On Sunday, September 19, Ken George, retired Santa Maria Police Officer and long time child advocate will be honored with the Family Care Network’s 2010 Circle of Serving award recognizing Mr. George’s commitment to local children and youth. The award will be presented at the Family Care Network’s 7th Annual Taste of the Central Coast held at the Cypress Ridge Pavilion in Arroyo Grande on Sunday, September 19 from 3:00 to 6:30pm.
The Taste of the Central Coast is an elegant fine food and wine tasting event which showcases local talent, honors local child advocates, and raises funds to support our community’s foster and high-needs children and families served by the Family Care Network.
A main focus of the Taste of the Central Coast will once again be the agency’s presentation of its “Circle of Serving” awards. Past honorees of the award have included such impactful community leaders as Mr. Jim Diani and Mr. Jim Glines. This year’s Santa Barbara County “Circle of Serving” award honoree is Mr. Ken George while the San Luis Obispo County “Circle of Serving” award honoree is Dr. James Glinn. These community members were selected for their humble leadership and selfless service to the children, youth and families living on the Central Coast.
After serving for four years in the United States Marine Corps, Ken George, entered law enforcement in 1980. Moving to Santa Maria in 1987, Mr. George joined the Santa Maria Police Department where he began as a patrol officer and after various promotions became lieutenant in 2000.
He also served as Santa Maria’s Patrol Watch Commander and Allan Hancock College’s Police Chief. After 28 years on the force, Mr. George retired in 2008, but has continued a role in law enforcement by teaching in the Administrative Justice Program at Allan Hancock College, having first started teaching there in 1989.
Mr. George supports many important causes, including the Special Olympics, through programs such as the Law Enforcement Torch Run and the Tip-a-Cop fundraising dinner, an event he first helped develop in 1993. Over the years, the Tip-A-Cop event has grown to include over 500 such dinners throughout the state, with Santa Barbara County alone raising over $1.1 million for local Special Olympics programs.
Mr. George also sits as the Vice-Chair on the Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Commission, serves on the Board for PLAY (People for Leisure and Youth), personally directing the 1st annual Elk’s Rodeo Stampede Run, and is member of Grace Baptist Church in Santa Maria, serving on their Elder Board. When not improving the lives of those in our community, Mr. George, enjoys spending time with his wife, Cheryl, and their daughters, sons-in-law, and three grandchildren. The “Circle of Serving” award will be presented to Mr. George by Jim Roberts, CEO of the Family Care Network. Additionally, Mr. George will be presented with Resolutions from the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors and Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee’s office, recognizing Mr. George’s continued dedication to enhancing the lives of local children and families in need.
This year’s Taste of the Central Coast will feature forty local vendors including top savory and pastry chefs from establishments such as Windows on the Water and Éclair Bakery, as well as vintners from wineries such as Lucas & Lewellen and Fess Parker Vineyards. Guests will enjoy a picturesque backdrop while listening to the live music of Wholly Jazz and participate in a silent and live auction, featuring exciting items such as the chance to make your own barrel of wine in addition to unique weekend getaway packages throughout California. By combining fine food, wine, music and the community, the Taste of the Central Coast is the foremost event of its kind supporting local foster and high-needs children and families.
Seating is limited and tickets for the event are $75 per person and can be purchased by visiting the Family Care Network or by calling (805) 781-3535. 100% of the net proceeds earned at the event benefit the children and families served by the Family Care Network. The event is sponsored by the Access Foundation, CenCal Health, Rabobank, San Luis Sports Therapy, Charles Schwab, and SLO Dental Cosmetic Dentistry.