Louise Cruz, event co-chair/UBGC Board treaurer, with husband Steve Cruz.

Louise Cruz, event co-chair/UBGC Board treaurer, with husband Steve Cruz.

United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County wrapped up the year with its Great Futures Gala Nov. 2 at the Rosewood Miramar Hotel. The event brought in $125,000.00 in the Bids 4 Kids paddle raise with an attendance of 266 guests.

Support for the event including the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, which was the Title Sponsor for the eighth consecutive year.

Exxon Mobil, the dinner sponsor, also raised a paddle for Bids 4 Kids $5,000 level, saying it would match the first five people to give $5,000 at this level for a grand total of $25,000 from Exxon Mobil. This level raised $55,000 to underwrite schools in high-need areas to send their students to the new Elings Science & Math Camp at Camp Whittier.

Deckers Brands came in as a silver sponsor. Union Bank was a table sponsor and offered a challenge match of $7,500 for the first 30 people who raised their paddles at the $250 level for Bids 4 Kids.

“Just another reason why I love my job,” said Michael Baker, CEO. “When you have a dynamic board of directors, incredible staff and immensely generous donors, you have a winning combination. We are so very fortunate to have all three elements here supporting our organization.”

Michael and Misty Hammer of the Armand Hammer Foundation were the cocktail sponsor for “the Hammer Slammer Spicy Margarita; they raised their paddle to start the Bids 4 Kids off at $25,000. In typical Armand Hammer Foundation form, they raised their paddle again at the $10,000 for a total of $35,000 donated.

During 2019, UBGC has served more youth, more often because of the great support it has received. UBGC was able to do more outreach with programs to foster care children, military families, and homeless shelters. UBGC now serves 476 members who are in one of those three outreach programs.

UBGC opened a new commercial kitchen at the Westside Unit. The Camp Whittier Cabin rebuild is almost finished in time for the winter season.

“The most important measure of the success of any club is how often their members are coming,” Baker said. “As I always say, kids vote with their feet, and the kids in our organization are coming more often than they have ever before.”

Each year UBGC honors someone with the Jim Crook Service to Youth Award for outstanding dedication to serving more youth, more often in the community. The 2019 Jim Crook Service to Youth Award honoree was Thomas Heath.

“Tom has gone way above and beyond the call of duty in helping rebuild Camp Whittier,” said Baker, in announcing the winner. “Tom has spent thousands of hours helping Camp Whittier over the years, and since the Whittier Fire, he has taken the lead on the rebuild.

“His company Athena Contractors is donating their total profit from the rebuild back to Camp Whittier. Just an incredible person.”

“Thank you to all our sponsors and other donors who made this event a huge success,” said Tony Vallejo, board president. “With their help, our amazing staff will continue to help all the children in our community, especially those who need us the most.

“I also want to congratulate Tom Heath, this year’s Jim Crook service award winner; he has been a tireless supporter of the clubs and this award was much deserved.”

— Tina Ballue for United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County.

About Us:

United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County (UBGC) is a non-profit youth development agency and serves children grades K-12th, from 10 locations across Santa Barbara County. UBGC is a member of the national organization, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Our mission is “to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens” and we place emphasis on BGCA’s Formula for Impact making sure our programs help youth achieve three priority outcomes: Academic Success, Good Character & Citizenship and Healthy Lifestyles. The Formula for Impact take youth who need us most and incorporate outcome driven Club experiences to meet our priority outcomes. In 2001, UBGC consolidated as one organization serving communities in Buellton, Carpinteria, Westside Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Lompoc; and manages Camp Whittier, a 93-acre residential camp, in the Santa Ynez mountains near Lake Cachuma. UBGC oversees a budget of over 4.3 million dollars raised from individual and corporate contributions, foundations, grants, special events and program service fees.  To schedule a tour of any of our clubs please contact CEO Michael Baker at 805.681.1315