Monday, July 23 , 2018, 7:45 am | Fair 67º


Montecito Bank & Trust Celebrates Nonprofits With $20,000 in Anniversary Grants

10 organizations each received $2,000 after nomination and voting process by the bank’s employees in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties


Ten local nonprofit agencies were selected by Montecito Bank & Trust employees to receive grants totaling $20,000 for their dedication and commitment to making the community thrive.

Montecito Bank & Trust employees hosted the Anniversary Grants awards reception Tuesday evening at the bank’s downtown Santa Barbara branch.

The building was filled with nonprofit leaders, local business guests and bank employees who nominated and voted for the award recipients.

Bank founder and chairman Michael Towbes created the annual award program in 1993 to celebrate community philanthropic work and give bank employees serving Santa Barbara and Ventura counties a voice in corporate giving.

The event also marked the bank’s anniversary opening in March 1975.

“We celebrate our birthday by giving this gift to the community,” bank president and CEO Janet Garufis said. “It’s about the spirit of volunteering and the wonderful employees who make Montecito Bank & Trust the community treasure. These are the organization that matter to the employees.”

Award recipients that each received a $2,000 grant included 2nd Story Associates, the Alzheimer’s Association California Central Coast Chapter, Kids Helping Kids, Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties, Planned Parenthood California Central Coast, the Salvation Army of Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Benevolent Posse, the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center, the Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society and the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation.

In 2016, Montecito Bank & Trust employees committed more than 1,800 hours volunteering and serving on nonprofit committees and boards, Garufis said.

A handful of bank associates had connections to the agencies they supported, including community outreach officer Ashleigh Davis, who plays on the Central Coast Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association Blondes vs. Brunettes flag football team.

Guests attend the Montecito Bank & Trust anniversary grants reception Tuesday at the bank’s downtown branch. Click to view larger
Guests attend the Montecito Bank & Trust anniversary grants reception Tuesday at the bank’s downtown branch. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

“It’s been a pleasure advocating for this organization,” she said. “I am honored. It has been heartwarming.”

In addition to the grant, each of the recipients received a Cox Communications-produced promotional video that showcased each organization.

Alzheimer’s Association California Central Chapter executive director Rhonda Spiegel thanked the bank and Cox Communications.

“The support in this community is outstanding, and it allows us to continue helping the families that have the need for our services,” she said.

Richard Kline, the president of the Sheriff’s Benevolent Posse, said it was a privilege to attend the celebration. 

“Montecito Bank & Trust is the epitome of an outstanding corporate citizen and is truly leading by example,” he said. “Montecito Bank & Trust is stepping out and supporting the causes that are critical to the world and Santa Barbara County.”

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland 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.

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