The Montecito Bank & Trust college scholarship fund for high school seniors has been in existence for 21 years, funding over $160,000 in scholarships through the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara. For 2011, the bank will provide $9,000 in scholarships with an additional $2,000 specifically for arts scholarships.
Montecito Bank & Trust continues to demonstrate a commitment to its longstanding traditions of giving back to the community. This scholarship tradition doesn’t end with simply providing the money, however. Each year the Scholarship Foundation selects the scholarship recipients to receive the bank’s scholarships, and the bank then extends to these students a special luncheon invitation hosted by Chairman Michael Towbes, Board Member Jerry Parent, President and CEO Janet Garufis and other members of the bank’s Executive Team.
At this luncheon, each student shares their plans for the future. Jerry Parent provides the history of the Scholarship Foundation and then Michael Towbes has a very personal message for these young adults. He asks them to remember this luncheon day and the fact that their community assisted them in fulfilling their dreams. He also asks that as they become established in a community one day, they remember to give back to others in need in order to keep the tradition of support going.
Michael Towbes states: “The bank’s philanthropic events like this scholarship luncheon mean a great deal to me. Hearing the achievements and ambitions of these very bright young adults reminds us all that there is hope carried by this next generation to tackle ever-increasing challenges. Their energy, innovation and most importantly, active community participation, will make a significant difference.”
The Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara began in 1962, founded by a small group of individuals that included Michael Towbes. He was a board member for many years and was active in the interviewing process with the scholarship selection committee. In the early 1970’s, Michael’s first wife Gail, along with Jerry Parent and others, elevated the vision and activities of the Scholarship Foundation, taking it to a new level of substantial funding. Today the Scholarship Foundation is the largest community provider of scholarships in the nation. “We are very proud to be the managers of this special scholarship fund for Montecito Bank & Trust for over twenty years,” said Colette Hadley, Executive Director of the Scholarship Foundation. “Mr. Towbes and the entire bank team are wonderful supporters of our work and are especially focused on providing opportunities for students. Montecito Bank & Trust demonstrates every day how much they care about our community.”
Montecito Bank & Trust, an S Corporation, is a locally owned community bank founded in 1975. It is known for its ongoing support of the community through unique giving programs such as Community Dividends® and Anniversary GrantsSM. The bank has branch offices in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Solvang, Montecito, Carpinteria, Ventura and Westlake Village. It offers a variety of competitive deposit and lending solutions for businesses and consumers, including consumer loans, business loans and lines of credit, SBA loans, credit cards, merchant services, online and mobile banking, and cash management. Its Wealth Management Division, located in Montecito, Solvang and Ventura, provides full investment management as well as trust and estate services for all of the bank’s branch office markets.