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Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation to Present Annual Meeting, Community Awards

The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation celebrates 51 years as a nonprofit organization at its Annual Meeting and Community Awards Presentation at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18 in the Presidio Chapel at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park, 123 E. Canon Perdido St.

The meeting will feature a review of the 2013 Annual Report and the election of new trustees. Community award honorees include Timothy Aguilar, the Santa Barbara Courthouse Legacy Foundation and volunteer Jeannie Davis.

Throughout 2013, SBTHP celebrated 50 years of work in the Santa Barbara community. The 2014 Annual Meeting and Community Awards Presentation will review a successful year of special events and activities in observance of SBTHP’s 50th anniversary.

Founded in 1963 by Dr. Pearl Chase and other community leaders, SBTHP works to preserve, restore, reconstruct and interpret historic sites in Santa Barbara County. The vision of the organization’s founders was to restore Santa Barbara’s Spanish Presidio, reclaim Santa Barbara’s birthplace and preserve Santa Barbara County history for future generations. With the help of continuing education activities and exhibits, the SBTHP strives to encourage community involvement and foster an appreciation for Santa Barbara’s distinct history.

This year, the SBTHP will present the prestigious Pearl Chase Historic Preservation and Conservation Award to Aguilar for his expertise and commitment to building adobe bricks for the reconstruction of the Presidio Northwest Corner. Each year, the SBTHP seeks to present the Pearl Chase Historic Preservation and Conservation Award to a deserving community member or organization dedicated to the values that Dr. Chase stood for in the fields of historic preservation and conservation. This annual lifetime achievement award serves as a tribute to the life and work of Pearl Chase, the famous leader of community activism and preservation in Santa Barbara, and to the work that continues today as a result of the inspiration she provided.

The 2013 George and Vivian Obern Preservation Stewardship Award is being presented to the Santa Barbara Courthouse Legacy Foundation. The George and Vivian Obern Preservation Stewardship Award recognizes individuals or organizations that demonstrate outstanding preservation work in connection with a specific project in and around Santa Barbara County. This prestigious award was named in honor of George and Vivian Obern in 2006 for their lifelong preservation work, including their successful efforts to save the Thomas Hope House (built 1875, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978), condemned by the county of Santa Barbara but saved by the Oberns.

The SBTHP is also presenting the Sue Higman Volunteer of the Year Award to Jeannie Davis, a ceramist who dedicated her time and talent to creating several commemorative items and plaques throughout the year, including a plaque commemorating Crown Prince Felipe of Spain’s visit to Santa Barbara on November 15, 2013 which will be placed on the future Presidio Donor Wall.  Named in honor of longtime SBTHP supporter and community activist Sue Higman, the award will be given annually to an individual or individuals who have made outstanding contributions of their time to SBTHP over the course of a year. This award is given to an individual or individuals who have made outstanding contributions of their time to SBTHP over the course of a year. Established in 2010, the award is named in honor of longtime SBTHP supporter and friend, Sue Higman.

The Jim and Sue Higman Internship is a competitive internship named to honor generosity of Jim and Sue Higman. This year it was presented to Mika Thornburg, who recently completed her internship in the Historic Resources Division.

Sponsored in part by Montecito Bank & Trust, the afternoon will conclude with a reception at the Presidio Northwest Corner.

— Christa Clark Jones represents the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.

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