On Friday, September 30, more than 250 supporters of the Community Environmental Council (CEC) celebrated at its Green Gala at The Lark. For this “eco-chic” event, the parking lot was brilliantly transformed into a “Green and Beautiful” party venue. Illuminated by a multitude of small lights crisscrossing overhead, the area was accented with moss and other greenery and fun hanging tissue paper bowls. Lovely young girls adorned in white dresses, green eye shadow, and green corsages and crowns greeted guests, while servers offered green Moscow mules and farm-fresh, decadent hors-d’oeuvres. Green paper mustaches on wooden sticks afforded cool photo-ops.
Emcees KEYT’s John Palminteri and 103.3 The Vibe’s Spencer Fischer set the tone for this celebratory evening with their enthusiastic spirit and witty dialogue. Event chair Laura McGlothlin and honorary chair Neil Dipaola warmly welcomed the supporters. Board president Laura Capps and CEO/executive director Sigrid Wright highlighted some of CEC’s important work going back to the 1970s, when the CEC lead the charge here questioning disposable, one-time use products and building the first recycling centers. Recognizing the danger posed by throwing hazardous waste in the trash, CEC sited and ran the first household hazardous waste collection facility in the state.
Geoff Green rallied the crowd for a live auction and paddle raise by reminding the supporters of CEC’s critically important work. The three-course menu, featuring Central Coast Jidori chicken and toasted farro and quinoa tabbouleh, reflected CEC’s Eat Local Initiative and The Lark’s commitment to locally-sourced food. In keeping with CEC’s ethic, 90% of waste from the event was diverted through recycling, reuse or composting.
CEC believes that climate change in the moral issue of our time, and is thus focused on creating systemic change in energy, transportation and food systems. It’s five initiatives for a cleaner, healthier future are: Drive Less, Go Solar, Eat Local, Ditch Plastic, and Choose Electric. It is in the forefront in Santa Barbara on all of these matters.
For more information about CEC, go to cecsb.org.
By Gail Arnold