Pixel Tracker

Friday, February 15 , 2019, 2:14 pm | Light Rain Fog/Mist 54º

 
 
 
 
Advice

Community Environmental Council Brings Celebration to The Lark for Green Gala

At their fundraising event, CEC honored outgoing CEO Dave Davis and his accomplishments during his 10 year leadership role.

Honoree Dave Davis and incoming CEO Sigrid Wright stop for a photo at the CEC’s Green Gala, held at The Lark. Click to view larger
Honoree Dave Davis and incoming CEO Sigrid Wright stop for a photo at the CEC’s Green Gala, held at The Lark. (Sarah Block / Noozhawk photo)

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

A celebratory and festive crowd of environmental activists gathered at the The Lark in support of the Community Environmental Council’s annual Green Gala and honored outgoing CEO, Dave Davis.

“In addition to honoring a great man and his contribution to CEC and the community, we’re here tonight to celebrate CEC’s 45th anniversary and to talk about the power that even small groups like ours can have,” said CEC’s incoming CEO, Sigrid Wright.

The mission of the CEC is to identify, advocate, raise awareness and develop effective programs to solve the most pressing environmental issues that affect the Santa Barbara region.

The organization has been at the forefront of environmental sustainability, change and progression in the area. From promoting locally farmed organic foods, creating zero-net energy buildings and solar-powered homes to installing electric vehicle charging stations and implementing community-based recycling programs, the CEC is dedicated to reversing the degradation of Santa Barbara’s natural environment.

The popular Funk Zone restaurant was decked out for this private and special evening with guests greeted at the doors by supporters and volunteers.

Executive chef, Jason Paluska, and pastry chef, Jeff Haines, created a specially designed menu reflecting the commitment to locally sourced and responsibly grown food shared by CEC’s Eat Local initiative and the Lark.

Following cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and “eco-portraits” in a photo booth, the chef's served a delectable three-course dinner of local stone fruit and beets, Mary’s roasted chicken and Ras el Hanout spiced Ellwood Canyon summer squash, topped off by roasted banana profiteroles.

CEC’s five core initiatives include drive less, choose electric, go solar, ditch plastic and eat local, as methods to lessen human impact on the planet through a dedication to more renewable and less wasteful resources.

The organization’s primary focus is building a community-based movement that transitions the region off fossil fuels in one generation, with a goal of being “Fossil Free by 33.”

Amid the magic of the evening, attendees celebrated CEC and Dave Davis, who led the organization for more than 10 years.

“In Dave’s ten years as CEC’s executive director, he presided over our transition that moved CEC’s mission to focusing on renewable energy and climate change,” said emcee and Green Gala committee member, Geoff Green.

CEC’s Solarize program assists homeowners with free solar education through community workshops that provides homeowners in Santa Barbra, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties the opportunity to purchase panels at a fixed, discounted price from solar installers.

“Solar is the fastest growing renewable energy in California, and the vast majority of the solar installed in our County was in the last five years,” Wright said. “During that time CEC’s Solarize program helped install the equivalent of 20 percent of county’s total.”

Additionally, the Central Coast now has over 200 public charging stations, and CEC is working with local cities and businesses to install more for electric vehicles in the tri-county region.

“Today, if you’re driving one of the plug-in electric vehicles, such as the Nissan Leaf, you can get the equivalent of 114 mpg,” said Wright.

And, the reality of another in one of many hot days in Santa Barbara was also addressed.

“We need to keep 80 percent of the remaining known fossil fuels in the ground if we are to have a fighting chance at leaving the next generation any kind of world worth living in — and for this we need rapid, fundamental change,” Wright said.

Additionally, the gala symbolized the Lark’s partnership with the City of Santa Barbara’s food scraps program to continue a 5 year tradition of reusing over 90 percent of any waste generated at the Green Gala event.

The night's celebration of Davis highlighted a smooth transition and pointed towards continued strong leadership for the group.

“I wish the CEC the very best as you enter into new endeavors under the dedicated and competent leadership of the board and Sigrid, and her superb staff,” Davis said.

Wright's passion lit the path of strong stewardship for CEC and the environmental community at large.

“Tonight we are celebrating Dave, we are celebrating CEC’s work, and we are making visible the power of community. Please take the flashlights at your tables and turn them on. Point them up,” said Wright.

“And let’s imagine for a moment the other two million organizations and all of their advocates at gatherings across the world…all of us together shining a light.”

Click here for more information about the Community Environmental Council. Click here to make an online donation.

Noozhawk iSociety columnist Melissa Walker can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

Talk to Us!

Please take Noozhawk's audience survey to help us understand what you expect — and want — from us. It'll take you just a few minutes. Thank you!

Get Started >

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 >