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Michael Towbes Named Donor of the Year

Peoples’ Self-Help Housing also Honors Santa Barbara Foundation and Wells Fargo Foundation


Michael Towbes has been named Donor of the Year by Peoples’ Self-Help Housing. Towbes will be honored at the non-profit’s 40th Anniversary Taste of Hope event to be held at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 3, 2010 at the historic Rubin home on Mission Street in Santa Barbara. The Towbes Group and the Towbes Foundation have been generous supporters of Peoples’ Self-Help Housing since 2003.

The event features fine wine-tasting, gourmet, hors d’oeuvres and dinner, live music by Konrad Kono, silent auction, and short awards ceremony. Reservations are $100 per person. Tickets are limited to 125 so early registration is recommended.

Michael Towbes is Chairman of The Towbes Group, Chairman of Montecito Bank & Trust, and Chief Financial Officer of The Towbes Foundation. Since 1996 Towbes has served on The Duncan Group Board of Directors, an affiliate nonprofit board of Peoples’ where he has encouraged continued development of affordable housing, support services, and after school education programs at the organization. For example, Mr. Towbes paid for a surplus classroom to be transported from Goleta to the Dahlia Court housing complex in Carpinteria where hundreds of children have studied and been instructed at Peoples’ Youth Education Enhancement Program.

He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Princeton University and attended graduate school at MIT. He has lived in Santa Barbara for 50 years and has built more than 6,000 housing units as well as shopping centers, office buildings and business parks throughout Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties. He is a Senior Life Director of the National Association of Home Builders. He is the owner of Montecito Bank & Trust, a Santa Barbara based community bank with assets of over $900 million and eight branches from Westlake Village to Solvang and was one of the bank’s founders, which opened in 1975.

Towbes is one of Santa Barbara’s leading philanthropists, with multi-million dollar gifts to create the Granada performing arts center in Santa Barbara and to assure the continued presence of the full-time classical music radio station KDB in Santa Barbara. He has been honored by his selection as Santa Barbara’s Man of the Year, and has been the recipient of the initial News-Press Lifetime Achievement Award, the UCSB Chancellor’s Medal and the Westmont Medal. He has been selected as both Santa Barbara Philanthropist of the Year and Santa Barbara Volunteer of the Year by the National Society of Fundraising Executives.

Also being honored at the 40th Anniversary event is the Santa Barbara Foundation and the Wells Fargo Foundation.

The Santa Barbara Foundation is a community foundation established in 1928 to enrich the lives of the people of Santa Barbara County through philanthropy. With an 80-year legacy of strategic philanthropy throughout Santa Barbara County, the Foundation is one of the oldest and largest of the more than 700 community foundations in the U.S. It is Santa Barbara County’s largest private source of funding for nonprofit agencies, having awarded $23 million to area nonprofits and $2.3 million to area students in 2006. The Foundation invests in programs that enhance the community in the areas of education, personal development, health, human services, culture, recreation, community enhancement, and environment. It has assets of approximately $250 million. Since 2002 the Santa Barbara Foundation has donated nearly $250,000 to Peoples’ with a grant focus on youth education and supportive housing programs.

Starting as far back as the mid-1800’s, Wells Fargo served communities in California by bringing settlers, safeguarding the arrival of their valuables, and delivering their mail. Today, Wells Fargo continues to serve the community through its broad range community support programs, including Wells Fargo contributions. The Foundation makes grants in three primary areas: community development, education, and human services. Wells Fargo provides grants to organizations that help people and communities of low and moderate income in affordable housing and community revitalization, as well as educational programs promoting academic achievement by low- to moderate-income K-12 students. Since 1994 the Wells Fargo Foundation has allocated $736,000 in grants to Peoples’ Self-Help Housing—a remarkable partner in furthering our mission.

Founded in 1970, the mission of Peoples’ Self-Help Housing is to provide affordable housing and programs leading to self-sufficiency for low-income households, seniors, and special needs groups on California’s Central Coast. With over 1,100 self-help homes completed and over 1,350 rental units owned and managed by Peoples’ Self-Help Housing in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura counties., it is the premiere affordable housing and community developer on the Central Coast. PSHH has offices in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara.

The mission of Peoples’ Self-Help Housing is to provide affordable housing and programs leading to self-sufficiency for low-income families, seniors, and other special needs groups on California’s Central Coast. For information on Peoples or the Taste of Hope event visit the website or phone (805) 962-5152 x220.

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