‘Mature Drivers’ Refresher Class Can Help Cut Costs

April 21, 2014  |  Article, News  | 



New Laws and Facts About Aging Presented

Monday, April 21, 2014


“Driving unsafely often ends up sending you to the ER — at best,” warns former registered nurse and long-time Goleta resident Mary Brown. The Center for Lifelong Learning instructor, who has taught the Mature Drivers certificate course since 2002, grabs students’ attention by leaving to our imaginations what worst-case consequences might be.

Indy_VicCoxVic Cox

Brown seeks to penetrate the shells of denial and overconfidence many 55-year-olds-and-above bring with them. I have driven for decades without serious incident, some think. I just need an update. Restless as a caged cat, she moves back and forth in front of the tables in her WakeCenter classroom with a youthful energy that belies her graying hair.

Driving experience is important, but “drivers 65 and older are the second largest group involved in traffic accidents in the United States,” she tells us. “And that group is growing larger” as the boomer generation rolls into old age.

“The secret to driving safely is to be completely engaged in the process,” Brown says. Awareness of your own physical limitations, like declining vision or hearing, and making accommodations establishes the foundation. “Loss of hearing can divorce you from your immediate environment,” she notes. But so, too, can a talkative passenger, a loud radio, ear buds, and a dozen other distractions.

She’s also a realist and knows that despite sharing good driving techniques and updates on new traffic laws, most students take the class to secure a certificate they hope will reduce their car insurance cost. A show of hands confirmed that.

Brown advises that insurance companies “usually offer a 5 percent discount” to those who qualify for the course certificate, but the firm decides the discount. You have to request it, and there is no guarantee you’ll get it.

This could be a metaphor for the course: You may learn useful defensive techniques, obey all the laws, and exercise caution, and some scofflaw driver texting illegally could still smack your car. Useful as they are, mature drivers’ classes make no guarantee you won’t be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Brown provides common-sense tips for tilting the odds in favor of the aware driver. The best precaution, no matter your age, is never mix alcohol and driving. However, studies show that seniors’ brains and bodies are particularly vulnerable to alcohol’s effects on reflexes and mental muddling. Diminished metabolism lowers seniors’ alcohol tolerance while their bodies retain it longer.

A booklet Brown prepared for her students declares that “alcohol is the main cause in about 45 percent” of each year’s total fatal traffic accidents in California. “Even one drink can make you an impaired driver,” it adds. The degree of impairment depends on factors such as physical and emotional conditions, weight, empty stomach, number and alcohol content of drinks, and length of time between drinks.

Because male bodies contain more water than that of females, gender can make a difference in alcohol impairment, according to one of the course’s main sources, the state DMV. Impairment may also be caused by medications, both prescribed and over-the-counter. “Always check labels” for side effects of drowsiness before taking the medication and driving, she urges in the booklet.

Among Brown’s other handy hints is one she called “dancing with the cars,” a common problem when vehicles meet at an intersection and drivers hesitate about going first. “Don’t insist on your right-of-way, give it to the other person,” she suggests. It helps if you gesture to the other driver to go.

Despite built-in signal lights, communication is an underused driving skill. Remember how it felt when someone turned in front of you without warning or stopped for no apparent reason? “A lot is just common sense,” Brown observes.

Some driving rules change because legislators think they will enhance the safety of roads vehicles often share with walkers and bicycle riders. A 2014 state law, for example, mandates that at least three feet of space must exist when vehicles pass bicyclists.

Other laws place what Brown calls “an absolute responsibility” on drivers to avoid pedestrians, whether they are in crosswalks or not. However, if turning right at an intersection, drivers do not have to wait until pedestrians have completely crossed over before completing the turn, I learned.

“The police tell me that if a pedestrian is more than half-way across the intersection it is okay to make the turn,” she explained in an interview.

Brown will again present one-day adult education classes for Mature Drivers (55 or over) on May 17 and June 7. First-timers take an eight-hour course, which awards a certificate valid for three years; the renewal course is four hours long.




