[Noozhawk’s note: This statement was submitted to the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors.]

Chairman Salud Carbajal and members of the Board of Supervisors,

Good morning.

My name is Robert Bonilla, I am a member of the Cruzin’ for Life Board of Directors. Cruzin’ for Life is a Santa Maria-based nonprofit organization established in 2003 with the purpose of raising funds for local cancer patients, both adults and children. We are a 100 percent volunteer-run organization.

I am here today in support of Santa Maria Energy and want to share a story with you of their generosity and outreach through our organization.

Cruzin’ for Life set a goal to raise $60,000 for the purchase of a specialized van to transport local cancer patients to Mission Hope Cancer Center for their treatments at no expense to them. In 2012, we were $30,000 short of achieving our long-term goal when Santa Maria Energy president David Pratt contacted us. David informed us that Santa Maria Energy wanted to donate the remaining amount needed to make the van purchase happen.

Thanks to the generosity of Santa Maria Energy, the van became a reality three years ahead of schedule. The van services patients from Los Alamos, Lompoc, Orcutt, Santa Maria, Guadalupe, Nipomo and New Cuyama. In 13 months, the van has transported approximately 2,000 patients and logged more than 25,000 miles.

This is one example of Santa Maria Energy’s genuine care for the people of Santa Barbara County. We believe Santa Maria Energy is a company that can be trusted. If they say they will do everything in their power to conduct business in a safe and responsible manner, they will do just that.

The Cruzin’ for Life eight-member Board of Directors knows Santa Barbara County. We have lived in the Santa Maria Valley for a combined total of 470 years, that’s not including our parents and grandparents before us. We believe Santa Maria Energy is a company that will not only provide much needed jobs and additional tax revenue for our county, but will do it responsibly.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak.

Robert Bonilla
Santa Maria