The Community Environmental Council (CEC) will hold its 2023 Green Gala, a fundraising event that spotlights the council’s work, 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28 at CEC’s new Environmental Hub, 1219 State St.

The Green Gala brings together community leaders, environmental advocates, and philanthropic supporters for an evening of commitment to a sustainable future.

“The Green Gala is more than just an evening of celebration; it’s a testament to our dedication to the Central Coast,” said Carolyn Fitzgerald, CEC Board member and chair of the 2023 Green Gala.

“With each gathering, we sow the seeds of awareness and cultivate a sense of responsibility for our environment,” she said. “Through the Community Environmental Council, we’re nurturing a legacy of sustainability and environmental stewardship for our children and community that will blossom for years to come.”

Green Gala guests can enjoy plant-based noshes provided by Satellite SB, cocktails by Flair Project, and wine from Trippers & Askers. The event will also feature a live auction led by emcee and CEC Board member Geoff Green.

A VIP reception, open to event sponsors and VIP ticket holders, will take place at 5 p.m. before the main event. 

Keynote speaker will be Nalleli Cobo, a 2022 Goldman Environmental Prize winner and climate activist. Cobo led a coalition to permanently shut down a toxic oil-drilling site in her Los Angeles community in March 2020, when she was 19. The oil site caused serious health issues for Cobo and others.

Cobo’s organizing against urban oil extraction has yielded major policy movement within both the Los Angeles City Council and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, which voted unanimously to ban new oil exploration and phase out of existing sites.

In April Jane Fonda awarded Cobo the Community Environmental Council’s Environmental Hero Award at CEC’s annual Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival.

“It’s an honor to participate in the Community Environmental Council’s Green Gala and learn more about the important work being done by CEC in the community,” Cobo said. “Organizations like CEC are on the frontline fighting for our most basic human rights like clean air and clean drinking water, demonstrating that collective action at the local level can lead to transformative change.

By supporting and collaborating with groups like CEC, we take meaningful steps towards cultivating a more sustainable, equitable world for all.”

The gala will include an art installation inspired by climate action and created by students from the Visual Arts and Design Academy (VADA) at Santa Barbara High School.

Student artists Ava Osborne and AJ Heinemann worked with VADA program director and art instructor Daniel Barnett and Friends of VADA vice president Jessica Risko Smith, to develop the installation. Student artists Ryan Sharkey, Tali McPeters and Mackenna Show also contributed customized work.

The 2023 Green Gala is chaired by Carolyn Fitzgerald and supported by committee members including Sarah Cetrulo, Mally Chakola, Nicole Delesalle, Rita Donahoe, Emily Engel, Lucy Firestone, Julie Heider Gray, Belle Hahn, Bethany Harkrider, Ashley Hollister, Connie Maday, Analise Maggio, Jessica McLernon, Katy Powers, Elizabeth Riley, Stephanie Sanders, Dana Seltzer, Elizabeth Wagner, and Michelle Weinman.

This year’s Green Gala sponsors include:

Earthly Sustainer: Andrulaitis+Mixon Architects, Patricia & Paul Bragg Foundation, Belle Hahn, MN Studio, Santa Barbara Venture Partners, and Zegar Family Foundation
Green Benefactor: Sally Warner-Arnett and Dr. G. William Arnett, Kiva Cowork, Barbara and Albert Lindemann, Montecito Bank & Trust, Charles and Betsy Newman, Sea Forward Fund, Analise Maggio and Ben Sprague, Peter Schuyler and Lisa Stratton, and Randy Solakian Estates Group

Very Important Planet (VIP) Sponsors: Allen Construction, Ariadne Wealth Management, Carolyn Cogan, Shawn Dailey, Mally Chakola and Dean Johnson, Jean and Dave Davis, Judy and Rob Egenolf, Tisha Weber Ford, Cameron Gray and Julie Heider-Gray, Pippa Hames-Knowlton and Christopher Knowlton, Santa Barbara Foundation, Santa Barbara City College Foundation, Karen Lehrer and Steve Sherwin, and Weymouth Development Group 
Event Sponsors: Flair Project, Islay Events, Satellite Santa Barbara, Trippers & Askers, Ventura Rental Party & Events, and Ventura Spirit

Full details and tickets to the Green Gala can be found here: This event is expected to sell out. Please visit the website for additional ways to support the important work of CEC on the Central Coast.

CEC advances equitable solutions to the climate crisis, including zero carbon goals, drawdown of excess carbon, and protection against the impacts of climate change.

CEC was recognized as a 2020 California Nonprofit of the Year and a City of Santa Barbara Climate Hero, and is led by CEO Sigrid Wright who was recently named 2022 Congressional Woman of the Year.

Find CEC on the web at