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What does volunteerism mean in our community? By its virtue, volunteerism is in our culture. We have seen decades of time, talent, and treasure invested in our community, especially during the ongoing pandemic, to improve our Santa Barbara area community. 

It is evident in the 79-year annual honor, the Person of the Year Awards, formerly Man & Woman of the Year, that has acknowledged and honored individuals who have gone above and beyond for our community. Not only to be outstanding role models but to also share their stories and inspire others.  

The 79th Person of the Year Awards honors Santa Barbara area individuals, couples, or families whose volunteer service represents a meaningful commitment to the community; addresses a real community needs or enhances the quality of life in the Santa Barbara area; or has involved acts of generosity, kindness, or innovation, with an emphasis on the recent accomplishments and achievements. Recipients are selected from a wide range of candidates who have been nominated by community members, just like you.

Last year the Santa Barbara Foundation, along with co-sponsors, Montecito Bank & Trust, Noozhawk, The Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara, Merryl Brown Events, and Bryant & Sons, LTD. honored John Daly and Judy Stapelmann. These individuals are exceptional members of our community and have contributed to the betterment of the Santa Barbara area. Additional past honorees include Jelinda DeVorzon, David Boyd, Catherine Remak, Tom Parker, Michael & Marni Cooney, Ernesto Paredes, Joni Meisel, Janet Garufis, Jon Clark, and so many more amazing Santa Barbara area community members

The 79th Person of the Year Luncheon will be held on September 21, with the location to be announced. Tickets will go on sale in the summer of 2022.

Who could be this year’s honoree(s)? Does anyone come to mind? The Santa Barbara Foundation encourages the community at large to submit a nomination for the 79th Person of the Year Awards as we seek to broaden the recognition of outstanding volunteers. The awards nominations open on Monday, May 16, and close on Friday, July 15. Visit the Santa Barbara Foundation website to learn more and nominate. 

The Santa Barbara Foundation is hosting a Person of the Year Nomination Workshop on Zoom to help educate the community about nominations and the process on Wednesday, May 10 at 9 am. Register now for the workshop


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