The Santa Barbara Foundation honored its 2019 Man and Woman of the Year recipients, David Boyd and Jelinda DeVorzon, during its 76th luncheon held Wednesday at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore’s Coral Casino.
Each year, the foundation selects two people who display exemplary contributions and volunteer efforts while creating a positive and significant impact on the local area.
About 300 volunteer and philanthropy leaders at Wednesday’s gathering mingled on the outdoor patio, where they enjoyed the sunshine and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Barbara coastline.
Inside the large ballroom, Santa Barbara Foundation board chairwoman Diane Adam offered opening remarks.
DeVorzon and Boyd have 50 years of combined service in the community, Adam said.
“It’s a day of celebration and camaraderie,” Adam said. “A day of acknowledgment and hope for our philanthropic future.”
“Resilient and successful organizations cannot survive without people like David Boyd and Jelinda DeVorzon,” she continued. “It seems that no corner of Santa Barbara has escaped their good work.”
Robert Brown, a parishioner at All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Montecito, presented the Man of the Year award to Boyd.
Boyd dedicated his life to the service of others.
For 20 years, he has served as an active volunteer for numerous outreach projects and programs working with All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, Montecito Emergency Response and Recovery Action Group, Transition House, Casa Esperanza/PATH, Cleveland Elementary School, Habitat for Humanity, People’s Self-Help Housing, Carpinteria Children’s Project, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, Santa Barbara County Elections Office and St. Brigid Fellowship of St. Athanasius Orthodox Church.
“I believe, with conviction, volunteering to help the most vulnerable is what God is calling me to do right now in my life,” Boyd said. “When I volunteer to help the most vulnerable, I believe also that Jesus Christ, who has no body on Earth, uses my body to do good on Earth.”
Boyd recognized his wife, Alyce, a volunteer.
“Our marriage would be a disaster if I wanted to volunteer and Alyce wanted to vacation,” he said.
Peter MacDougall, former Cottage Health board chairman, introduced DeVorzon.
DeVorzon has been an active volunteer and philanthropist for more than 30 years, assisting several organizations, including the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the Unity Shoppe and Cottage Health.
She has served on the Montecito Union School Foundation board, the Santa Barbara City College Foundation board, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art board and other volunteer roles with more than a dozen area organizations.
“This means a great deal to me,” she said of the award. “For me, being a volunteer has never been a burden. It has always been a blessing.
“When you make an effort to make your community and the world a better place, you inspire others to do the same, and you make a lot of friends along the way,” DeVorzon continued. “When that happens, it ends up being one big, beautiful love fest.”
The honorees each received an enthusiastic standing ovation.
The ceremony included brief video presentations showcasing DeVorzon’s and Boyd’s longtime service to the community.
Foundation President/CEO Ron Gallo also addressed the crowd, acknowledging the people who died in a massive fire aboard the diving boat Conception on Monday.
He dedicated Wednesday’s proceedings to Carl and Joanne Lindros, a Santa Barbara couple who died Aug. 11 in a plane crash in Idaho. Gallo led a moment of silence in honor of the Lindroses.
Gallo highlighted the importance of volunteering and how Santa Barbara County has long-been an empathetic community.
“We are taking time to celebrate our most important ingredient… and that’s volunteerism,” he said. “It’s one of the purest expressions of generosity and caring. It has, and continues to be, a defining value in our country, and it is something we need more than ever — to cherish, nourish and encourage.”
Established in 1928, the Santa Barbara Foundation is the largest community foundation in the region and the county’s go-to resource for investment and capacity-building, and it strives to mobilize and elevate all residents and socio-economic backgrounds to thrive.
The foundation aims to improve areas affecting the quality of life in the county, including workforce development, child care and workforce housing through connecting those who give with those in need, according to the organization.