Friendship Center hosted its 20th annual Festival of Hearts at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort on a blustery Saturday afternoon.
The festive pre-Valentine’s Day event featured a reception and a silent auction with an outdoor bar serving Fess Parker wines, as well as a sit-down luncheon, a program and a live auction. The 140 guests also enjoyed music performed by the Montecito Jazz Project.
“Emerald is the traditional gem to celebrate a 20th anniversary,” said Heidi Holly, Friendship Center’s executive director. “So our theme this year is 'The Emerald City!' Some guests have dressed up as Oz characters and others are wearing just about every shade of green.”
The Emerald City is the capital city of the fictional Land of Oz in L. Frank Baum's Oz books, first described in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900).
“Again, we have an incredible selection of hearts to purchase, thanks to an amazing group of artists who created them and the efforts of heart wrangler Sharon Morrow and her volunteer Heart Posse,” Holly said.
Since the inception of the Festival of Hearts, the centerpiece of the event has been Heart Art created by local artists and celebrities, including Jeff Bridges and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and sold at the silent auction.
A portion of event proceeds support Friendship Center’s HEART (Help Elders At Risk Today) Program, subsidizing the cost of adult day services for low-income aging and dependent adults and their families. Operating two adult day care centers in Montecito and Goleta, Friendship Center preserves and enriches the quality of life for aging and dependent adults through innovative programs that value the dignity and worth of every person. It provides respite, support and education, enabling families to continue to be engaged in their community, careers and commitments.
Live auction highlights included a trip to Seattle (nicknamed “The Emerald City”) and Vancouver, a getaway with a dinner of fresh local lobster and white seabass in an extraordinary private home, and a stay at the newly rebuilt Rosewood Miramar Beach.
Emcee duties were ably handled by Carol Metcalf-Roth, who was costumed as Glinda the Good Witch. Family caregiver Gerrie Shapiro gave a testimonial about how grateful she is for the support and respite that Friendship Center provides as she cares for her elderly father.
Board president Patricia Forgey said, “Thank you for supporting our progress for the past decades. The need is still great to serve our seniors and their caregivers.”
Major sponsors included Tom and Nancy Crawford, Casa Dorinda, HUB International Insurance Services Inc., MarBorg Industries, Union Bank, Cal-Western and Pacific Tree, Nancy Newquist-Nolan, David and Louise Borgatello, Castle Wealth Planning LLC, CenCal Health, Vangie Herrera and Al Anglin, Matt Lum, Quinn Fiduciary Services, Rosewood Miramar Beach, Dana and Randy VanderMey, and many others.
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— Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.