On Friday, October 14, the Courthouse lawn along Anacapa Street was transformed into a colorful miniature golf play area and party venue by the Courthouse Legacy Foundation and the Rotaract Club of Santa Barbara. Corporate teams competed on the professionally-constructed nine-hole course and then enjoyed a casual outdoor cocktail reception, tacos, and awards ceremony. On Saturday, the course was open to the public with kids playing for free.
Teams enjoyed the novelty of this fun afternoon in one of Santa Barbara’s most picturesque downtown settings. Emcee Drew Wakefield got everyone in a playful spirit while a red wagon full of adult beverages circulated around the course. American Riviera Bank was the winning team, beating four other teams in the playoff elimination rounds that lasted four holes.
Several area nonprofits each decorated a hole and shared information with the players about their organization. The Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation hole drew big smiles with its life-sized stuffed bears comfortably reclining along the edges of its hole. The Police Activities League (PAL) hole was very impressively decorated with an attractive and enormous “PAL” sign designed and constructed by two PAL students.
The event, in its third year, was the brainchild of co-chair Rob Mislang who serves on the Courthouse Legacy Foundation (CLF) board. When he learned of the foundation’s desire to reach youth and families, he came up with the idea of turning the Courthouse’s expansive lawn into a miniature golf course.
Banks, law firms and other businesses fielded teams for the tournament which raised much-needed funding for the CLF. The organization was formed in 2004 by a group of citizens concerned about the County’s lack of funds and artistic resources to restore the Courthouse. The structure was built in the immediate aftermath of the 1925 earthquake and was in sad need of significant restoration work. Major projects have included the restoration of the Spirit of the Ocean fountain ($822,000), the Mural Room ($544,000), and the Bisno-Schall Clock Gallery ($270,000). Pending projects include the removal of efflorescence from the Great Arch and restoration of the windows on the Figueroa Street side.
Rotaract is a humanitarian organization of young professionals affiliated with Rotary Clubs whose members donate their time and money to regional and international charity work. The club partnered with the CLF to run the two-day event, with Jonathan Broida serving as co-chair. All proceeds go to the CLF.
By Gail Arnold