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Sunday, March 24 , 2019, 7:00 pm | Fair 60º


United Way to Celebrate Community Partners

United Way of Santa Barbara County will honor outstanding organizations and individuals who make possible United Way’s community programs and activities at its 94th Annual Awards Celebration 6-9 p.m. May 24, at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore.

UWSBC will present 22 awards to community supporters who've played a key role in the success of its 2016 campaign and award-winning activities, such as Fun in the Sun, United for Literacy and United for Financial Empowerment.

Recipients will include local volunteers, businesses, schools and organizations. The night will include dinner, music and dancing.

“The Annual Awards Celebration is a fun occasion to publicly recognize and celebrate the people and organizations who help us build better futures all year round,” said Steve Ortiz, CEO/president of United Way of Santa Barbara County.

“I’m always inspired by the hard work and dedication of our volunteers and community partners, who do this work above and beyond their everyday commitments," he said. "We’re all excited to thank everyone who helps to make our programs possible.”

Some of this year’s award winners include:
» Goleta Union School District (GUSD) — Community Impact Organization of the Year

Over the past year GUSD has worked with UWSBC to launch the Goleta Literacy Partnership, a three-year, district-wide literacy improvement project.

Due to the work of GUSD and its staff, thousands of students will be able to practice and develop literacy skills through UWSBC’s Power Reading online literacy improvement program.

In the six months since the Power Reading program began, the percentage of students working at or above grade level material within Power Reading software and who met the recommended usage has increased from 60 to 90 percent.

GUSD Superintendent William Banning said the district is honored to receive this recognition from UWSBC. This ongoing partnership supports Fun in the Sun and the district-wide implementation of Power Reading’s Lexia Reading program.
“Through these programs and other productive relationships with United Way, there are students receiving more services than we would be able to offer on our own,” said Banning.

“Both of these initiatives are providing opportunities for our neediest population to excel in school.

"As a separate benefit, we are able to use qualitative performance data that supports highly individualized information about student growth and needed areas of improvement for any student in the district who participates with the Lexia Program," he said.

» Atlantic Aviation — Outstanding New Philanthropic Partner

UWSBC is proud to honor Atlantic Aviation as this year's Outstanding New Philanthropic Partner.

Under the leadership of Brianne Whitney, general manager of the Santa Barbara Area, Atlantic Aviation has gone from providing a corporate gift of $2,000 to nearly $8,000 in less than one year.

Their generosity supports hundreds of students in four of United Way's educational programs and partnerships. Because of Atlantic Aviation, hundreds of children and their families are on the path to brighter futures.

Whitney, said giving back to the communities Atlantic serves is more than just a commitment; it’s part of the organization’s DNA.

“United Way’s focus to identify and resolve community issues and make measurable changes in the community is truly inspiring,” said Whitney.

“The UWSBC team has been a delight to work with. They are very responsive and take the time to talk about their goals as an organization. We look forward to growing our relationship and becoming more involved in all that they have to offer,” she said.
» Montecito Bank & Trust — Most Outstanding Employee and Corporate Campaign

Montecito Bank & Trust and its staff continue to be a vital partner in programming offered to the community by UWSBC. Employees are encouraged to work with local populations in need and their personal engagement goes unrivaled.

Montecito Bank & Trust’s total employee volunteer time throughout the year exceeds all other banks combined. In addition to volunteer efforts, Montecito Bank & Trust raised more than $44,000 during its 2016-17 United Way Campaign.

“Our team is so dedicated to the good work of United Way. It’s always an honor to work together to make a positive impact in our community,” said Janet Garufis, Montecito Bank & Trust chairman/CEO.

Tickets for the event are $100 a ticket or $900 per table.

For more information, contact Lindsay Rorick at [email protected] or 965-8591. Ticket and sponsorship information is available at www.unitedwaysb.org/94th-annual-awards-celebration.

— Angel Pacheco/Chris Davis for United Way.


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