Wednesday, June 20 , 2018, 1:03 am | Fair 61º


Graffy, Garcia to be Honored as Community Stars

Erin Graffy and Dr. James Paul Garcia. Click to view larger
Erin Graffy and Dr. James Paul Garcia.

Dr. James Paul Garcia and his wife Erin Graffy will be honored as Community Stars for their work and devotion to the Santa Barbara community at the 26th Annual Mistletoe Ball, to support Catholic Charities.

The a black-tie dinner dance takes place at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, at the Coral Casino Ballroom, and will include a silent auction and live auction with local auctioneer and newsman John Palminteri.

As a marketing communications specialist, Graffy has volunteered her professional services to numerous organizations, providing business strategies for nonprofit agencies countywide, advising on programs, development and marketing.

She has served on 30 some different boards, commissions and advisory positions in the community. Graffy also has served as emcee, auctioneer or keynote speaker for more than 75 area organizations.

Graffy was the recipient of the KLITE Community Hero Award, the Profant Foundation Michaelangelo Award, and was named Woman of Achievement by the Santa Barbara Business and Professional Women.

She also was given the title of Citizen Diplomate by County Kerry, Ireland  as the founder of Santa Barbara’s sister city in Dingle, Ireland.

Dr. Garcia is an educational psychologist and a diplomate in the American Board of School Neuro-Psychologists.

Almost 40 years ago, Dr. Garcia co-designed the behavioral and emotional curriculum for the Center for Therapeutic Education (CTE), which was the first such program in local public schools.

The CTE program is a special education classroom for emotionally disturbed students in public schools. and provides a highly structured environment with core academic curriculum while providing in-class mental health support.

The design later was adopted by several counties in California. The basic design underwent modifications and adaptions on its way to becoming the current program implemented by many states for the education of emotionally disturbed students.

Dr. Garcia was among the first 60 people in the U.S. to train with Drs. Sigfried and Sue Othmer, the pioneers of EEG biofeedback.

Subsequently, he was the first to bring neuro-training to the tri-counties, more than 25 years ago to treat children with ADHD and learning disorders.

He set up a neuro-training lab at Bishop High School and volunteered his time, working with students with a variety of learning disabilities and training staff how to accommodate students with special needs within the classroom.

During his time with Santa Barbara County Schools, he volunteered on weekends with Special Olympics, helping the orthopedic-impaired and developmentally-delayed students to participate in Special Olympic activities.

For 90 years, Catholic Charities has helped the working poor of all faiths in Santa Barbara so they can stay productive in their homes and on the job.

For tickets to the ball and more information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Yolanda at Catholic Charities, 965-7045 ext 109.

—  Debbie Saucedo for Catholic Charities.


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