was a truly amazing experience: I met so many strong kids and teens going through similar challenges and I made lifelong friends. I thank the Arthritis Foundation, as well as my family and friends, for the unconditional support they have given me,” Mahan says. 

The Arthritis Foundation is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of 53 million people with arthritis through health education, advocacy, research and local juvenile arthritis support.  

Community support for Taste of the Town Santa Barbara is provided by co-chairs Tina Takaya and Richard Yates, co-owners of opal Restaurant & Bar, along with more than 100 volunteers handling planning and logistics for the popular event. 

Additional 2016 Taste of the Town Santa Barbara honorees are Ron Melville, lead vintner, founder pnd President of Melville Winery, and three honorary lead chefs: Bacara Resort & Spa’s Executive Chef Vincent Lesage; Patrice Martineau, Executive Chef at Montage Beverly Hills and Chef Johan Denizot, Executive Chef at the Belmond El Encanto Santa Barbara.

Taste of the Town Santa Barbara tickets purchased before Sept. 10 are $125 per person; tickets at the door are $140. Tickets are limited, so advance reservations are encouraged by calling the Arthritis Foundation at 805.563.4685 or by visiting

Laura Kath is a publicist representing the Arthritis Foundation Central Coast.

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