Symphonically, jazzily beloved

April 20, 2014  |  Article, News  | 


Going, Going Green

April 19, 2014  |  Article, News  | 


Women’s Economic Ventures Empowers Local Entrepreneurs

April 19, 2014  |  Article, News  | 


April 19, 2014

Kathryn and Michael Graham moved to Santa Barbara in 2002 with a dream – to open a specialty cheese shop. With few assets and limited business experience, the Grahams could not qualify for a loan. Then they discovered Women’s Economic Ventures, an organization that fosters the growth of small businesses in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties through training, loans, and consulting.

After successfully pitching their business plan to WEV, the Grahams qualified for a $25,000 loan and opened their 850-square foot cheese shop on Santa Barbara Street in December 2003. In the heart of a county known for its top-rated wines and gourmet foods, C’est Cheese has become a favorite among locals and is one of the only businesses of its kind.

“At 26 years old, we did not have a lot of business experience and did not own a home so the banks would not touch us,” said Kathryn. “We opened our doors with a third of the money from WEV, a third of our own investment, and a third of the money from family. We would have never been able to open had WEV not been in town.”

WEV_CestCheeseSBFoundation_Owners C’est Cheese owners Michael and Kathryn Graham. Image courtesy of Kathryn Graham.

Ten years later, C’est Cheese is ready to embark on a new adventure. A fully bankable business, C’est Cheese recently qualified for a loan from the Bank of Santa Barbara to expand the size of its shop to 3,600 square feet. The new C’est Cheese will launch in April 2014 as a specialty cheese market and full café, with increased selections in cheese, meat, wine, and pastries. Additionally, the Grahams project a staff of nearly 30 employees once the expansion is complete.

“Michael and I are always wanting to learn. We love cheese and we love selling cheese, but we are ready for this next challenge and hope it will spur us on creatively,” said Kathryn. “What has been the biggest boon to us over the years is the amount of community support we have received. We had no idea when we started the business how much being part of the community would really enrich us.”

C’est Cheese is just one of WEV’s success stories. Since its inception in 1991, WEV has helped more than 2,000 businesses start up or expand including Chocolats du Calibressan, Santa Barbara Axxess, Artemis Animal Clinic, Z Folio Gallery, Focus Physical Therapy, and others. To date, WEV has loaned $3.5 million to businesses and trained 4,000 male and female clients, 74 percent of whom come from low- to moderate-income backgrounds.

WEV_CestCheeseStore C’est Cheese storefront on Santa Barbara Street. Image courtesy of Kathryn Graham.

“Economic empowerment is really the basis from which all other equity, equality, and power emerges,” said Marsha Bailey, executive director of WEV. “As a community, it is important to focus not just on providing safety net services, but to focus on programs that really help to eradicate poverty at its root. We are very proud of the fact that WEV has been successful in moving over 70 percent of our clients in poverty out of poverty within two years.”

WEV’s curriculum includes the 14-week Self-Employment Training program that helps clients address the feasibility of a business idea and write a business plan; the six-month Set to Launch program that bridges the gap from finishing a business plan to beginning business transactions; and the five-year Thrive in Five program that provides one-on-one business mentoring, ongoing advanced training, and peer support.

“Our lessons focus not only on the core business functions, like sales and marketing, business operations, finance, leadership, collaboration, and networking, but also on the development of success patterns and personal efficacy as a business owner,” said Julie Samson, a business strategist and WEV instructor. “WEV’s programs help clients learn to navigate their growth edge, where they discover who they truly are and get a taste of what they are capable of.”

In 2013, the Santa Barbara Foundation provided an Express Grant to help WEV upgrade its technology and strengthen its programming. As WEV continues to see an increase in the number of women-owned businesses on the CentralCoast, it will also focus on expanding loans for businesses and developing additional bilingual services.

“Last year, we lent nearly half a million dollars. Our goal within the next five years is to be lending $1 million each year,” said Marsha. “At the same time, we want to continue offering those services that support growing entrepreneurs and do a better job of serving the Latino community, where we do see a lot of our lowest income clients.”

Acknowledging that the success of C’est Cheese may be an anomaly among small businesses, Kathryn said WEV has been equally important in helping entrepreneurs recognize when their dreams do not make economic sense.

