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Wednesday, December 12 , 2018, 7:35 am | Fair 45º


Friendship Center Honors Sisters Andriana, Sophia Hohlbauch at Wine Down Benefit

Hundreds of center’s friends turn out for 6th annual Wine Down and Big Heart Award presentation

Friendship Center executive director Heidi Holly, center, with Big Heart Award winners — and sisters — Andriana and Sophia Hohlbauch at the organization’s Sixth Annual Wine Down. Click to view larger
Friendship Center executive director Heidi Holly, center, with Big Heart Award winners — and sisters — Andriana and Sophia Hohlbauch at the organization’s Sixth Annual Wine Down. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

Under gently swaying palm and eucalyptus trees, Friendship Center hosted its Sixth Annual Wine Down on a recent Friday evening at its Montecito campus courtyard.

A couple of hundred friends of the South Coast’s only nonprofit, licensed adult day services program turned out for the casual and festive event, which featured eight local vintners and a brewery pouring their wines and beers for tasting.

Participating vintners included Buttonwood Farm Winery, Fontes & Phillips, Pegasus Estate Winery, Qupé, Rideau Vineyard, the Sanger Family of Wines, Vinemark Cellars and Zaca Mesa, with Surf Brewery pouring beer samples.

A special part of the program was the presentation of the Friendship Center’s annual Big Heart Award, which recognizes those individuals and organizations that remain true to the center’s mission, provide support to Friendship Center financially or through volunteer efforts and support, and advocate for elder concerns and issues.

This year, the recognition was presented to a sister duo — Andriana and Sophia Hohlbauch — who have supported the Friendship Center for years.

Board president Kathy Marden spoke about her involvement with the center.

“It is such a wonderful place for our seniors to be,” she said. “It is a very special place.”

Marden also credited the event committee, which included herself, Sue Adams, Karolyn Hanna and Pamela Vander Heide.

Delicious hors d’oeuvres were provided by Spices N Rice and live music by Montecito Jazz Project rounded out the event.

Stephen Meade of radio station KJEE conducted a short live auction. An especially sought after auction item was the chance for a child or grandchild to be “a junior weather person” with KEYT News meterorologist Meredith Garofalo, who was on hand to cheer on the bidding.

Not to be forgotten was Friendship Center executive director Heidi Holly, who is celebrating her 30th anniversary with the center.

“Every day continues to be an inspiration to me here,” she told Noozhawk. “All proceeds from this event benefit our programs and progress, including our new facility in Goleta.”

Generous sponsors included MarBorg Industries, Union Bank, Dana and Randy VanderMey, Heritage House Assisted Living, Sharon Kennedy Estate Management, Louise and David Borgatello, Coastal Home Care & Senior Planning Services, Boone Graphics, Castle Wealth Planning LLC, Easy Lift Transportation Inc., Penny Mathison, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care and many others.

In addition to adult day services for aging and dependent adults with cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease, the Friendship Center provides a variety of activity-based programs. Connections is for those in early stages of memory loss, and Brain Fitness for Successful Aging is a six-week series open to anyone wanting to take proactive steps to keep their memory and brain functions sharp. Space is available at both Friendship Center sites in Montecito and Goleta.

Click here for more information about the Friendship Center, or call 805.969.0859.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose 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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