Sunday, May 27 , 2018, 1:24 pm | Fair 65º


Montecito Bank & Trust Bumps Up Amount of Anniversary Grants for Local Nonprofits

The annual awards reception, marking the bank's 40th birthday, honors 10 organizations handpicked to each receive $4,000, up from $1,500

Montecito Bank & Trust senior portfolio manager Charles Faulding proudly announces a $4,000 donation to the nonprofit Neal Taylor Nature Center, for which he also serves as a board member, during MB&T’s annual Anniversary Grants awards reception Tuesday evening.
Montecito Bank & Trust senior portfolio manager Charles Faulding proudly announces a $4,000 donation to the nonprofit Neal Taylor Nature Center, for which he also serves as a board member, during MB&T’s annual Anniversary Grants awards reception Tuesday evening. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

In honor of its 40th birthday, Montecito Bank & Trust gave nonprofits more money than usual during its annual Anniversary Grants awards reception Tuesday evening.

Ten bank employee-nominated organizations received a $4,000 donation, totaling $40,000.

Recipients appreciated the sizable bump. Montecito Bank & Trust employees typically handpick local nonprofits to receive $1,500 each, for a total of $15,000.

The charitable enhancement was made possible by the work of dedicated employees, who volunteered more than 2,000 hours in 2014, bank President/CEO Janet Garufis said.

“I want to brag about them,” she said.

Local supporters and employees working in branches from Solvang to Westlake Village celebrated the bank’s 40th anniversary during the 23rd consecutive Anniversary Grants awards reception at Montecito Bank & Trust’s downtown State Street office.

On hand — as always — was bank chairman and co-founder Michael Towbes, who established the anniversary awards program in 1993 to highlight the nonprofit organizations Montecito Bank & Trust employees so fervently support.

MBBT grants
Bob Yost, executive director of the Page Youth Center, accepts the nonprofit's $4,000 grant during Montecito Bank & Trust's annual awards reception Tuesday night. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

More than 200 employees selected nonprofits and then each campaigned for his or hers to win the most votes.

“I never get tired of this event,” Towbes said before handing the microphone over to employees, who introduced awardees and promotional videos produced by Cox Communications.

Domestic Violence Solutions for Santa Barbara County Executive Director Charles Anderson thanked Towbes for his generosity, which would help the nonprofit serve thousands of women and children in need every year.

He also gave a shout-out to fellow awardees for their own great work.

Other nonprofits receiving $4,000 included the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy, the Marjorie Luke Theatre, the NatureTrack Foundation, the Neal Taylor Nature Center, the Page Youth Center, the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation, Project: Rescue Flight, the Rotary DreamCatcher Playground and What is LOVE.

As a first-time recipient, Neal Taylor Nature Center Executive Director Julie McDonald was excited for the opportunities the award could offer the educational center at Lake Cachuma.

The center was in the middle of a room-by-room renovation, McDonald said, and $4,000 will go a long way.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >