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Boys & Girls Club Serves Community Dinner, Then Receives a Reason to Be Thankful

A grant from Santa Barbara Bank & Trust means the Downtown Boys & Girls Club will open on Saturdays.

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Servers at the Downtown Boys & Girls Club’s community Thanksgiving dinner on Tuesday included Santa Barbara Bank & Trust President and CEO George Leis, Rep. Lois Capps, Business First Bank Vice President Bibi Moezzi and Cox Communications Public Affairs Director Dave Edelman. (Sonia Fernandez / Noozhawk photo)

About 200 residents had something to be thankful for Tuesday evening, as the Downtown Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara held its annual community Thanksgiving dinner at its facility on Canon Perdido Street.

Guests, including Downtown Boys & Girls Club regulars and their families, homeless shelter residents and several low-income families, were treated to Thanksgiving turkey and all the trimmings, served by the club’s community partners, including Rep. Lois Capps, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust President and CEO George Leis, Business First Bank Vice President Bibi Moezzi and Cox Communications Public Affairs Director Dave Edelman.

“This is our community dinner,” Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Carolyn Brown said. “The kids’ parents bring them, and we go to the homeless shelters and invite the people to come.”

The food was purchased then cooked on site by the club’s Alumni Association.

The club’s children had something else to be thankful for: a check for nearly $20,000 given to them by Santa Barbara Bank & Trust. The donation will enable the Boys & Girls Club to operate on Saturdays for the next year.

The grant for the Saturday program is the second one the Boys & Girls Club has received, and according to Brown, the bank most likely will do the same for 2010.

“How lucky are we as a company in Santa Barbara to be able to help your children and families over Saturdays. We really think this is one of the best organizations in the city,” SBBT’s Leis said as he presented the check. Before SBBT’s assistance, the Downtown Boys & Girls Club had not opened on Saturdays in more than 20 years.

Brown said most of the facility’s activities will continue to operate throughout the weekend, to give local youths something to do and somewhere to be on the weekend.

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