By Bonnie Carroll
Hospice of Santa Barbara (HSB) honored special individuals and organizations Wednesday during the 5th annual Heroes of Hospice of Santa Barbara awards ceremony. Over 300 people mingled on the patio of the Four Seasons Biltmore Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club overlooking Butterfly Beach before the three-course luncheon that brought together real heroes of Santa Barbara health and healing to honor Ridley-Tree Cancer Center, The Dream Foundation’s Flower Empower Program and Charles Zimmer, former Executive Director of HSB. Among the guest enjoying the cool beverage reception were Gerd and Peter Jordano, Roger Durling, Executive Director of Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and a who’s who of Hospice Santa Barbara supporters.
2017 Heroes Award Recipients Lady Ridley-Tree & Ridley-Tree Cancer Center Staff
Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree accepted the Partnership Award on behalf of The Ridley-Tree Cancer Center, which opened last week. The beautiful new facility in Goleta brings all oncology services for the Santa Barbara community to operate at one location. Lady Ridley-Tree was glowing as she received a standing ovation from the audience. She shared what “a joy and a privilege” it was to accept the annual HEROES honor on behalf of the staff sitting before her. She also told the audience she hoped they’d never have to use the cancer facility.
Dr. Fred Kass, Medical Oncology Director Ridley-Tree Cancer Center was very grateful they were being honored and Matt Kunkel, Vice President of Oncology Services at Ridley-Tree Cancer Center said “We have a lot going on and the fact that we have the opportunity amongst the community to be recognized by them at this time means more than words can describe.”
Kisa Heyer and Valerie Banks, Dream Foundation’s Flower Empower Program
Kisa Heyer and Valerie Banks received HSB’s Volunteer Award for the Dream Foundation’s Flower Empower Program, which has delivered more than 100,000 floral bouquets to hospital patients, as well as fresh-baked cookies, chocolates and cards handmade by local school children. “It is such a simple gift to give someone and has such an incredible impact, said Kisa Heyer. “Studies show patients that have flowers in their rooms in hospitals recover much quicker.”
The Hospice of Santa Barbara third honor, the Legacy Award, was presented to Charles Zimmer, a previous executive director who launched the organization back in the late 70’s. “Loving, compassionate care freely given is the motto.” “From the earliest youngsters up through us oldsters. It’s just perfect for what the need is in the community,” said Zimmer.
Hanna-Beth Jackson and award recipient Charles Zimmer, former Executive Director of HSB
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson presented the three honorees with a proclamation honoring them on behalf of the State of California, and shared in individual and group photos. Also in attendance was Mayor Helene Schneider. An army of volunteers assisted with the luncheon, including Amanda Conroy, of Santa Barbara Boys & Girls Club who said “Hospice of Santa Barbara is wonderful and I’m happy to be a part of this event.”
Hospice of Santa Barbara was founded 40 years ago on Cabrillo Boulevard, and today has headquarters on Alameda Padre Serra, with a staff of more than 30 people. The volunteer hospice organization provides professional counseling, support groups and patient care services to those grieving the loss of a loved one or experiencing the impact of a serious or life-threatening illness. Hospice of Santa Barbara is the recipient of numerous awards under the current direction of Chief Executive Officer David Selberg. For donations or information visit: www.hospiceofsantabarbara.org.
Beth Farnsworth & C.J. Ward KEYT3 Emcees
Volunteer Amanda Conroy, Boys & Girls Club
Mayor Helene Schneider
Lucky Star Sponsor Peter Jordano
Guests David Edelman, Therapist Romi Cumes, and journalist Ted Mills