Wrapping up its first year of cleanup work in the aftermath of Montecito’s deadly 1/9 Debris Flow, the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade honored Carol Bartoli as the nonprofit’s 2018 Volunteer of the Year. Joined onstage by new Bucket Brigade boardmember Ann Burgard, Executive Director Abe Powell presented Bartoli a personalized golden shovel to mark her more than 100 days digging out homes buried by mud, boulders, trees, and wreckage that fateful morning. Burgard described Bartoli as strong, tireless, and rarely interested in taking breaks. Bartoli said it has been a privilege to serve those in need.
Bartoli’s award was part of Montecito Rising, the Bucket Brigade first-anniversary event, held on Saturday, January 12, on the Procore campus in Carpinteria. Hosting more than 500 attendees — from die-hard volunteers to hefty donors — the evening featured dinner, drinks, dancing to the Doublewide Kings, and a range of raffle and auction items to fund several projects on tap for 2019. Counting in-kind donations and a paddle-raise led by Geoff Green, who also recently joined the Bucket Brigade board of directors, the event raised roughly $400,000. In addition to ongoing cleanup work in Montecito, Powell and crew are gearing up to help neighboring communities establish their own volunteer networks to prepare for and respond to natural disasters.