Wine Down and Big Heart Awards
Wine Down & Big Heart Awards event co-chair Karolyn Hanna, left, Friendship Center board secretary and Big Heart Award recipient Dana VanderMey, and co-chair Pamela Vander Heide. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)
  • Wine Down & Big Heart Awards event co-chair Karolyn Hanna, left, Friendship Center board secretary and Big Heart Award recipient Dana VanderMey, and co-chair Pamela Vander Heide.
  • Big Heart Award honoree Carol Metcalf-Roth, left, with Jan Ingram.
  • Shen Ragan, left, top sponsor Lynda Fairly and Friendship Center Executive Director Heidi Holly.
  • Friendship Center board president Pat Forgey with past board president Agris Peterson.
  • Board members Val Anewalt, left, and Sue Adams poured wine for the Wine Down event.
  • Journalist and senior advocate Rona Barrett with Tony Morris of the Rona Barrett Foundation.
  • The Montecito Jazz Project provides background music.
  • Artist Steven Gilbar and Maggie Mixsell.
  • Sponsors Nate Cultice and Sharon Kennedy.
  • Event attendees mingle in Friendship Center’s courtyard.

iSociety: Rochelle Rose

Thursday is the new Friday! That was the buzzword at Friendship Center’s eighth annual Wine Down & Big Heart Awards event.

The festive gathering was held last week in the shady courtyard of Friendship Center’s Montecito Center on Eucalyptus Lane. Friendship Center is a nonprofit, fully licensed adult day services program with locations in Montecito and Goleta.

Nearly 200 guests mingled and enjoyed pours and samples from local wineries and breweries, along with hearty hors d’oeuvres by Spices N Rice. Beverages were provided by Andrew Murray Vineyards, Au Bon Climat, Buttonwood Farm Winery, Fess Parker Winery, Gainey Vineyard, Kitá Wines, Lafond Winery, Qupé Winery, Santa Barbara Winery, Vinemark Cellars, Zaca Mesa Winery and Captain Fatty's Brewery, as well as gourmet coffee by Montecito Coffee Co.

Toes tapped to music performed by the Montecito Jazz Project. Guests had chances to bid at the live auction, courtesy of auctioneer Stephen Meade of KJEE. A portion of the proceeds went to LEAP, Life Enrichment Activity Programs that provide music and movement sessions led by local entertainers and instructors to engage clients in body, mind and spirit.

Event committee members included Karolyn Hanna, Dana VanderMey, Sue Adams, Andy Siegel, Kathy Marden, Pamela Vander Heide, David Harlow, Greta Liedke, Marianne Meeker and the board members.

Board president Pat Forgey and Executive Director Heidi Holly opened the program with welcome remarks that were followed by the live auction and presentation of the 2018 Big Heart Awards, which were bestowed on notable supporters Carol Metcalf-Roth and Dana VanderMey.

Hanna, a 2015 Big Heart Award recipient, presented the award to Metcalf-Roth.

“This volunteer has been living in Santa Barbara since 2004 and became involved with Friendship Center when she stepped up to play a key role in our annual Festival of Hearts event in 2016,” Hanna said. “She is an actor and standup comedian as well as an adjunct professor. Soon after her vivacious appearance at our Hollywood-themed event as ‘Joan Rivers,’ she began facilitating a support group tailored for veterans at Friendship Center. With her credentials as a marriage and family therapist and military life counselor, she is a valuable asset to Friendship Center.”

Adams, a 2017 Big Heart Award honoree, described awardee VanderMey.

Wine Down and Big Heart Awards
Big Heart Award honoree Carol Metcalf-Roth, left, with Jan Ingram. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

“This Big Heart awardee is versatile, accomplished and dedicated to good causes,” Adams said. “A registered nurse, she has also worked for Hospice of Santa Barbara, conducting workshops there and for Santa Barbara City College adult education. She is a certified Laughter Leader and has made presentations on the vital connection between humor and health. Friendship Center was fortunate enough to have her join our board of directors, where she served from 2009 to 2015, holding the offices of secretary, vice president and president, as well as being on the Event Committee. She couldn’t stay away, so she rejoined the board in 2016, and never left the Event Committee!”

Top sponsors included Heritage House, Lynda Fairly, David and Louise Borgatello, Sally Boughton, Tom and Nancy Crawford, Sharon Kennedy Estate Management, Penny Mathison and Don Nulty, Dr. and Mrs. Randall VanderMey, Sue Adams, Boone Graphics, Castle Wealth Planning, Easy Lift Transportation, First American Title, Vangie Herrera and Al Anglin, Home Care Assistance, Sharon and Andy Siegel, Vince Turano and Steve Warner, Linda Seltzer Yawitz and many others.

Friendship Center's mission is to preserve and enrich 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.

In addition to adult day services for aging and dependent adults with cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease, Friendship Center provides a variety of activity-based programs, such as Connections, for those in early stages of memory loss wanting to take proactive steps to keep brain functions sharp.

Click here for more information about Friendship Center adult day services, or call 805.969.0859 or email

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.