“It is easy to talk about the businesses that did get started and did succeed, but WEV has a really important role on the flipside as well,” said Kathryn. “By going through WEV, some people learn their business ideas are not viable. It has saved so many people time, money, and heartache.”

As C’est Cheese moves forward with its expansion, Kathryn hopes to continue finding time to mentor WEV students as well as her own employees. Empowering staff from the dishwashers to the top managers, the Grahams believe that growing their team is instrumental to growing their business.

“So many people have gotten great business advice by going through the WEV program,” said Kathryn. “I wonder what would have happened to all those great ideas and all that creative energy if WEV was not there to guide people, give them direction, teach them how to write a business plan, and start a business.”




Earth Day Festival 2014 Highlights Announced by Community Environmental Council

April 18, 2014  |  Article, News  | 

Indy_LogoOriginally published 1:43 p.m., April 18, 2014 Updated 1:43 p.m., April 18, 2014

Festival to feature: First Annual Earth Day pop-up farm-to-table dinner in the park; Longest-running public Green Car Show in the U.S., with BMWi3 and Tesla Model S Free bike valet and bike tune-ups


The Community Environmental Council (CEC) will host the 2014 Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival at AlamedaPark on Saturday, April 26 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 27 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Santa Barbara, CA, April 15, 2014 – The Community Environmental Council (CEC) will host the 2014 Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival at AlamedaPark on Saturday, April 26 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 27 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The event also includes over 200 exhibitors, a food court, beer and wine garden, main stage, and two mini-stages offering music and demonstrations.

“This year we are really focused on bringing community together, from the farm-to-table dinner to the Meet Your Makers section with local artisans,” said Sigrid Wright, Associate Director of CECand the festival’s director. “We want people to see how they can connect at a local level to help make a global impact, and we’re encouraging everyone who attends to commit to taking small, meaningful actions. The CEC organizes the festival around its five initiatives: Drive Less, Choose Electric, Go Solar, Ditch Plastic, and Eat Local.”

Events that benefit the two-day festival

Opening Night Reception on Wednesday, April 23 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Seven Bar and Kitchen in Santa Barbara’s locally-brewed Funk Zone, hosted by Earth Day production partner New Noise Music Foundation and featuring live music, karaoke, and lots of fun. Tickets are on sale at www.newnoisesb.org. A portion of all proceeds benefit the Community Environmental Council and Santa Barbara Earth Day.

Pop-Up Farm-to-Table Dinner on Saturday, April 26 from 7 to 9 p.m at Alameda Park.

A large community table will be built in front of the main stage immediately after the last band on Saturday evening, and will feature a 4-course catered locavore feast. This is the only activity in the park with an admission fee. Organized by New West Catering and Cultivate Events, tickets to Earth Day’s first pop-up farm-to-table meal are $60/person and will feature:

· A hearty 4-course menu of local, seasonal ingredients with vegetarian options

· Pairings by Buttonwood Farm Winery and Firestone Brewery

· Live music by local artist Adam Phillips

This limited-seating dinner will sell out before Earth Day. To purchase tickets, visit http://sbearthday.org/festival-highlights/farm-to-table-dinner or contact Kathi King at 805-963-0583 x.108. Guests must be 21 years of age to attend. All proceeds benefit CEC.

Festival zones to visit

CEC’s Earth Day Festival is broken into zones, each created around a specific theme:

1. Drive Less. Location: near the corner of Anacapa and Micheltorena. Earth Day organizers work closely with the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, MTD bus service, Santa Barbara Car Free, and other partners to inspire attendees to come to the event “car-free.” Highlights include:

· Bicyclists can rest easy thanks to a large, secured, free BIKEVALET, hosted by Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition and Citrix.

· Check in with an Earth Day greeter at any entrance to claim a Raw Revolution reward

· Head to the Santa Barbara Car Free Check In booth to register for prizes. The Grand Prize is a pair of round-trip tickets for two on the Amtrak Coast Starlight from Santa Barbara to Portland or Seattle, including roomette accommodations.

