The Association of Fundraising Professionals Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties Chapter is proud to announce this year’s National Philanthropy Day honorees including Virgil Elings for Philanthropist of the Year, Santa Barbara County; Christy Walters Kolva for Volunteer of the Year, Santa Barbara County; National Charity League, Inc. Region V, District 3 for Youth Philanthropists of the Year, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties; and Rebecca J. Anderson for Professional Fundraiser of the Year. Livingston Memorial Foundation for Philanthropist of the Year, Ventura County and Mary Leavens Schwabauer for Volunteer of the Year, Ventura County will also be honored.

“The Association is honored to recognize the individuals and organizations making a difference in our community,” says Andrea McFarling, National Philanthropy Day Event Chair and AFP Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties Chapter Board member.

Celebration and Awards Luncheon recognizing all of the honorees and celebrating National Philanthropy Day will be held on Thursday, November 14, 2013 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Four Seasons Resort, The Biltmore in Santa Barbara, CA. with Master of Ceremonies, KEYT News Anchor, C.J. Ward. The Association is expecting more than 200 guests and this event will sell out. To secure your seat for the event, please visit

More about the Honorees

Virgil Elings (Philanthropist of the Year, Santa Barbara County)

A leading entrepreneur in nanotechnology and a devoted educator, in 1987, this former Professor of Physics at UCSB founded Digital Instruments where he served as the company’s president and chairman until his retirement in 1999. Digital Instruments remains the global leader in the design and manufacturing of scanning probe microscopes. Thanks to Dr. Elings, Sansum Clinic now offers the largest privately and individually-funded, free colonoscopy program in the nation. A colonoscopy saved his life and he is committed to helping others through his philanthropic support of the program. Dr. Elings also supports UCSB, the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy, Transition House, and Elings Park (named in his honor).

Christy Walters Kolva (Volunteer of the Year, Santa Barbara County)

A Cancer Center of Santa Barbara’s Board of Trustee since 2005, Mrs. Kolva co-chaired the Coming Together Gala, a fundraiser celebrating the merger of the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara and Sansum Clinic. Losing her husband Calvin Otis Walters to kidney cancer, Mrs. Kolva knows first-hand how important it is to have first-rate medical facilities and physicians close to home and as such has been a steadfast supporter of the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara for nearly two decades. Mrs. Kolva was appointed by Governor George Deukmejian as the Director of the California Department of Commerce in 1983. Married in 2008, Christy and husband George Kolva philanthropic support extends to Lotusland, The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, and The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and Christy has been an active member of the Garden Club of Santa Barbara and the Music Academy of the West.

Rebecca J. Anderson (Professional Fundraiser of the Year)

Rebecca is the Director of Advancement at Midland School in Los Olivos. Prior to joining Midland in 2013, Rebecca served as the Director of Development for the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara, Manager of Annual Giving at Cottage Health System and Director of Development for CALM.

Rebecca holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of California Santa Cruz and an M. A. in Organizational Management from Antioch University; and has earned her CFRE. She was one of fifteen young professionals to participate in the Santa Barbara Foundation’s 2013 Emerging Leaders Program. Rebecca serves on the Santa Barbara/Ventura Counties Chapter Association of Fundraising Professionals Board, and is a former trustee of the Santa Barbara Middle School, and a former member of the CALM Board of Directors.

National Charity League, Inc. Region V District 3 (Youth Philanthropists of the Year, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties)

Dedicated to hands-on volunteerism, National Charity League, Inc. is one of the nation’s most distinctive and well-respected mother-daughter (grades 7-12) non-profit organizations, volunteering approximately one million hours annually. Locally, Region V District 3 of NLC, Inc. (representing seven chapters from Los Angeles’ Westside to the Santa Ynez Valley) comes together each January at Casa Pacifica to make fleece comfort blankets for the children who are received at the Center. Since 2010, the members have provided over 1,100 blankets for the kids at Casa Pacifica. In addition, the group creates Baby Welcome Bags for military families and volunteers at events all in an effort to make the lives of less fortunate children, many of whom are their same age, better.

Mary Leavens Schwabauer (Volunteer of the Year, Ventura County)

A partner in Leavens Ranches, which her grandfather began in Santa Paula over 100 years ago, Mrs. Schwabauer is a longtime Moorpark resident. She joined the Ventura County Community Foundation Board in 2002 and became its first woman chair two years later. In 2009, the Ventura County Community Foundation Board established the Mary Schwabauer Leadership Fund in her honor. Mary has long served Ventura County as a teacher and as an advocate of historical preservation helping to establish the Heritage Fund; dedicating time and resources to the Workforce Education Task Force of the Ventura County Civic Alliance; and, participating as a founding member of the Destino and Women’s Legacy Funds. Mary helped launch the Museum of Ventura County at its site across from the Ventura Mission; is a current board member of the Rancho Camulos Museum; and one of the founders of the Ventura County Associated Historical Societies.

Livingston Memorial Foundation (Philanthropist of the Year, Ventura County)

The Livingston Memorial Foundation is a private, charitable foundation that administers a trust dedicated to the promotion of medical and health services of benefit to the people of Ventura County. The Foundation was formed in 1974 by Dr. Charles M. Hair and Ben E. Nordman, Esq. to carry out the wishes of Ruth Daily Livingston, the widow of Dr. W. R. Livingston, a prominent early Ventura County physician. In 1980, the Livingston Memorial Foundation successfully encouraged local hospitals and the now named Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association to expand their vision in the delivery of county-wide home health care.

Association of Fundraising Professionals

The Association of Fundraising Professionals represents more than 31,000 fundraisers in 235 chapters throughout the world, working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education, and certification programs. The Association fosters development and growth of fundraising professionals and promotes high ethical standards in the fundraising profession. More than 100 charitable fundraisers in the local area are represented by the AFP Chapter of Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. For more information, please visit


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