By Hillside House

The Hillside 6th Annual Shining Light on Abilities is open! All are welcome to visit and experience the festive display of holiday decorations and brilliant lights nightly through December 31. Admission is free for this family-friendly, must-see holiday extravaganza at Hillside, 1235 Veronica Springs Road, Santa Barbara.

Earlier this month, the Assistance League® of Santa Barbara carolers led by Ann Rudolph; Gail Campanella, accordionist extraordinaire; and Santa Claus joined residents; their families and loved ones; and other attendees and sang Christmas and Hanukkah songs. Snowflakes fell just as Michael Rassler, President & CEO; Santa Claus; and Candace, Hillside resident, led the countdown to the lighting of the decorations and lights. It was magical, and the residents were thrilled! To close the program, everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to the residents celebrating their December birthdays. Santa Claus reminded everyone: “Be good and no peeking!”

Scout Troop 37

“I am grateful to the Hillside Facilities Team and those who helped create such a beautiful presentation for everyone to enjoy – residents, their families and loved ones, staff, neighbors, sponsors, donors, volunteers, the Santa Barbara community, and all on the trolley lights tours,” said Michael Rassler. Lending the Facilities Team a hand with the setup were Troop 37 Scouts, who volunteered for the fifth year during their Thanksgiving break. Will Rubison of Troop 37 (bottom row on the left) had the distinction of being the Scout who traveled the farthest – driving all the way from San Francisco to be at Hillside to volunteer. Said Rubison, a junior in Alta Vista’s Middle College program, “Helping at Hillside with Shining Light on Abilities around Thanksgiving has become a Troop 37 tradition; I wanted to be here to show the younger Scouts the importance of volunteering, plus Hillside always feeds us well!”

 In addition to the lights and decorations, the display includes a slideshow produced by Elizabeth Arendt, Office Manager, and features some of the 59 individuals living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Here, the residents are shining light on their abilities and sharing who they are and what they can do. “I am happy to be part of the slideshow and share that I like to help other residents,” offers Mona, who has lived at Hillside since 2015, and earlier this year graduated from Project SEARCH, a job coach program of employment preparation for individuals with disabilities. The slideshow plays continuously on a large-screen monitor in the picture window of the main Hillside building. It also expresses gratitude to the Sponsors including (to date): Demboski & Chapman Financial and Insurance Solutions; Easy Lift Transportation; Jordano’s; Klein DeNatale Goldner Attorneys At Law; MarBorg Industries; John D. Rubin Enterprises; and Unity Shoppe.

There is still time to be a sponsor to help “keep the lights on” at Hillside and fund therapies, programs, and the services residents rely on since many are still unable to attend their off-site day programs. For Sponsorship Opportunities, please contact Michael Padden-Rubin, Director of Development, at 805-687-0788 x115 or mpaddenrubin@hillsidesb.org or visit hillsidesb.org. Donations are welcome at https://hillsidesb.org/donate/ or via the donation lockbox at the main entrance when visiting for Shining Light on Abilities. Proceeds benefit Hillside and the residents. 

Hillside residents and staff are grateful to all who made gifts during 2022 including year-end donations this month. Thank you! Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season and New Year to all!


Written by Anonymous

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