2. Public Square: Location: on the west side of the park, along Anacapa. This zone offers an opportunity to get involved with dozens of nonprofits, local government agencies, and other public services organizations. Highlights include:

· Elected Officials Booth where citizens can speak one-on-one with state, county, and city legislative leaders. A full schedule will be posted by Friday, April 11 at www.SBEarthDay.org.

· A scaled replica of the Keystone XL pipeline by 350SB.org to raise awareness about climate change, oil production, and fracking.

3. Sports & Recreation. Location: on the west side of the park, near the corner of Anacapa and Sola. Back for its second year, this zone features eco-conscious sporting and outdoor companies that encourage Earth Day-goers to get outside and explore the world we’re preserving. Ways to get active abound in this zone, whether it’s testing out hula hoop skills, practicing karate moves, or talking shop with surfers and skateboarders.

4. Shop Local. Location: on the west side of the park, along Santa Barbara Street. Two zones are located here:

· The Eco Marketplace connects those seeking eco-friendly products with businesses that embrace green consumerism. Sustainable resources and practices combine to create a marketplace bustling with useful goods, including organic seeds, herbal and other homeopathic remedies, clothing made with low-impact and upcycled materials, and solar-powered LED lights.

· The all new Meet Your Makers section boasts a more highly-curated selection of goods, all hand-crafted by regionally-based small businesses with a penchant for sustainable practices. Find unique goods, including artisanal soaps, handcrafted wood, re-styled vintage clothing, and plant fiber stationary.

5. Choose Electric. Location: on Santa Barbara Street, between Sola and Micheltorena Streets. The 16th Annual Santa Barbara Green Car Show hosts the largest assembly of efficient and alternative-fueled vehicles between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and is the longest-running public Green Car Show in the United States. Highlights include:

· Free “Ride & Drives” Location: Corner of Micheltorena and Santa Barbara Take a spin in the latest all-electric vehicles, which get the equivalent of 100 mpg, including the widely acclaimed Tesla S, the the Toyota RAV4 EV (the first all-electric SUV on the market) and the top-selling electric car, the Nissan Leaf, along with other electric and hybrid cars. Ride & Drive filled up fast last year, so be sure to get there early!

· Owner’s Corner with a new Tesla Model S (Motortrend’s 2013 Car of the Year), Tesla Roadster, Nissan LEAF, Chevrolet Volt, and more. Local owners display these vehicles, offering a great opportunity to hear about the realities of electric car ownership.

· Local organizations that are greening their automotive fleets, such as ox Communications and the City of Santa Barbara.

6. Live Green: Location: on the east side of the park along Santa Barbara Street. Community members convene to share knowledge on practical ways to live sustainably, including various solar energy services, green builders, and permaculture professionals.

7. Eat Local: Location: on the west side of the park along Sola. In keeping with this year’s theme, Local Roots, Santa Barbara Earth Day has revamped the food section so attendees can not only enjoy more eco-conscious fare, but also can learn more about all the bounty available in the region. Highlights include:

· A Local Food Court where hungry festival-goers will find a greener-than-ever assortment of food prepared by locally-based vendors committed to sustainable practices and organic ingredients.

· The new Homegrown Roots zone featuring farmers, beekeepers, fishermen, and other representatives of our local food system.

· The Roots Stage (near the Food Court) features two days of eco-learning: seed saving, farm-to-fork and grain-to-loaf cooking demos, and discussions on probiotic drinks, sustainable meats, and more. A full schedule will be posted by Friday, April 11 at www.SBEarthDay.org.

8. Pledge to Act: Location: at the CEC booth on the west side of the park near Santa Barbara and Sola (look for the green and white striped tent). Earth Day is hosted by the Community Environmental Council, which offers festival-goers an opportunity to walk away from the festival with a plan of action for their own lives. At the CEC booth, attendees will make a pledge that aligns with one of CEC’s five major initiatives: Drive Less, Choose Electric, Go Solar, Ditch Plastic, or Eat Local. In addition, attendees have a chance to win prizes that support these goals, including a Tesla Model S rental package, a new beach cruiser, a basket of local food, and more.

9. Kids Corner: Location: on the east side of the park, near Sola Street. Kids revel in this eco-education extravaganza organized by LearningDen Preschool and SproutUp, with arts & crafts, musical performances, storytelling, and face painting. Highlights of Kids Corner include:

· Earth Day Family Passport. Families looking to engage kids in the festival can pick up an Earth Day Family Passport at the Santa Barbara Car Free Check In booth (across from Bike Valet near Anacapa & Micheltorena). Kids collect a stamp at each of eight fun, eco-friendly activities, culminating at the SproutUp booth in Kids Corner. Completed passports can be redeemed for a free reusable bag stocked with goodies and a raffle ticket for the chance to win a week-long summer camp with Surf Happens or the Orca Camp.

· Solar Powered Kids Corner stage. Two days of activities on a stage powered by the Solar Roller. A full schedule will be posted by Friday, April 11 at www.SBEarthDay.org.

10. Give Back: Location: at the CEC booth on the west side of the park near Santa Barbara and Sola (look for the green and white striped tent).

There’s always something more to learn, and CEC’s staff is there to educate. All attendees are welcomed to give back to CEC for all they do to raise awareness at Earth Day and throughout the year. Festival-goers can also spin the wheel to learn eco-facts and win prizes and watch the big screen for festival announcements and a stream of photos and videos being taken by Earth Day participants.

Live music on the Earth Day main stage:

Tap into the rhythm of locally grown reggae, electronic, bluegrass, rock, and instrumental music on the Main Stage, coordinated by the New Noise Music Foundation. A full schedule is posted at www.SBEarthDay.org and in the Earth Day Festival Guide (published in the Santa Barbara Independent on Thursday, April 24). Highlights include:

· Santa Barbara-based favorites like FMLYBND, Spencer the Gardener, Tommy & the Hi Pilots, and The Reignsmen (last year’s New Noise/ SB Independent Battle of the Bands winner).

· Headliner Hot Buttered Rum takes the stage on Saturday night.

Food and Drink

· Food Court. Location: on the east side of the park, along Sola Street. Dig into vegetarian-friendly food from local vendors dedicated to sustainable practices and organic ingredients.

· Coffee Kiosk. Location: on the east side of the park, along Sola Street. Back for a second year, the kiosk features Fair Trade coffee served up by high school volunteers from Dons Net Café. Make the experience greener by bringing your own mug.

· BeerGarden. Location: near the Main Stage. Enjoy delicious, cold beer from Firestone Walker’s lineup of 805, Pivo Pils, DBA, Pale 31 and Easy Jack plus a variety of local Santa Barbara wines. Kleen Kanteen reusable steel pints will be available for purchase to reduce plastic cup usage.

· Beer & Wine Gazebo. Location: in center of park on west side of festival. Those looking for a smaller venue to enjoy adult beverages can get pours of their favorite beer & wine during select times throughout the festival.

About the Community Environmental Council

Since 1970, the Community Environmental Council (CEC) has led the Santa Barbara region – and at times California and the nation – in creative solutions to some of the toughest environmental problems. Today CEC is focused on eliminating the use of fossil fuels in the CentralCoast region in one generation – Fossil Free by ’33.


This year, CEC is partnering with LoaTree, New Noise Media Group, Oniracom, Plus One Events, Sprout Up, Learningden Preschool, Cultivate Events, and Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition to produce the festival. Cox Communications is the lead sponsor. Major Media Sponsors are KJEE, KTYD, KLITE, and Entravision. Other Media Sponsors are SB Independent, Parent Click, Noozhawk, and The Sentinel. Major sponsors are MarBorg Industries, Gold Coast Toyota Dealers, Allen Associates Construction, Amtrak, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, Firestone Walker Brewing Company, and Classic Party Rentals. Other significant sponsors include Lazy Acres Market, Kleen Kanteen, 1st Solar, City of Santa Barbara, Klean Kanteen, RECSolar, Air Pollution Control District, Central Coast Clean Cities Coalition, Verizon, BMW Santa Barbara, and Santa Barbara Nissan.

For more information on CEC:

· Find CEC on the web at www.cecsb.org

· Like CEC on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cecsb

· Follow CEC on Twitter @CECSB and on Instagram @CEC_SB

· Call CEC at 805-963-0583 ext. 100.

As details are announced, the best way to get the most updated information – including schedules, maps, and stories — is to go to:

· Find Earth Day on the web at www.SBEarthDay.org, or the mobile site, http://m.SBEarthDay.org

· Like “Santa Barbara Earth Day” on Facebook, www.facebook.com/sbearthday

· Follow the event on Twitter @SBEarthday and on Instagram @SB_EarthDay

· Call CEC at 805-963-0583 ext. 100.


Got Rhythm?

April 18, 2014  |  Article, News  | 


Citi Foundation Commits $50,000 to Support ‘WEV en Español’ Program

April 18, 2014  |  Article, News  | 

NoozhawkLogoNewsReleases_NoozhawkLogoPOSTED ON 04.18.2014 11:18 A.M.
WEV_EspanolProgram_NoozhawkMarsha Bailey, center, founder and CEO of Women’s Economic Ventures, receives a $50,000 check for the WEV en Español Program from Rashi Kallur, vice president of Citi community development, and Ray Torres, branch manager/vice president of the Santa Barbara Citibank branch. (Women’s Economic Ventures photo) 

Representatives of Citi recently presented Women’s Economic Venturesfounder and CEO Marsha Bailey with a $50,000 Citi Foundation grant at the WEV office in Santa Barbara.

The funding will be used to support WEV en Español, WEV’s Spanish language entrepreneurial development program that provides business training and microloans to primarily low-income, Spanish-speaking residents in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

“Citi and WEV share a strong commitment to serve our community through small business development, financial education and job creation,” Bailey said. “This grant from the Citi Foundation will help us make a considerable impact by providing entrepreneurial tools to a traditionally underserved population. We are excited about reaching more Spanish speaking entrepreneurs who are ready to start or grow their business.

“We are pleased to build upon our partnership with Women’s Economic Ventures and support residents of Santa Barbara and Ventura on their journeys from ambition to achievement,” said Rashi Kallur, Citi’s community development officer. “Through valuable resources like WEV en Español, we are helping fuel economic growth by providing local entrepreneurs with the training and tools they need to open their doors, expand their businesses, and create jobs in their communities.”

Citi and the Citi Foundation have supported Women’s Economic Ventures’ growth for more than a decade, and with this recent grant, have contributed more than $500,000 to WEV through Citi Foundation grants and Citi corporate sponsorships. With support from Citi, WEV is able to assist entrepreneurs to prepare for business growth, develop a better understanding of the financial services that may be able to help them achieve their business goals and provide loans for qualifying candidates to start or expand their businesses. In addition to financial support, Citi employees have volunteered their time and expertise as guest speakers at WEV’s business training classes, imparting their real-life experience to course participants.

The WEV en Español Program includes a six-week business basics class, a 10-week Self Employment Training class, and loans through WEV’s Loan Fund.


— Flannery Hill is a publicist representing Women’s Economic Ventures.




3rd Annual 5K Walk for Mental Wellness Saturday, May 17

April 18, 2014  |  Article, News  | 

Indy_Logo Originally published 1:31 p.m., April 18, 2014 Updated 1:31 p.m., April 18, 2014

The Mental Wellness Center’s Walk aims to reduce stigma, promote the importance of mental health for all


On Saturday, May 17, walkers will show support for those living with mental illness by participating in the 3rd Annual Walk for Mental Wellness, led by the local nonprofit Mental Wellness Center (MWC), Santa Barbara’s only rehabilitation and social center for adults and families affected by mental illness.

Santa Barbara, Calif., April 14, 2014 – On Saturday, May 17, walkers will show support for those living with mental illness by participating in the 3rd Annual Walk for Mental Wellness, led by the local nonprofit Mental Wellness Center (MWC), Santa Barbara’s only rehabilitation and social center for adults and families affected by mental illness.

The 5K Walk will take place on Saturday, May 17 at 8:30 a.m. at East Beach Bathhouse (1118 E. Cabrillo Blvd) in Santa Barbara.

“Mental wellness affects all of us, and there’s still a strong stigma against mental illness,” said Annmarie Cameron, the Chief Executive Officer of the MentalWellnessCenter. “We want people in the community who are struggling with mental illness, and their loved ones, to know that there is hope. Recovery is very real and possible.”

For this year’s Walk, the MentalWellnessCenter has partnered with Active Minds at UCSB, the local chapter of the nation’s only student-based mental health advocacy program on college campuses. Like MWC, Active Minds is dedicated to promoting awareness of issues relating to mental illness, which is especially important on college campuses, as many mental illnesses begin showing symptoms during this age and can be stimulated due to the stressors of college.

The goal for this year’s Walk is to raise $75,000 to expand services provided by the MentalWellness Center.

“We’re lucky to live in a community that supports charity,” Cameron said. “The Walk is about the Santa Barbara community joining us in support for mental wellness and allows every walker to focus on how they can improve their own mental wellness.”

Please show your support by participating in the Walk for Mental Wellness or by making a donation. Individuals and teams can register for the Walk by visiting www.mentalwellnesscenter.org or by calling (805) 845-3298. Participants may also register at the event. Registration is $40 for general participants, $100 to be a VIP Star Walker, and $10 for students and clients of the MentalWellnessCenter, with 100% of event registration fees going to support the MentalWellness Center.

About the Mental Wellness Center

The MentalWellnessCenter is a private, non-profit organization providing recovery, education, and family services to adults and families affected by mental illness. For more information, please call (805) 884-8440 or visit www.mentalwellnesscenter.org.


Bimmerfest 2014 at Rose Bowl Selects Santa Barbara’s New Beginnings Counseling Center as Featured Charity

April 18, 2014  |  Article, News  | 


15th Annual BMW Event Supports Local Non-Profit Two Years in a Row


Bimmerfest 2014 has once again selected Santa Barbara-based NewBeginningsCounselingCenter as its featured charity for the 15th Annual Bimmerfest “Opportunity Drawing”.

Santa Barbara, CA, April 14, 2014— Bimmerfest 2014 has once again selected Santa Barbara-based NewBeginningsCounselingCenter as its featured charity for the 15th Annual Bimmerfest “Opportunity Drawing”. Bimmerfest 2014, sponsored by ESSTuning, will be held on May 17th from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Rose Bowl at 1001 Rose Bowl Drive in Pasadena.

“We are excited to welcome NewBeginningsCounselingCenter as Bimmerfest 2014’s ‘Opportunity Drawing’ recipient,” said Jon Shafer, founder and owner of Bimmerfest. “By helping struggling families regain their footing, New Beginnings Counseling Center epitomizes our goal for the drawing to give back to the community.”

Bimmerfest, a community of BMW enthusiasts, hosts the largest BMW car show in North America. Founded and owned by Jon Shafer, Bimmerfest awards an “Opportunity Drawing” to a selected charity each year. This is the second year Bimmerfest has chosen to recognize NewBeginningsCounselingCenter. Last year Bimmerfest raised $5,300 for New Beginnings Counseling Center.

“We are thrilled to be selected by Bimmerfest for the second year in a row,” said Kristine Schwarz, Executive Director of NewBeginningsCounselingCenter. “It is gratifying to see BMW enthusiasts share their enthusiasm for our mission— to advance transformation in the lives of individuals and families by providing mental health and supportive services so that we may all lead healthy, independent lives.”

New BeginningsCounselingCenter will run the “Opportunity Drawing” table at Bimmerfest 2014, selling tickets for the charity raffle. Bimmerfest guests will have the opportunity to win prizes donated by event sponsors. Raffle tickets will be sold for $5 and all proceeds will benefit New Beginnings Counseling Center.

About New Beginnings Counseling Center

New BeginningsCounselingCenter is dedicated to the most vulnerable members of our community, offering profoundly needed counseling, shelter, and support services. Available at very low cost, the first class community clinic and outreach programs ensure that resources and services are accessible to those who need them most. For more information, call (805) 963-7777 or visit www.sbnbcc.org.



Tina Fanucchi Frontado as interim director

April 18, 2014  |  Article, News  |