Honoree Shirley Ann Hurley and Executive Director Lisa Brabo.

Gail Arnold

Honoree Shirley Ann Hurley and Executive Director Lisa Brabo.

Family Service Agency Honors Shirley Ann Hurley

Many Pay Tribute to Hurley at President’s Circle Reception

On October 12, Family Service Agency (FSA) held its annual President’s Circle Reception, which traditionally honors all of its major donors. This year, it singled out one of its key players for the past 37 years, Shirley Ann Hurley. About 100 guests turned out for this lovely affair, held on the oceanfront grounds of Suzanne Duca and Ross Quigley’s Padaro Lane estate.

After a cocktail reception, guests were seated on the picturesque lawn. Executive Director Lisa Brabo welcomed the crowd and shared how for the last 37 years of FSA’s 118 year history, Shirley Ann Hurley has been volunteering as a community advocate, boardmember and tireless fundraiser. Through her work, Hurley “has made a positive and lasting difference for thousands of families in Santa Barbara County.”

Hurley’s longtime friend Sheridah Gerard introduced Hurley, lauding her with copious compliments and concluding by saying that “we love you for all you give to us” and “when Shirley Ann was born on Valentine’s Day, it was “God’s gift to the world.”

Hurley thanked many present for all of their work on behalf of FSA and thanked everyone for “one of the greatest honors of my life.” Toasts were then offered by Brian Stenfors, Marni Cooney, Joanne Rapp, Carol MacElhenny, and Sybil Rosen. A large, printed program collected testimonials from many community members, including former Congresswoman Lois Capps, who wrote:

I was privileged to serve on Family Service Agency’s board with you. When I hear your name, I always think of an indomitable and cheerful spirit that doesn’t hear the words “it can’t be done.” Yes, it can. And we did. Thank you for your 35 and counting years of service to the families of our community through FSA. You have made a beautiful difference.”

And Santa Barbara Community College Foundation Executive Director Geoff Green, who wrote:

Thank you, Shirley Ann, for all that you’ve done these many years to make Santa Barbara a more welcoming, fair, and compassionate community. Your 35+ years of support of Family Service Agency is one of the many things we treasure about you.”

Family Service Agency is a large nonprofit organization with an array of programs serving the most vulnerable children, families, and seniors in the county. Its programs include: Big Brothers Big Sisters, Family Support Services, Long Term Care Ombudsman, School Counseling Services, Senior Services and Youth and Family Behavioral Health. Last year, FSA served nearly 18,000 people, 70 percent of whom were very low income. Its $4.85 million budget was 63% government funded, leaving a significant gap to be filled by private donations.

Earlier this year, FSA merged with the Santa Maria Valley Youth and Family Center and it anticipates that the merged organization will serve 28,000 people this fiscal year.

For more info about FSA, go to

By Gail Arnold

VP of Programs Jane Santos Sweeney, Co-VP of Development and Marketing Christina Pizzaro, Boardmember Andrew Wilson, Co-VP of Development and Marketing Marni Cooney, Boardmember Rod Durham, and Boardmember Bert Heter.

By Gail Arnold

Brian Stenfors, Sheridah Gerard, Sybil Rosen, and Bill Gerard.

By Gail Arnold

Photo on display of Patty Bliss and honoree Shirley Ann Hurley.

By Gail Arnold

Guests enjoy the reception.

By Gail Arnold

Guests enjoy the reception.

By Gail Arnold

Guests enjoy the program.

By Gail Arnold

Guests enjoy the program.

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