Tuesday, June 19 , 2018, 11:42 pm | Fair 61º


New Beginnings Honors Glenn and Amy Bacheller as 2017 ‘Community Champions’

Santa Barbara nonprofit counseling center celebrates its work and mission at its fifth annual Changing Lives Gala


New Beginnings Counseling Center celebrated its Community Champions awardees Glenn and Amy Bacheller at its fifth annual Changing Lives Gala on Oct. 12 at the Belmond El Encanto Hotel on Santa Barbara’s Riviera.

“New Beginnings is extremely grateful for the guidance and support provided by the Bachellers not only for helping us turn our organization around in a time of uncertainty, but also in helping us to grow and strengthen our homelessness and housing programs such as Safe Parking, to become such a high-caliber, model program that is being replicated across the country,” New Beginnings board president Diane Pannkuk said.

“We really couldn’t have done it without your steadfast commitment and business acumen, which is why we are so honored to present you both with our 2017 Community Champions Award. To many more years of successful collaboration!”

After a pleasant social and refreshments hour enjoyed on the hotel’s veranda, Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider opened the program and greeted the 160 guests in the lovely dining room.

Pannkuk then addressed the crowd and expressed her gratitude for the generosity of donors and sponsors that have made it possible for New Beginnings to make a difference and improve lives.

The mission of the nonprofit organization is to provide quality, affordable counseling, shelter, case management and education that strengthens the community and provides clients with the ability to lead healthy and productive lives. Programs include the Donald J. Willfong Counseling Clinic, the Safe Parking Program, life skills parenting education classes, the supportive services program for the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara, and supportive services for veteran families.

After dinner, a video tribute message from John Robbins — the only son of the founder of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream empire and the founder of Earth Save International and co-founder and president of The Food Revolution Network — was viewed.

Keynote speaker the Honorable Wendy Greuel, left, with New Beginnings Counseling Center Executive Director Kristine Schwarz and Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider.
Keynote speaker the Honorable Wendy Greuel, left, with New Beginnings Counseling Center Executive Director Kristine Schwarz and Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

“Glenn and Amy Bacheller are the kind of people who will see a problem, and then they’ll bend over backwards to see if they can be a part of the solution,” Robbins said. “They’re the kind of people who, instead of giving you a piece of their mind, will give you a bit of their hearts. It’s with profound respect and admiration for Glenn and Amy that I join everyone at New Beginnings in thanking them for giving so much of themselves, for doing so much for the Santa Barbara community, and for their partnership in creating a world where compassion prevails.”

Keynote speaker the Honorable Wendy Greuel, vice chairwoman of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, spoke about the efforts in Los Angeles to deal with the homelessness issue and the importance of providing supportive services when providing housing to vulnerable populations.

Remarks about the progress of New Beginnings programs were made by Executive Director Kristine Schwarz, as well as Andrea Cabanas, team leader of the 10 Now Program for the Central Coast Collaborative on Homelessness.

The gala was supported by the board of directors, including Pannkuk, vice president Jacqueline Kurta, secretary Ann Marie Plane, treasurer Sarah Barbieux, Ziad Elkurjie, Irina Kerdman, Adam Liff, Terence Ford, Guy Smith and director emerita Kathryn LePage.

Top sponsors included the Coeta & Donald Barker Foundation, Glenn and Amy Bacheller, Mary and Gary Becker, Lalla and Rinaldo Brutoco, Omega Point Institute, Maryan Schall, Laurie Ashton and Lynn Sarko, the Honorable Susan Rose and Allan Ghitterman, Union Bank, John and Marcia Cohen, David Jackson and Stephanie Sohn Jackson, Kathryn LePage, Mission Wealth, Montecito Bank & Trust, Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine at Cottage Health, John Sanger, the SBCC Foundation, Frank Thompson, Housing Consultants and others.

The New Beginnings management team includes Schwarz and Clinical Director Crystal Ramirez. The event producer was Judi Weisbart, helped by New Beginnings' Gabriella Forrester and Ariel O’Hara. Musical entertainment was provided by pianist David Grossman, guitarist Michael Holland and A la Carte, with a special appearance by Schneider.

New Beginnings Counseling Center is located at 324 E. Carrillo St., Suite C in Santa Barbara. Click here for more information, or contact Gabriella Forrester at 805.963.777 x112 or  [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.

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 Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
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 >