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Sunday, December 9 , 2018, 9:50 pm | Fair 52º


Ike Jenkins and Big Band Set Upbeat Tone for Center for Successful Aging Benefit Concert

CSA honors the Assistance League of Santa Barbara with its Spirit of Successful Aging award for its 70 years of service to the community


The Center for Successful Aging presented its sixth annual benefit concert, “Sophisticated Ladies,” featuring an exclusive performance by local music legend Ike Jenkins and his Santa Barbara Big Band.

Twenty accomplished musicians played two sets of polished performances of the brassy, jazzy and nostalgic music of the Big Band era at the beautiful Marjorie Luke Theatre. The 10 musical selections included songs by Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington and others. The performance, to benefit programs for seniors at the Center for Successful Aging, was co-produced by Rod Lathim and CSA board members Bobbi Kroot and Lashon Kelly.

CSA also honored the Assistance League of Santa Barbara with an on-stage presentation of its Spirit of Successful Aging award, which recognized the all-volunteer organization for its 70 years of service, commitment and dedication to the Santa Barbara community.

The Assistance League provides many services and programs, largely funded by the Assistance League Thrift Shop, including Bear Hugs, Fun in the Sun, “Faux Prom” for Seniors, Friendship Luncheon, Prom Dress, Hillside House Resident Enrichment, Operation Bookshelf, Operation School Bell and many more.

Upon acceptance of the Spirit of Successful Aging award from CSA board president Bobbi Kroot, Assistance League board president Carolyn Dennis said, “It is so amazing to receive an award for doing what we love — having fun while helping others.

"To receive the award from such a highly respected organization gives it even greater significance. We send our thanks and appreciation to the Center for Successful Aging for this special recognition, and to our generous community for their 70 years of support.”

Past recipients of the Spirit of Successful Aging award were recognized in the audience: Gil Rosas, Marilyn Gilbert and inaugural honoree Natalie Myerson, who turned 98 last week.

The Center for Successful Aging continued its tradition of presenting mission-driven events that celebrate both the talent and the love of artists who are seniors, paired alongside younger performers.

Assistance League of Santa Barbara public relations chairwoman Susan Engles, left, and board president Carolyn Dennis.
Assistance League of Santa Barbara public relations chairwoman Susan Engles, left, and board president Carolyn Dennis. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

The concerts not only provide an entertaining performing arts experience for seniors and their families, but further the mission of the CSA, to serve seniors and their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs.

“I would like to acknowledge Anita Lampert, who was in charge of the volunteers on the day of the concert, Lashon Kelley, Nancy Gomez and her team, Art Kroot for making the bandstands, and Beverley Jackson for her support of the event,” Kroot said.

About Ike Jenkins and his Santa Barbara Big Band

Jenkins is semi-retired after more than 40 years of teaching in public schools, including Santa Barbara High School, Dos Pueblos High School and La Cumbre Junior High. Jenkins is the director of the Monday Madness Big Band at Santa Barbara City College. He is a judge for high school and college jazz festivals throughout the state. Having served as an early mentor to stars such as Katy Perry, Karl Hunter, Dirk Shumaker from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and Howard McGillin, to name a few, Jenkins is one of the most beloved personalities on Santa Barbara’s music scene.

About the Assistance League of Santa Barbara

The Assistance League of Santa Barbara is an all-volunteer organization that develops and implements philanthropic programs to benefit children and adults in Santa Barbara County. With its 17 philanthropic programs and more than 300 volunteers, it helps men, women and children of all ages.

About the Center for Successful Aging

The Center for Successful Aging provides a variety of programs to assist seniors to maintain their independence and integrity. Starting with its senior peer counseling program that offers support and assistance to seniors through individual and group sessions, the volunteer staff works with any senior needing assistance with their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs. The center’s programs include senior peer counseling, a CareLine telephone reassurance program, pet therapy, the Real Help referral program and its free quarterly Successful Aging newspaper (circulation 10,000).

Click here for more information about the Center for Successful Aging, or call Executive Director Gary Linker at 805.898.8080.

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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