Pixel Tracker

Sunday, November 18 , 2018, 3:02 pm | Fair with Haze 67º

 
 
 
 

Blues on the Bayou Event Celebrates 15-Year Mark for Santa Barbara Rescue Mission

Fundraising event expected to bring in $400,000 for the Rescue Mission's residential recovery program and other services

Rebecca Weber, Susan Hughes, Suzi Ryan, and Pamela Gilbert helped make the Blues on the Bayou event a success. Click to view larger
Rebecca Weber, Susan Hughes, Suzi Ryan, and Pamela Gilbert helped make the Blues on the Bayou event a success.  (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

 

This year marks the 15th year of the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission’s annual Back to the Bayou event. This year the Rescue Mission’s energetic 65-member Women’s Auxiliary, which organizes the event, dubbed this year’s event Blues on the Bayou.

The theme was carried out with saxophonist Ron McCarley and his quartet belting out well-known blues tunes throughout the afternoon, blue-hydrangeas clustered around the podium, and exquisite blue and lavender themed table settings, as well as many guests who donned blue and indigo clothing for the fete.

The casual afternoon event was held outdoors at the historic Rancho Dos Pueblos estate located just north of Goleta under groves of towering trees. Gratitude was expressed to the ranch owners Henry and Dundi Schulte for providing the unique venue.

After lots of bidding at the silent auction tables, guests feasted on sumptuous Louisiana cuisine created by Lorraine Lim Catering. Funds raised at the event make it possible for the Rescue Mission to offer a successful 12-month residential recovery program, and beds for homeless guests. 

This year Silvio Di Loreto was honored with the Léni Fé Bland Award. Introduced by longtime Rescue Mission supporter Gerd Jordano, Di Loreto was recognized for the important role he has played in the history of the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission and for his help securing the real estate where the facility now resides on Yanonali Street.

Santa Barbara Rescue Mission president Rolf Geyling, honoree Silvio Di Loreto, and board chair Karl Willig attend the Blues on the Bayou event. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara Rescue Mission president Rolf Geyling, honoree Silvio Di Loreto, and board chair Karl Willig attend the Blues on the Bayou event.  (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

It was anticipated that this year’s Bayou event will again raise $400,000 to assist people seeking recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.

To date, the Rescue Mission has helped over 679 people achieve recovery in the last 19 years. “While only 21 percent of those completing treatment programs nationally maintain their sobriety beyond five years, we are proud that 51 percent of our graduates remain in recovery over this same time period,” Rescue Mission President Rolf ​Geyling said.

Top patrons included Hank and Maureen Bowis, Cottage Health, Ron and Terry Foil, Frank Schipper Construction, David and Anna Grotenhuis, Kiah and Anna Jordan, Cal and Phyllis Marble, Suzi Ray, Karl & Julie Willig, Soctt and Sharon Wilson, Rolf and Trish Geyling, Ramone & Anne Gupta, HUB International, Bob and Janet Kates, Montecito Bank & Trust, Ian and Joyce Ritchie, George and Beth Wood, and many others.

Deserving credit for the event’s success were Bayou event chairs Susan Hughes and ​Suzi Ryan, SBRM Women’s Auxiliary Chair Andrea Preiser, decorations chair Dianne Davie, silent auction coordinators Rose Hodge and Terry Foil and many more. Emcee Catherine Remak kept the program going smoothly!

Santa Barbara Rescue Mission client Ian gave a heartfelt speech on his journey to recovery.

“Six years ago, today, I was in the men’s program at the Mission. I had been there for about 16 days and was only just starting to feel human again,” he said.

The Ron McCarley quartet belted out some great blues tunes for the Blues on the Bayou fete. Click to view larger
The Ron McCarley quartet belted out some great blues tunes for the Blues on the Bayou fete. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

“I was 41 years old, completely broke, divorced twice, and at absolute rock bottom. I was at the end of a 28-year love affair with alcohol. Everything that I had spent my life gaining was gone. My story is one of a man whose life, on the surface, looked to be under control, but underneath is a story of the slow accrual and inevitable total destruction that comes when hubris and addiction are allowed to coexist, for decades.

“Counter to many stories that you may hear from people in my position, I had a wonderful childhood. I grew up in Santa Barbara, the only son in a loving family. I spent my early childhood associated with the church and at 12 or 13 came to accept Christ.”

However in high school, Ian said that something snapped inside him. Daily drinking became the norm. He decided to join the California Army National Guard and later the U.S. Army serving in the Middle East.

However, after returning to the States, his marriage and his military service ended within weeks of each other, and for the next 20 years his life spiraled downward.

“So this brings us to the part of my story where the circle comes full,” Ian continued.

“The part where we get to see the gracious mercy of the most faithful and patient God. It was His voice that I’d ignored for all those years. In a single year — the time I would come to spend in the Rescue Mission’s men’s program — God restored everything it had taken me well over 20 to destroy.

“Today I have a good position at a large, growing company in Goleta and a wonderful family. I have a beautiful wife and an amazing step-daughter. But the most amazing work that God has done in my life happened since I’ve left the Mission.

"We have in our home a young baby. Drugs and alcohol left him without a viable family to care for him. Whether this is long-term, or short, we are not sure. The future of this child will be shaped by the work you have done. And it is for this that I am most grateful.”

For more information, visit the Rescue Mission website here or contact Rebecca M. Weber, director of communications and constituent relations of Santa Barbara Rescue Mission, call 805.966.1316 extension 105. ​

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

Santa Barbara Rescue Mission Women’s Auxiliary members Marna Coday, Cheryl Barbaria, Carolyn Savage, and Pam Sneddon. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara Rescue Mission Women’s Auxiliary members Marna Coday, Cheryl Barbaria, Carolyn Savage, and Pam Sneddon.  (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >