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    Montecito Bank & Trust Increases Annual Giving to $2 million to Celebrates 20 years of Community Dividends

    Montecito Bank & Trust kicked off the holiday season on Monday November 21, 2022, as it has for the last 20 years, with the special annual tradition of the Community Dividends awards luncheon. But this year, there was a twist, the Bank awarded $2 million instead of the traditional $1 million to celebrate 20 years of the unique giving program. The Community Dividends tradition started twenty years ago when the Bank’s founder Michael Towbes invited 100 nonprofits to lunch and surprised each organization with a $10,000 check. The Bank has carried that tradition forward each year since, giving away $1 million every November to hundreds of nonprofits across the Central Coast. Through this unique giving program, the Bank has now granted more than $21 million to local Santa Barbara and Ventura County nonprofit organizations.

    Looking across the audience of over 300 guests, including 200 nonprofit leaders from Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, Chairman & CEO Janet Garufis welcomed the attendees, “On this Monday before Thanksgiving, we are here to celebrate you and the service and dedication of all 200 non-profit organizations represented here today. You advocate and care for our most vulnerable, feed the hungry, heal the sick and comfort the lonely, house the homeless, educate and inspire our children, and lift our spirits with music and arts that remind us of the beauty around us. You enhance the quality of life for all segments of our society. Thank you!” Expressing gratitude for Mr. Towbes’s vision and reaffirming the Bank’s commitment to continuing his legacy of corporate philanthropy by reinvesting a portion of the Bank’s profits back into the community, Garufis went on to note “Mike always promised me that if the Bank grew, so could our giving. And I promised him we would grow, so that we could give more when the community needed us. In celebration of Mike’s vision and extraordinary philanthropic commitment to our communities, our Board of Directors has approved doubling this year’s Community Dividend investment to $2 million! That’s $21 million in 20 years.”

    The additional $1 million also allowed the Bank to expand the Michael Towbes Community Impact Dividend award, introduced in 2019 to make a meaningful impact by providing an annual dividend up to $100,000 to one or more nonprofit organizations that deliver critical and sustainable services to a large number of the most vulnerable people in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. This year five organizations were awarded $100,000 each. Anne Towbes joined Janet Garufis on stage and together they recognized each of the five recipients with a check. This year’s recipients were:

    • CommUnify: to support its Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program that focuses on long-term family stabilization. The FSS program provides intensive case management and coaching for up to one year, as well as economic empowerment education and targeted payment assistance (rent, utilities, education expenses) to help stabilize families so that they can focus on their self-sufficiency goals.
    • Pacific Pride Foundation: to support its LGBTQ+ Language Justice Project, an innovative initiative with the ambitious goal of becoming a bilingual organization by 2024. PPF will expand and improve programs and services to include populations that are often underinvested in and overlooked.
    • Peoples’ Self-Help Housing Corporation: to support its Camino Scholars Education Program which provides education services including school tutoring and college advising support. Educators maintain a 1:1 student-to-instructor ratio and work with students to set goals, identify resources needed and implement strategies for success.
    • Santa Barbara Street Medicine / Doctors Without Walls: to support its Wrap Around Care Program that offers medical and behavioral health services so individuals can transition off the streets and into housing.
    • The Arc Foundation of Ventura County (and Santa Barbara County): to support its Community Employment Services program, which supports individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in job readiness training and placement, supporting their path to independence.

    The Bank’s board of directors and leadership teams were also in attendance, along with over 40 Bank associates who spend over 5,000 hours each year volunteering with many of the nonprofits at the luncheon. Part philanthropy, part celebration and part networking, the event celebrated the collective work that these nonprofits do, often in partnership, to support the diverse needs of our community. Community Dividends and the Michael Towbes Community Impact Dividend primarily focus on supporting organizations or programs that serve low- and moderate-income individuals and families in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Dividends are awarded to organizations that serve youth and education, social services, medical and health services, and the arts.

    2022 Community Dividends Recipients

    • 2nd Story Associates
    • Adelante Charter School
    • AHA! (Attitude. Harmony. Achievement.)
    • Alpha Resource Center of Santa Barbara
    • Angels Foster Care of Santa Barbara
    • Atterdag at Home, Inc.
    • Atterdag Village of Solvang
    • Bethania Lutheran Church
    • Boys & Girls Club of Camarillo
    • Boys & Girls Club of Greater Ventura
    • Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley (BGCGCV)
    • Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme
    • Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara
    • C.A.R.E.4Paws
    • California Avocado Festival
    • California Lutheran University
    • California Missions Foundation
    • California State University Channel Islands Foundation
    • California State University, Northridge Foundation
    • CALM
    • Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara
    • Cancer Support Community Valley/Ventura/Santa Barbara
    • Carpinteria Children’s Project
    • Carpinteria Education Foundation, Inc.
    • Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families
    • Casa Serena, Inc.
    • Channel Islands YMCA
    • Children’s Resource & Referral
    • City Impact, Inc.
    • CommUnify
    • Community Arts Music Association of Santa Barbara Inc.
    • Community Conscience / Under One Roof
    • Community Environmental Council
    • Congregation B’nai B’rith
    • Cornerstone House of Santa Barbara
    • Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse
    • Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Ventura County
    • Court Appointed Special Advocates of Santa Barbara County
    • Crane Country Day School
    • Direct Relief
    • Doctors Without Walls – Santa Barbara Street Medicine
    • Domestic Violence Solutions for Santa Barbara County
    • Dream Foundation
    • Easy Lift Transportation
    • El Concilio Family Services
    • Elings Park Foundation
    • Elverhoj Museum of History & Art
    • Ensemble Theatre Company
    • Environmental Defense Center
    • Explore Ecology
    • Family Service Agency of Santa Barbara County
    • Fielding Graduate University
    • Food From The Heart
    • Foodbank of Santa Barbara County
    • Foundation for Santa Barbara High School
    • Fr. Virgil Cordano Center
    • Friends of the Carpinteria Library
    • Friends of the Library of the Santa Ynez Valley, Inc.
    • Friendship Manor Inc.
    • Ganna Walska Lotusland
    • Girls Incorporated of Carpinteria
    • Girls Incorporated of Greater Santa Barbara
    • Gold Coast Veterans Foundation
    • Goleta Education Foundation
    • Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital Foundation
    • Goleta Valley Historical Society
    • Gwendolyn Strong Foundation
    • Habitat for Humanity of Southern Santa Barbara County
    • Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County
    • Hearts Aligned Inc.
    • Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Center
    • HELP of Carpinteria
    • Hillside
    • Hinchee Homes
    • Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc.
    • Hospice of the Conejo
    • Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura
    • Housing Opportunities Made Easier
    • Housing Trust Fund of Santa Barbara County, Inc.
    • Housing Trust Fund Ventura County
    • Human Rights Watch
    • Immigrant Hope of Santa Barbara, CA Inc.
    • Independent Living Resource Center, Inc.
    • Isla Vista Youth Projects, Inc.
    • Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara
    • Kids & Families Together
    • Laguna Blanca School
    • Leading From Within
    • Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County
    • Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association
    • Lobero Theatre Foundation
    • Magoo’s Shoes
    • Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties
    • Mental Wellness Center
    • Midland School
    • Mission Scholars
    • Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP)
    • Momentum WORK, Inc.
    • Montecito Family YMCA
    • Montecito Union School
    • Moorpark College Foundation
    • MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation
    • Music Academy of the West
    • National Disaster Search Dog Foundation
    • New Beginnings Counseling Center
    • New House Santa Barbara
    • Old Mission Santa Barbara
    • Old Mission Santa Ines
    • Old Spanish Days
    • Opera Santa Barbara
    • Organic Soup Kitchen
    • Oxnard Housing Authority
    • Oxnard Performing Arts Center Corporation (OPAC)
    • Pacific Pride Foundation
    • Page Youth Center
    • Partners In Housing Solutions, Inc
    • PathPoint
    • Peoples’ Self-Help Housing Corporation
    • Planned Parenthood California Central Coast
    • Project Understanding of San Buenaventura
    • Ride On LA
    • Safety Town of Santa Barbara County
    • Sansum Clinic
    • Sansum Diabetes Research Institute
    • Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition
    • Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Inc.
    • Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation
    • Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade
    • Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts, Inc.
    • Santa Barbara Community Housing Corporation
    • Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Foundation
    • Santa Barbara County Education Office
    • Santa Barbara Culinary Experience
    • Santa Barbara Education Foundation
    • Santa Barbara Foresters
    • Santa Barbara Foundation
    • Santa Barbara Hillel
    • Santa Barbara Historical Museum
    • Santa Barbara Humane Society
    • Santa Barbara International Film Festival
    • Santa Barbara Maritime Museum
    • Santa Barbara Meals on Wheels, Inc.
    • Santa Barbara Mission Archive-Library
    • Santa Barbara Museum of Art
    • Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
    • Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics
    • Santa Barbara Police Activities League
    • Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation
    • Santa Barbara Rescue Mission
    • Santa Barbara School of Squash
    • Santa Barbara Symphony
    • Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation
    • Santa Barbara Zoological Foundation
    • Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital Foundation
    • Santa Ynez Valley Jewish Community
    • Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People, Inc.
    • Santa Ynez Valley Pride
    • Santa Ynez Valley Therapeutic Riding Program
    • Santa Ynez Valley Youth Recreation
    • Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara
    • Showers of Blessing
    • Solvang Danish Days Foundation
    • Solvang Friendship House
    • Solvang Senior Center
    • Solvang Theaterfest, Inc.
    • Standing Together to End Sexual Assault
    • State Street Ballet
    • Storyteller Children’s Center
    • Students for Eco-Education & Agriculture, Inc.
    • Studio Channel Islands Art Center
    • Surgical Eye Expeditions (SEE) International
    • Teacher’s Fund
    • Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation
    • The Arc Foundation of Ventura County
    • The Cecilia Fund
    • The Foundation for Girsh Park
    • The Foundation For Santa Barbara City College
    • The Howard School
    • The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County
    • The Marjorie Luke Theatre
    • The Rona Barrett Foundation
    • The Salvation Army of Santa Barbara
    • Tina Hansen McEnroe & Paul V. McEnroe Reading and Language Arts Clinic
    • Transition House
    • Turning Point Foundation
    • UCSB Arts & Lectures
    • UCSB Economic Forecast Project
    • UCSB Technology Management Program
    • United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County
    • United Way of Santa Barbara County, Inc.
    • Unity Shoppe, Inc.
    • Ventura County Medical Resource Foundation
    • VNA Health Foundation
    • Westmont College
    • Wilderness Youth Project
    • Wildling Museum of Art and Nature
    • Women’s Economic Ventures
    • Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara
    • World Telehealth Initiative
    • Youth and Family Services YMCA: Noah’s Anchorage Youth Crisis Center

    Montecito Bank & Trust is the oldest and largest locally owned community bank in the Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Founded in 1975, the bank celebrated its 47th anniversary on March 17, 2022 and operates 11 branch offices in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Solvang, Montecito, Carpinteria, Ventura, Camarillo and Westlake Village, with plans to expand north and south into Santa Maria and Oxnard in 2023. Montecito Bank & Trust has a history of unwavering corporate philanthropy in the local communities it serves, annually donating $1.5 million dollars and volunteering over 5,400 hours to nonprofit organizations in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. The bank offers a variety of competitive deposit and lending solutions for businesses and consumers, including business loans and lines of credit; commercial real estate finance; SBA loans; mortgage loans, consumer loans; credit cards; merchant services; and online services, including mobile banking and cash management. Its Wealth Management Division provides comprehensive trust services and full investment management for all branch office markets. The Bank has earned 23 Best Bank awards in the last 10 years, in addition to numerous accolades for Best Mortgage and Best Financial Services Company in Santa Barbara, Best Investment Company in Santa Ynez Valley and the third Best Bank to Work For in the United States (American Banker Magazine).

    Press Release
    Press Release
    This is a press release sent to Goleta Voice for publication. Refer to the references in the article for more information.
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