Bayou 500 Diningroom under the trees
by Bonnie Carroll
The 18th Annual Back to the Bayou Benefit for the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission was held on Saturday, October 5 at the historic Rancho Dos Pueblos estate, owned by Henry & Dundie Schulte, which featured a “Bayou 500 Concours” theme. Decorations Chair Dianne Davis and her team once again turned the tree-lined promenade into a magical and colorful venue celebrating the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission 2019 event honoree Janet Garufis, as guests enjoyed bites from Lorraine Lim Catering and the musical talents of the Idiomatiques. A special addition for the Bayou 500 Concours included beautiful collector automobiles that lined the entrance to the ranch.
Janet Garufis, Chairwoman and CEO of Montecito Bank & Trust was honored with the Léni Fé Bland Award for the powerful role she has played in the Santa Barbara community. Catherine Remac was again the gracious emcee who welcomed Maryan Schall, a friend and associate of the honoree, who introduced Garufis, and shared her understanding of what a very remarkable woman this year’s recipient really is. During her acceptance speech, Garufis shared her gratitude that she and the MB&T team were being recognized for their partnership with the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission. The banks generous assistance has enabled the Mission to provide assistance and renewal to the homeless and addicted today and in the future.
According to Garufis, who described herself as coming from a family she described as always inspiring her to ‘make a difference’ through service, she thanked all the people working with her who contributed to this SBRM honor and also thanked the late Michael Towbes who selected her to be the steward of Montecito Bank & Trust. She praised the Santa Barbara Community as a place where people have a passion to serve. “We are proud to be part of SBRM and it’s needed improvements that were such a labor of love for everyone.”
Kim Schuck, President of the SBRM Women’s Auxiliary recognized the wonderful work done by the amazing ladies who pull the Bayou together each year with such panache. Coordinators Rose Hodge & Terry Foil presented a fantastic silent auction overflowing with valuable items to bid on that included lush hotel stays, a bevy of great dinners at area restaurants, spa items, jewelry, art and so much more. Lorraine Lim Catering served delicious passed hors d’oeuvre, guests were also delighted with tasty meatloaf sliders and chips, and the family-style dinner of green salad, fried chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, garden vegetables, and Bayou 500 cupcakes was outstanding.
SBRM Board of Directors Chairwoman Joyce McCullough commended those who never gave up hope that the 12-month renovation would prevail, and praised the staff for their grace, good humor and patience during the ongoing work. She encouraged all to continue to contribute to achieve all the goals on the schedule for 2019 and guests were given envelopes for donations they wished to make.
Travis Slauterbeck, SBRM program graduate gave a very touching talk filled with gratitude on how he came to the Mission, and the miracle he experienced through the program that have brought him to a whole, happy and graced life today.
President Rolf Geyling explained the funds raised at the fun-filled outdoor event make it possible for the Rescue Mission to continue its 12-month residential recovery program, as well as provide emergency services for homeless guests. The Rescue Mission has helped countless people achieve recovery over it’s twenty year history and 43% in the program complete the program, with 52% maintaining long-term sobriety. SBRM is held to the same State standards as other recovery programs in California, including the Betty Ford Center.
Committee members said they hoped to match the $390,000 that was raised at the Bayou event last year. All proceeds are used to assist people seeking shelter and recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Board Chairman Joyce McCullough said, “Since 1965, the Mission has been a place where the neediest in our community — those struggling with homelessness and addiction — experience miracles through God’s love, compassionate care and clinical expertise.”
Kudos for yet another spectacular Bayou to the Rescue Mission’s Women’s Auxillary, led by President Kim Schuck, whose current members include Cynthia Abulafia, Terri Anderson, Jean Archer, Cynthy Ardell, Gail Arnold, Betty Bagdasarian, Anita Balboa, Cheryl Barbaria, Ruth Bartz, Marguerite Berti, Alice Birch, Maureen Bowis, Carol Bridgeman, Alice Campbell, Marna Coday, Zoe Copus, Mary Coslett, Sharon Davie, Dianne Davis, Joyce Enright, Martha Fisher, Terry Foil, Kathy Forse, Juanita Freel, Trish Geyling, Pamela Gilbert, Mary Hubbard Given, Norris Goss, Mary Hanson, Lorette Harnsberger, Kathy Hartnett, Pamela Haskell, Jeanne Heckman, Rose Hodge, Susan Hughes, Pat Johnson, Gerd Jordano, Lynette Jordano, Kitty Larsen, Susan Laughlin, Carol-Anne Lonson, Cristina Lopez, Mary Lopez, Janay Marshall, Kim Mullen, Kathy Nobis, Katie Pointer, Andrea Preiser, Karen Pritchett, Bette Anne Ratzlaff, Carolyn Reddoch, Verlinda Richardson, Marlene Riemer, Christina Rose, Suzi Ryan, Carolyn Savage, Pam Sneddon, Judy Sturgeon, Stefani Taliaferro, Sydney Tredick, Cheryl Trosky, Joy Van Wickle, Kirsten Walters, Diane Waterloo, Patty Watts, Rebecca Weber, Susan Wennerstrom, Annie Williams, Julie Willig, Sharon Wilson, Joan Wimberly, Helene Winter . The three event co-chairs included Susan Hughes, Kim Mullen and Joan Wimberley.
Established in 1965, the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission, a 501(c)(3) organization, brings physical, emotional, educational and spiritual resources to individuals and families in need. The only organization between Oxnard and Santa Maria that provides hot meals and overnight accommodations to homeless guests 365 days of the year, the Rescue Mission offers 12-month residential recovery to men and women, treatment, family support, relapse prevention, men’s sober living, academic instruction, and job skills training. Its residential drug and alcohol program receives no government funding, and has won regional and national recognition for its outstanding long-term effectiveness. For additional information visit www.sbrm.org.