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Casa del Herrero Decks the Halls in Celebration of the Holiday Season

Guests enjoy wine and appetizers at the exclusive and festive Christmas at the Casa

Casa del Herrero honoree Sharon Bradford, left, who received the Silver Belle Award for her dedication, Executive Director Jessica Tade and David Bradford at Christmas at the Casa at Casa del Herroro in Montecito. Click to view larger
Casa del Herrero honoree Sharon Bradford, left, who received the Silver Belle Award for her dedication, Executive Director Jessica Tade and David Bradford at Christmas at the Casa at Casa del Herroro in Montecito. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

Christmas at the Casa is the annual event that celebrates the festive holiday season at the historic Casa del Herrero in Montecito.

On an early Saturday evening, just 150 guests got to see the house lit up and decorated in holiday splendor at this exclusive event while enjoying wine, spirits and appetizers with friends and neighbors.

“The evening was sold out before the invitations went out,” said Jessica Tade, recently named executive director. “The experience of being in and walking through a historic space like Casa del Herrero can be transformative. I am so happy to be part of preserving and stewarding this historic treasure in Montecito.”

Casa del Herrero was designed by architect George Washington Smith and completed in 1925, and is considered as one of the finest examples of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture in America. The historic site is located on an 11-acre site on East Valley Road in the heart of Montecito and is operated as a nonprofit organization.

Supporters enjoyed listening to a large group of costumed carol singers under the starry night sky. This year’s event was organized by the Christmas at the Casa event committee, which included co-chairs Elizabeth Storm McGovern and Meghan Stoll.

“Casa del Herrero is a love for Elizabeth and me,” Stoll told Noozhawk. “It is a precious jewel in the middle of Montecito. The 11-acre estate has been preserved as to what it looked like in the 1920s. We hope to raise $100,000 tonight to further this cause.”

“There are very few decorative arts museums like the Casa,” McGovern said. “There is a lot of local interest in architectural preservation and preserving Casa. In addition to preserving this museum site, we want to expand our educational outreach in 2017 and give more schoolchildren the opportunity to come and visit and learn about the history of this wonderful estate.”

Stoll and McGovern were assisted by event committee members Kelly Cox Bilek, Heather Biles, Alexandra Bongaerts, Jessica Bowlin, Laura Bridley, Dinah Calderon, Susan Jackson, Emily Jones, Mari McAlister, Betsey Moller, Suzanne Tucker, Brett Vapnek and Cheryl Ziegler.

Christmas at the Casa co-chairs Meghan Stoll, left, and Elizabeth Storm McGovern.
Christmas at the Casa co-chairs Meghan Stoll, left, and Elizabeth Storm McGovern. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

For her commitment and dedication to Casa del Herrero, Casa presented the Silver Belle Award to Sharon Bradford. Bradford, a longtime Casa del Herrero supporter, served on Casa’s board of trustees for six years and chaired the Christmas at the Casa Committee for two years. She also provided valuable input on the nominating and executive search committees.

Her board and philanthropic experience includes the Ronald McDonald House, the San Francisco SPCA, Gateway Charter High School, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Elings Park, Direct Relief, the Santa Barbara Zoo, the Santa Barbara Historical Museum and the World Wide Web Foundation. She has chaired the Music Academy of the West gala twice and recently was awarded the 2016 Santa Barbara County Philanthropist of the Year by the Santa Barbara/Ventura Counties Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Top sponsors were David Bradford, Karen and Stephen Clark, Cynthia and John Hall, Natalie and Brett Hodges, Joan and Palmer Jackson, Susan and Palmer Jackson Jr., Travis and Thomas Kranz, Gretchen and Marshall Milligan, Nanette and Henry Nevins, Meghan and Robert Stoll, Fred Burrows and Ben Tucker, UBS Santa Barbara, and Cheryl and Peter Ziegler. Christmas Bells sponsors included Laura and John Bridley, Nancy and Robert Gregory; Elizabeth Storm McGovern; and Mary Lynn and Warren Staley. There were an additional 80 sponsors.

The Casa’s board of trustees includes president Susan Jackson, vice president Robert Williams, treasurer Christopher Hardy, secretary Karen Clark, Henry Nevins, Jane Dailey, Jane Defnet, John Hall, Albert Hinckley Jr., Neil Korpinen, Elizabeth Storm McGovern, Fran Morrow, Annalisa Hinckley Savin, Meghan Stoll, Steve Thompson, Katherine Pharibe Wise and Cheryl Ziegler. George Steedman Bass is the founding trustee.

Casa del Herrero is a 501(c) 3 public nonprofit organization with the goal of preserving the house and grounds as well as the family’s collection of antiques, books, sketchbooks, drawings and horticultural records. The 11-acre site is owned and operated as a historic house museum and garden. Visits are allowed with reservations.

Click here for more information, or call 805.565.5653 or email [email protected].

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

Holiday decorations light up Casa del Herrero in Montecito. Click to view larger
Holiday decorations light up Casa del Herrero in Montecito. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

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