On September 4, about 300 community members gathered at the Biltmore’s Coral Casino to honor David Boyd and Jelinda DeVorzon as Man and Woman of the Year. The awards, bestowed by the Santa Barbara Foundation, honored Boyd and DeVorzon for their contributions and service to the community.
During the reception on a warm, sunny day on La Pacifica Ballroom Terrace at the water’s edge, past award recipients and other leaders from the business and nonprofit sectors mingled before adjourning to the ballroom for lunch and the program.
President and CEO Ron Gallo welcomed guests and noted that voluntarism “continues to be a defining value of our country, and it is something we need, more than ever, to cherish, nourish, and encourage,” and that this celebration serves that end.
In a video, Cottage Health President and CEO Ron Werft remarked on the broad and deep impact of DeVorzon’s service, referencing her work with SBIFF (Santa Barbara International Film Festival), the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Unity Shoppe, and Cottage Health. Among her roles at Cottage were co-chairing a key task force for Cottage Hospital’s rebuilding, which was responsible for $72 million of the $110 million raised.
Unity Shoppe Board President and Director of Operations Barbara Tellefson called DeVorzon “Unity Shoppe’s Woman of the Year every year,“ pointing to her participation in Unity’s Telethon, her kindness, and her understanding of the needs of the community.
In presenting the award to DeVorzon, Cottage Health Campaign Cabinet Chair Peter MacDougall remarked that she “brings enthusiasm, a commitment to teamwork, and an assurance of excellence in all she does.” DeVorzon “provides excellent ideas, specific, creative, and focused means by which those ideas can be achieved, and a can-do attitude that imbues the group . . . with enthusiasm and confidence that the job will be done and done well.” MacDougall emphasized her humble nature, noting that she “deflects the spotlight, preferring to shine it on the work of the group.”
In graciously accepting the award, DeVorzon shared that “being a volunteer has never been a burden, it has always been a blessing. . . . When you make an effort to make your community and the world a better place, you inspire others to do the same, and you make a lot of friends along the way. When that happens, it ends up being one big, beautiful love fest. I think we are having one today. Warm laughter permeated the room.
DeVorzon praised McDougall (a great man), Cottage Health and especially Werft (love Cottage Health), and Barbara Tellefson (adore Barbara) and Unity Shoppe.
She stated that she wanted “to share the award with all the unsung heroes who give expecting nothing in return,” and closed by quoting a plaque on Ronald Reagan’s desk, “there is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.” Laughter and a standing ovation ensued.
In introducing Boyd in a video presentation, Transition House Executive Director Kathleen Baushke called him one of her heroes. She shared how Boyd does his work quietly, not seeking recognition, and that his work has had a huge impact.
In presenting the award, All Saints by-the-Sea Episcopal Church parishioner Robert Brown declared that Boyd has “spent the vast majority of his life in loving, Christ-centered service to humanity.”
In humbly accepting the award, Boyd noted that the most important person to acknowledge is his active partner in volunteering, his wife Alyce, noting “that our marriage would be a disaster if I wanted to volunteer and she wanted to vacation.” He continued to amuse the audience with his remarks before adopting a more serious tone.
Boyd explained that most of his volunteering has been as a parishioner at All Saints by-the-Sea, through which he has volunteered at Transition House, PATH (People Assisting the Homeless), Foodbank of Santa Barbara, Habitat for Humanity, Peoples’ Self-Help Housing, Cleveland Elementary School, Carpinteria Children’s Project, and MERRAG (Montecito Emergency Response & Recovery Action Group).
He noted that getting meaningful results depends on working with others and called his fellow parishioners “a force that comes through.” He shared that he volunteers to help the most vulnerable because it is what God is calling him to do. According to Boyd, volunteering lets him “connect personally, however briefly, with some of God’s children in need and to share God’s love of them through helping them.” This was met with another standing ovation.
Nominations for Man and Woman of the Year can be made by anyone; the selection is made by a committee comprising past award recipients.
The Santa Barbara Foundation has $127 million in discretionary assets and another $347 million in non-discretionary assets. Last year, it awarded $5.9 million in discretionary funds and another $24.3 million in non-discretionary funds.
Last fall, the 91-year-old foundation announced that its new strategic priorities are maintaining a safety net for our most vulnerable residents and finding solutions to problems of working families.
For more information about the Santa Barbara Foundation, go to sbfoundation.org.
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