Wednesday, September 20 , 2017, 7:37 am | Fair 54º

 
 
 
 

Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse ‘Rocks the Bacara’ for 30th Annual Amethyst Ball

Alan Parsons Live Project and Ambrosia’s Dave Pack wow the crowd at benefit for CADA's 23 prevention and treatment programs

Event co-chairs, from left, Anne Smith Towbes, Diana MacFarlane, Betsy Turner, Holly Murphy and Susan Neuman at the 30th annual Amethyst Ball to benefit the Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse.
Event co-chairs, from left, Anne Smith Towbes, Diana MacFarlane, Betsy Turner, Holly Murphy and Susan Neuman at the 30th annual Amethyst Ball to benefit the Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse. (Gail Arnold / Noozhawk photo)

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

More than 400 supporters of the Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse turned out for the 30th annual Amethyst Ball, where the Alan Parsons Live Project and Dave Pack from Ambrosia gave incredible performances and nearly $300,000 was raised for the Santa Barbara County organization.

CADA’s mission is to build a safer, healthier community by preventing and treating alcoholism and drug abuse. CADA offers a wide array of prevention and treatment programs, 23 in all, for youth and adults throughout the county.

During an extended cocktail hour on a delightfully warm and sunny late afternoon, a colorful and lively crowd mingled on the scenic ballroom patio at Bacara Resort & Spa in Goleta.

At this “Rock Meets Black Tie” event, guests donned in tuxes and exquisite evening gowns stood alongside others in leather jackets and psychedelic prints. Many bid on the enticing silent auction offerings.

The Bacara Ballroom was opulently decorated in amethyst hues at every turn — from the floor-to-ceiling amethyst draperies to the rhinestone-studded amethyst chair coverings to the sparkle-laden amethyst tablecloths.

While the dining room was pure opulence, the stage was full-scale rock concert, complete with a gigantic video wall center stage and large video screens to each side.

After greetings from emcee Catherine Remak, who also serves as CADA’s director of corporate development and communication, and welcome remarks from CADA president and CEO Ed Stonefelt, a short video was played featuring Alan Parsons and Eric Burdon, the lead singer of The Animals. They both spoke from the heart in discussing the prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse in segments of society and the immensely valuable work CADA does — serving more than 9,000 people last year.

Guests dined on a gourmet three-course meal featuring pan-seared filet of beef with horseradish and truffle cream, toasted farro risotto, carrots and asparagus.

Alan Parsons, left, from the Alan Parsons Live Project, and wife Lisa, honorary chairs of the event, with David Pack from Ambrosia. Both Pack and the Alan Parsons Live Project performed.
Alan Parsons, left, from the Alan Parsons Live Project, and wife Lisa, honorary chairs of the event, with David Pack from Ambrosia. Both Pack and the Alan Parsons Live Project performed. (Gail Arnold / Noozhawk photo)

Andrew Firestone fired up the audience for a short live auction, which included a $10,000 shopping spree at Bryant & Sons Jewelers. A paddle raise followed.

While Firestone was calling out relatively low dollar amounts, an extremely generous donor — Peter Hilf — politely asked when it would be appropriate to give his check for $70,000. Firestone graciously obliged him straight away, and the audience responded with cheers and applause of gratitude.

Before dessert was even served, Dave Pack from Ambrosia jumped on stage and started in with “Twist and Shout,” which within seconds led to a full dance floor. The crowd kept dancing to “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and other tunes before some returned to their seats to indulge in a dark chocolate mousse pyramid with a vanilla brulee center and fresh raspberries.

The floor quickly filled up again as the Alan Parsons Live Project took to the stage and mesmerized the guests with “Eye in the Sky,” “Time” and many of his other hit songs.

This truly magnificent evening was the work of many talented and dedicated individuals, including an event committee co-chaired by Diana MacFarlane, Holly Murphy, Susan Neuman, Anne Smith Towbes and Betsy Turner, and the men’s committee co-chaired by Hilf and Bob Bryant.

Mike Lazaro, Kevin Rock and Jerry Petticord produced the event.

Among CADA’s 23 programs is the Fighting Back school-based mentoring program. This program pairs community members with at-risk children in fourth to eighth grade on the South Coast, and the mentors meet at school for an hour each week. The program is always seeking volunteers, especially males. Training is provided. Click here for more information.

For individuals and families, CADA provides confidential assessments, counseling, referral and resource information at its Drop-In Center at 123 E. Haley St. It operates an adult outpatient treatment program that offers comprehensive services.

CADA also runs the only residential detox program on the South Coast. At this facility, according to Stonefelt, organizers are “doing discharge planning” from Day One, encouraging participants to make the transition to CADA’s longer-term treatment programs from the 14-day detox program.

The Youth Service System provides a continuum of prevention and intervention services to students on junior high and high school campuses. The Daniel Bryant Youth & Family Treatment Center, 1111 Garden St. in Santa Barbara, provides outpatient treatment for those ages 12 to 18 struggling with alcohol or drug problems.

Click here for more information about CADA and its 23 programs, or call 805.963.1433. Click here to make an online donation.

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

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