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Sunday, December 9 , 2018, 11:50 am | Fair 63º


Luncheon Guests Show Their Support for Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara

The nonprofit presents Strong, Smart, and Bold Awards to Marjorie and Joe Bailey, Ginni and Chad Dreier, and the Hutton Parker Foundation

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

More than 400 supporters filled the ballroom at Bacara Resort & Spa on Thursday for the 13th annual Celebration Luncheon for Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara.

Excitement was in the air as the women and men who support the “Strong, Smart and Bold” nonprofit organization gathered to raise funds for 1,000 local disadvantaged girls.

Actor and businessman Andrew Firestone did a stellar job as master of ceremonies and auctioneer. The production was headed up by event chairwoman Stephanie Ball and committee members Janie Arnold, Shannon Kelly, Melanie Maxfield, Diane McQuarie, Kris O’Leary-Hayes, Carol Olson and Kiz Richter.

Dr. Lois Phillips was the honored speaker. She is a communications expert and author of Women Seen and Heard: Lessons Learned from Successful Speakers.

Phillips has served as the founding director of Antioch University Santa Barbara and has a special interest in advancing women’s careers, companies and board leadership. She has produced conferences on women’s leadership, and produced and moderated two television programs about women’s changing role.

She was preceded by powerful Girls Inc. members Lily, Makayla, Sophia and Roz, who gave outstanding mini-speeches about their Girls Inc. and life experiences as young women in an often male-dominated world.

In addition, Janie Arnold, a single working mother of three girls, described how Girls Inc. not only helped her personally in being able to work full-time and raise her girls, but how the organization really fostered her children’s independence. Her comments were reinforced when her daughter Kate Faust spoke from the podium.

“I really didn’t like school, but I liked Girls Inc. after school," she said. "I had a counselor that taught me to strive for all I could be. I got strong enough, smart enough and bold enough be getting my master’s in public policy at U.C. Berkeley.”

Special guest Judy Vrendenburgh, national president and CEO of Girls Incorporated, described the five-year strategic plan of Girls Inc. to invigorate the nationwide network of Girls Inc. affiliates.

Girls Inc.
Honorees Marjorie, left, and Joe Bailey with longtime Girls Inc. supporter Mary Howe-Grant, Ph.D. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

Girls Inc. also presented its third annual Strong, Smart, and Bold Awards, this year honoring Marjorie and Joe Bailey, Ginni and Chad Dreier, and the Hutton Parker Foundation.

Joe Bailey described his close association with the organization when his company, J.W. Bailey Construction, built the new Goleta Valley Center.

“I grew to admire the organization and the women who raised the money to build it — Sheila Zimmerman and Mary Howe-Grant,” he said.

At 26, Marjorie Bailey joined the Junior Women’s Club and later the Town and Country Club, which provided leadership and support to the original Girls Club as it grew over the decades.

Ginni Dreier thanked Chad, her husband of 45 years, for believing her philanthropy. Chad was president/CEO of the Ryland Group, the seventh-largest builder of homes in the United States.

Susan Parker accepted the honor on behalf of the Hutton-Parker Foundation.

“Betty Hutton was one of the strongest, smartest and boldest women of her day,” she said.

Top sponsors included the Hutton Parker Foundation, Stina Hans and Joel Kreiner, the Baileys, Vikki Cavalletto, Marilyn Gervitz, Goleta Lions, Perri Harcourt, Mary Howe-Grant, the Santa Barbara Public Market, Maryann and Richard Schall, Christi Sulzback, and prior luncheon co-chairs Stephanie and Lorraine Wilson.

Girls Incorporated of Greater Santa Barbara is an affiliate of a national nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold. Through educational programs and advocacy, Girls Inc. offers girls ages 4½ to 18 years the opportunity to participate in research-based programs in which they experience success as they acquire skills, gain confidence, become self-reliant and practice leadership. Girls Inc. programs encourage girls and young women to take risks, master physical, intellectual and emotional challenges, and prepare them to lead successful, independent and fulfilling lives.

Click here for more information about Girls Inc., or contact Shannon Kelly at 805.963.4757 x19 or [email protected].

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.

Girls Inc.
Philanthropists Ginni and Chad Dreier were among the recipients of Girls Inc.'s Strong, Smart, and Bold Awards. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

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