iSociety: Rochelle Rose

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October marked the kickoff of PathPoint’s 50th anniversary celebrations, and Santa Barbara’s signature event for local PathPoint program participants, donors, family members, community partners and employees took place Saturday afternoon at La Cumbre Country Club.

The nonprofit PathPoint is dedicated to helping people with disabilities or disadvantages to reach their fullest potential.

Saturday’s event began with a hosted reception and silent auction inside the clubhouse, followed by dessert, celebration and awards presentations in the pleasant covered patio. Honored were Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider and the McDonald family for their dedicated service and contributions to the organization.

Jo Ann Weninger represented the McDonald family and acknowledged her brother, George McDonald, who has worked with and for Pathpoint for nearly 30 years.

“I am truly humbled by this award,” Schneider said in accepting her recognition. “I am not a social worker or a nurse. I couldn’t do that job. But I always knew that I wanted to serve the community, and to help people in need and to help them reach their full potential.”

Corporate sponsors included Platinum: Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services; Gold: James A. McDonald and Montecito Bank & Trust; Silver: Mullen & Henzell, Mutual of America and SkyeLine Construction; and Bronze: BEGA, Cottage Health System, Enterprise Holdings and Tri-Counties Regional Center.

The anniversary event was supported by board chairman Randy Weiss and board members Christopher Jones, Jean Smith, Jeffrey Dodds, Michael Franzen, Shari Isaac, Jerry Pelton, Joe Sanguinet, Barbara Steveson, Mary Ellen Tiffany and Robert Voorhees.

Everyone enjoyed the passed hors d’oeuvres and hosted wine bar while enjoying the music of pianist George Friedenthal.

Pathpoint artist Denise Fracks’ wonderful artwork was among the items sold at the silent auction. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

Pathpoint artist Denise Fracks’ wonderful artwork was among the items sold at the silent auction. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

PathPoint (originally known as Work Training Programs) has come a long way since its founding in 1964. PathPoint now offers a full range of services, not only for people with disabilities, but also individuals struggling with mental illness, at-risk youth, the homeless and low-income seniors. Over the years, PathPoint has been invited to expand its services from Santa Barbara County into four more counties: Ventura, San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles and, most recently, Kern. It has grown to a dedicated staff of more than 400 employees and enjoys productive relationships with more than 400 community partners.

PathPoint president and CEO Cindy Burton spoke about her plans to further the organization’s mission of helping people with disabilities and disadvantages become self-reliant and successful.

“I am passionate about finding creative ways to meet the needs of more and more individuals,” she said. “People should live as independently as possible. Everyone should be able to work and have a job.”

PathPoint enables people with disabilities to become integrated, productive members within our communities. More than 2,350 people in California each year are supported in their steps to live productive, independent lives in the five counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles and Kern. It is accredited in the highest standing by CARF (Committee on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities).

Click here for more information about PathPoint, or call Alana Walczak at 805.961.9200 x1133.

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.