Monday, March 19 , 2018, 3:07 pm | Fair 67º


Legacy of Ruth, Bob Kallman Honored at Kids Auction for United Boys & Girls Clubs

Late couple’s children accept award on behalf of benefit’s founders, who started the event 31 years ago

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Great futures for at-risk youth at Santa Barbara’s Westside Boys & Girls Club were helped 31 years ago when Kids Auction was founded by Ruth and Bob Kallman and a number of committed volunteers and staff of the United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County.

At this year’s “Simply Elegant — Under the Tuscan Moon” fundraiser, the Kallmans’ children, Kris Kallman and his sister, Carol, accepted the Mille Grazie Award on behalf of their late parents. Ruth Kallman died Aug. 9, 2014, her husband of 55 years, Bob Kallman, preceded her in death on Feb. 25, 2013.  

A couple of hundred attendees supported the Italian-themed event held in the rotunda of Deckers Brands’ new headquarters in Goleta. Event chairwomen Melissa Gough and Connie O’Shaughnessy-Los spearheaded the sophisticated production, which included live performances by opera duo Luana Psaros and Sophia Ross from San Marcos High School, The Singing Chef Andy LoRusso, and the Italian Trio. Due to family illness on the East Coast, O’Shaughnessy-Los was represented by her husband, Stan Los.

All-important Kids Auction committee members included interim CEO Dianna Starr Langley, Taffy Balch, Jeremy Cable, Jim Crook, Louise Cruz, Sheila Herman, Carol Marsh, Phyllis Noble, Glenn Novak and others. Funds raised supported United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County.

Catherine Remak from K-LITE 101.7 Radio served as Mistress of Ceremonies. John Balch was the auctioneer, who accepted excellent bids for live auction items such as Clippers and Lakers basketball tickets, a week at Lake Tahoe, and cooking lessons from chef Mollie Ahlstrand of Trattoria Mollie.

Major sponsors for the breakfast included Deckers, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, Bainbridge Organic Distillers and Tequila Alquimia, Montecito Bank & Trust, Milpas Motors, Union Bank, Bryant & Sons Jewelers, MarBorg Industries and more.

Jim Crook heads up the board of directors, whose members include Mike Carroll, Louise Cruz, Lisa Gosdshan, Melissa Gough, Mike Granados, Dave Messner, Peter Muzinich, Eloy Ortega, Jon Perkins, Rich Ridgway and Diana Starr Langley.

The 7,000-member strong organization boasts sites in Carpinteria, Westside Santa Barbara, Goleta, Lompoc, Campus Point and Camp Whittier in the Santa Ynez Valley. Daily activities include homework assistance, computer training, athletics, recreation, fitness, health and life skills, the arts, and character and leadership development.

While annual membership fees are $40 per child, the actual cost per youngster is close to 20 times that amount. It is only with the support of the community that the Clubs can fulfill their mission “to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.” No child is ever turned away.

The clubs have something for everyone: after-school child care with van pick up from local elementary schools, age-appropriate site-centered activities, teen clubs, athletics, arts, and off-site trips to camping and backpacking adventures, college visits, mentorships with local businesses, and plenty of opportunities for community service.

In research that the Boys & Girls Clubs of America commissioned of club alumni, Harris Interactive reported that 57 percent said the club saved their life, 67 percent said it kept them out of trouble, and 62 percent helped them commit to their education.

The United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County is a nonprofit organization that provides a safe, positive and enriching environment for youth between the ages of 5 and 18. The organization boasts four main clubs, six satellite after-school educational operations, and the 55-acre Camp Whittier residential camp. The first branch opened in Goleta (1952), followed by Santa Barbara Westside (1962), Carpinteria (1967), Lompoc (1988) and Camp Whittier (1988).

Through its large county presence, the clubs directly serves nearly 4,500 local youth.

The organization provides a professionally trained staff to ensure the development of positive self-esteem, proper values and healthy life skills through constructive educational programs. The United Boys & Girls Clubs strive to encourage each child to reach their full potential.

Click here for more information about the United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County, call 805.681.1315 or email [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.

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