On June 4, the organizers of the Kick Ash Bash, One 805, distributed more than $1.3 million raised by the spectacular event. The largest beneficiaries were first responder agencies, which collectively got about $1.1 million for non-budgeted items. Of this, $700,000 was for three mobile command centers: one for Santa Barbara Police, one for Santa Barbara County Sheriff, and one for area fire departments. One 805 funded other non-budgeted equipment for first responder agencies and gave $50,000 to the At Ease Program, which provides counseling to first responders.
Direct Relief received $100,000 for its 1/9 Victims Fund. The Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara got $25,000 for children of first responders, and the S.B. Equine Assistance and Evacuation Team and Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue each got $25,000. The U.S. Forest Service received $18,000, and the 93108 Fund got $10,000.
The Kick Ash Bash was an appreciation event and fundraiser in a whole different league than any other Santa Barbara event. In just six short weeks of time, a 70-person committee led by Eric Phillips and Pat Nesbitt remarkably staged an extraordinary event featuring a long list of top talent, who entertained from noon until well into the night at Pat and Ursula Nesbitt’s Bella Vista Estate. More than 3,000 people attended, including about 2,300 first responders and their families who attended for free.
At S.B. City Fire Station One last week, Phillips presented checks to each of the beneficiary organizations. S.B. Police Officer and ONE 805 Executive Boardmember Greg Hons explained how a committee comprising mainly first responder agency representatives met to divide up the funds and how it was a collaborative process where no egos were involved. Everyone was guided by what was in the best interest of the community for apportioning the funds.
In thanking the first responders, ONE 805 Boardmember Richard Weston-Smith related that “we were all struck by the humility of our first responders. We hear you say that you were just doing your job, well it was a hell of a job, and in our hour of need, there was so much that you did that went so far beyond your basic job description.”
S.B. Police Chief Lori Luhnow expressed her deep appreciation to Gordon Morrell, executive VP of Lead Sponsor Yardi Systems, who immediately came forward asking what her department needed, and to the whole Kick Ash team. She explained how her budget is set two years out, significantly delaying the opportunity for new equipment purchases. Luhnow thanked everyone not just for the equipment, but also for the event itself, which helped bridge the gap between the community and public safety, making first responders really feel a part of the community.
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