Catherine Remak has been named the Santa Barbara Foundation’s 77th Woman of the Year for her years of volunteerism in the community.
Remak first moved to Santa Barbara in 1967 and began her volunteer days as a flag football coach at the Montecito YMCA at age 14.
“I’ve always loved and appreciated the community,” she said. “I always remember a voice in my head saying that I want to give back.”
One of Remak’s largest volunteer efforts was Kids in Community Service, a program she founded in 2004 that taught grade school children the value of community service work. The after-school program for fourth- through sixth-graders taught them about nonprofit organizations and took the students to different organizations to help out.
Remak is a longtime member of Goleta’s Rotary Club and served as president from 2017 to 2018. The club funds a number of nonprofit organizations and performs hands-on service. In 2015, Remak was part of a volunteer team of Rotarians who traveled to Morelia, Mexico, to join a project with SEE International to assist with cataract surgeries.
She also has been an emcee for Hospice of Santa Barbara’s Light Up the Lights events for 20 years, a way she found to give back after her father’s passing.
Remak said that among her favorite volunteer efforts are the Summit for Danny international hikes, which help raise money for the Daniel Bryant Youth and Family Treatment Center. In a hike in Switzerland, Remak led teens and helped raise more than $10,000 for teens with abuse issues.
“I can’t even express the feeling of climbing mountains in another country and knowing you’re fundraising for kids back home,” she said.
Remak has been a co-host of 101.7 KLITE’s Gary and Catherine in the Morning radio show for 28 years. She said she finds joy in celebrating their listeners’ accomplishments. They often bring kids in the studio to do weather forecasts, interview musicians and share their music, and highlight local nonprofit organizations.
“It’s been a wonderful way to introduce people in the community to the nonprofits and the services they offer,” she said.
Remak has volunteered with Hospice of Santa Barbara, Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care of Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission, CALM and the Mental Wellness Center along with many others.
She also has served as a board member for Make-a-Wish, Court Appointed Special Advocates and Friendship Center Adult Day Services, and is the development director for the Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse.
“I get as much out of my work as I’m giving to other people,” Remak said.
Remak will be honored at the Santa Barbara Foundation’s one-hour virtual ceremony planned for 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. Click here for tickets and more information.
— Noozhawk staff writer Jade Martinez-Pogue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.