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Laurel Abbott: Santa Barbara Realtors Scare Up Support for Unity Shoppe

The Santa Barbara Association of Realtors partied with a purpose last week at our first Unity Howl Halloween Party benefiting Unity Shoppe.

The party was held at Unity Shoppe's new facility, at 110 W. Sola St., right next door to us at the corner of Chapala and Sola streets. Guests were given to a tour of the facility by the masked and mysterious Unity staff, who also provided the devilishly delicious finger food for the event.

Realtors were treated to a rocking Redfish performance featuring our own Stu Morse, whose musical talents have been hidden by his tie-wearing professional persona. Lose the tie, Stu! You deserve to acknowledged as the rock star you portrayed that night.

There were so many great costumes. We had Sylvia and Charles Butler as King and Cleopatra and Jim Caldwell as a Ghoulish Soccer Referree. There were Hippies, Hotties, Vamps and Cats, as well as clever costumes, including the Gene Simmons homage make-up, beret and baguette-wielding "French Kiss" couple with Kevin Hall. Our costume winners for the night were the ever punny Paul Hurst as Groucho Marx, jokes included, and the Manzos as Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. Nice effort with all your costumes and Halloween spirit!

2013 marks the 20th year that the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors has supported Unity Shoppe. This year, we are stepping up our support for this valuable organization by creating a special committee to concentrate our fundraising efforts. This year’s campaign theme, “20 for 20,” reflects our goal to raise $20,000 in our 20th year of fundraising. We are a quarter of the way to our goal. We need your help now!

The funds raised in our Unity Auctions have been used to help low-income families. People visit Unity Shoppe, where they collect school supplies, clothing and food. Through the Job Smart program, Unity offers job training, computer and office training, clothing, interview and resume counseling. Unity Shoppe's Senior Resource Center collaborates with more than 100 organizations, providing 5,000 special-order boxes annually for seniors in our community.

Unity Shoppe operates year-round and needs volunteers, funds, donated food and school clothing. You can visit the operation and donate items or volunteer your time at Unity Shoppe's new home at the corner of Chapala and Sola streets. Getting the tour is really the best way to experience what the Unity Shoppe does for our community. Unity Shoppe has a variety of programs that directly benefit our locals in need, and I think a lot of the attending Realtors will become even more enthusiastic supporters of this cause.

We would sincerely appreciate your tax-deductible donation (Tax ID No. 1894735). We are collecting donations throughout the year, culminating with our silent and live auction event in December. If you would like to donate an auction item, please call or email Jennie Hannon at 805.884.8613 or [email protected].

Special thanks to co-chairs Superman Eddie Madrigal from Pacific Coast Realty and the Vampiric Beauty Alyson Spann from whttp://www.villagesite.com for their dedication to this cause.

Laurel Abbott is a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway California Properties and president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact her at [email protected] or 805.879.8050. The opinions expressed are her own.

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