Saturday, March 24 , 2018, 6:53 am | Fair 43º


Common Bond Unites Co-Chairs of Charity Event

Lacy Taylor and Kathy Kelley have much in common. Both are business leaders who live and work in Santa Barbara. Taylor is a civil litigation attorney. Kelley is the owner of a dental staffing firm. Both are outdoor enthusiasts, family people and mothers.

Kathy Kelley Click to view larger
Kathy Kelley
Lacy Taylor Click to view larger
Lacy Taylor

A lot connects them — and nothing more than Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation. Over the years, both Kelley and Taylor have devoted much time and energy to the nonprofit foundation, which is commemorating its 15th year of helping to provide for families that have a child with cancer.

This year, Kelley and Taylor are uniting to co-chair TBCF's Annual Gold Ribbon Luncheon. The premier event takes place on Oct. 5 in the Coral Casino at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara.

Taylor and Kelley both have very personal reasons for their dedication to TBCF.

Taylor first connected with TBCF in 2009, when her son Wyatt, now 16, was diagnosed with cancer.

"Teddy Bear helped us with living expenses and then later tutoring and counseling for Wyatt," Taylor said. "After he was better, we started volunteering and paying it forward, because that's what we could do, to show our gratitude for everything Teddy Bear did for us."

The Taylors' "Teddy Bear family" includes Lacy, her husband, Michael, an independent contractor in the medical device industry, and their three kids: Jackson, 19, and Mia, 7, as well as Wyatt, who in addition to fundraising for TBCF also speaks publicly on behalf of the foundation.

"It's a way of helping an organization that really deserves it and that was so instrumental to our family's happy ending," Taylor said. "I'm thrilled to co-chair the Gold Ribbon event this year. It's my honor."

For Kelley, the connection goes back almost to the start of TBCF, when her nephew was a "Teddy Bear kid," battling (and ultimately beating) cancer; and his family was receiving vital help from the foundation.

"As a mom myself (now with two grown daughters), I was very grateful that I didn't have to face this, and I wanted to show my gratitude somehow," Kelley said.

That chance came in 2012, when TBCF was seeking community support for its 10-year commemorative event. "When the opportunity came to get involved, I welcomed it wholeheartedly," Kelley said.

She has remained active with TBCF in the five years since, and when the chance arose to co-chair this year's Gold Ribbon event, she gladly jumped at it.

"I'm really excited about it," she said. "I don't believe in any other organization more than I believe in Teddy Bear. To help out families with kids who are sick ... there isn't a better mission on Earth."

The Gold Ribbon Luncheon's other key committee members are Hal Price, vice co-chair, and Connie Gillies, Erin Griffin, Jamie Hansen, Corey Lester, Monique Montgomery, Michael Taylor, John Weninger, with support from Pamela Gruen, Stephanie J. Noel Kirlin and Bibi Moezzi.

The luncheon also is supported by Gold Ribbon Campaign sponsors, with apecial thanks to Jeffrey and Margo Baker Barbakow as the premier sponsor.

Additional support comes from Visionary Bear Sponsors Aera Energy, Avalan Wealth Management, Rich Schuette, Lash Construction, Mad Fitness SB, Pacific Premier Bank, and Brody and Bonnie Trejos.

Founded in 2002, TBCF is dedicated to empowering families in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties that have a child (up to age 21) with cancer, by providing emotional, educational and financial support. TBCF has donated more than $1.7 million to families in need.

For more information on Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, including how to become involved by volunteering or making a donation, attending its annual Gold Ribbon Luncheon or otherwise supporting kids with cancer, email [email protected] or call 563-4740.


— Jennifer Goddard for Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation.

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