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Junior League of Santa Barbara Celebrates Holidays with S.A.F.E. House Ribbon-Cutting

6-bed facility is 1st shelter in Santa Barbara County for girls who are survivors of sexual exploitation and sex trafficking


The Junior League of Santa Barbara was excited to ring in the holiday festivities with its inaugural S.A.F.E. House Celebration & Holiday Party at the seasonally decorated La Cumbre Country Club.

Along with enjoying cocktails, cheeses, hors d’ouevres and carved turkey, the service organization honored the founding donors who have given generously to support the opening of S.A.F.E. (Saving At-risk youth From Exploitation) House, a six-bed residential shelter for girls who are survivors of sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. The Dec. 8 party provided opportunities for members and friends to give at the event.

“In addition to successfully raising the funds to purchase the shelter, the ribbon-cutting event raised an additional $9,000, which will help to pay for supplies for the women who are rebuilding their lives at S.A.F.E. House,” Junior League spokeswoman Jacqueline McGuan told Noozhawk.

S.A.F.E. House is the first shelter in Santa Barbara County for sexual exploitation and sex trafficking survivors. The effort was organized by the JLSB Signature Project Committee made up of chairwoman Valerie Amparan, Lauren Armstrong, Stacie Nyborg, Molly Russ and Marine Schumann.

“With only 18 beds in the entire state dedicated to young women who have been sex trafficked, opening a six-bed home will make a significant difference in getting these girls rehabilitated and keeping them from running back to their exploiters,” Amparan said.

The Junior League of Santa Barbara added the holiday event to its robust fundraising efforts, which include its long-running Rummage Sale in October and the Spring Gala fundraiser scheduled for March 10.

Along with its Signature Project, the league’s mission is to promote volunteerism, develop the potential of women, and improve the community through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.

Board members include president Danielle Hazarian, Kielle Horton, Lindsay Cortina, Lisa Skvarla, Kate Perlis McKinniss, Jenni-Elise Ramirez, Sarah Main, Caitlin McCahill, Nikki Ramirez, Anne-Marie Cabot, Sofie Langhorne and Michelle Piotrowski.

“Since becoming a member in 2009, I have been rewarded time and again with growth as both a professional and an individual by finding purpose in helping build a stronger Santa Barbara, and in lasting friendships with smart, accomplished and inspiring women,” Hazarian said.

“I invite you to join me and more than 450 other Junior League members and sustainers as an advocate for our mission, a sponsor of our programs or as a member of our organization to support our 2017-18 league year theme ‘Spread Your Wings.’”

Junior League members Erica Bender, left, Robyn Wallace and Jessica Papas helped at the registration table.
Junior League members Erica Bender, left, Robyn Wallace and Jessica Papas helped at the registration table. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

Chartered in 1924, JLSB is one of 292 Junior Leagues in four countries totaling more than 150,000 members that belong to the Association of Junior Leagues International.

The chapter has a local history rich with projects that have changed the lives of many community members. Other notable contributions include the launch of the Sexual Assault Response Team Cottage (SART Cottage) at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, bone marrow and blood drives, the Eastside Branch Library renovation and Downtown Public Library programs to improve youth literacy.

Click here for more information about the Junior League of Santa Barbara, call 805.963.2704 or email [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.

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