SBCC Helps

By Richard Mineards   |   May 7, 2020
Geoff Green, CEO of the City College Foundation

The Santa Barbara City College Foundation has sprung into action to support students facing multiple challenges resulting from the current health crisis, including loss of paid work, and homeschooling of children.

“When a crisis hits, philanthropy has a unique role to play,” says foundation CEO Geoff Green. “Community-based organizations can immediately move resources to help bridge the gap between initial shock and the eventual arrival of public assistance and other community responses.”

One-time grants of up to $1,000 have helped cover such costs as housing, food, childcare, and other essential items, including the technology and internet access necessary for students to continue their education remotely.

The foundation received more than 2,300 requests last month, providing around $2 million in assistance.

Sterling work…

Call to Unite

Former TV talk show titan Oprah Winfrey appeared via webcam at the weekend to kick off Call to Unite, a 24-hour livestream benefitting COVID-19 relief, which raised $60 million.

During the 20-minute stint, Oprah, 66, reflected “on what this means to us as a family and a community” alongside the event’s organizer Timothy Shriver, brother of newscaster Maria Shriver.

Actress Julia Roberts lent her presence to the occasion, along with a plethora of famous faces, including Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and singer Josh Groban, and medical heroes.

Oprah invited the likes of author T.D. Jakes and spiritual leader Eckhart Tolle for her segment of the stream to discuss the trials and tribulations people are set to endure in the wake of the unprecedented pandemic.

She urged viewers to refrain from consuming too much media relating to COVID-19 as it is easy “to be consumed by the agitation, by the hysteria, by the confusion, and the constant angst.”

“I’m hoping we all come out of this more united… seeing each other as part of the whole.”

Baby on Board

Former Montecito Union School student and Vogue supermodel Gigi Hadid is five months pregnant with her first child, a girl, by British singer boyfriend Zayn Malik, former member of the band One Direction.

The Victoria’s Secret pinup and the hitmaker were seen together during her 25th birthday while in self isolation with her family at their farm in Pennsylvania.

The duo started dating in 2015, but broke up in 2018. They rekindled their romance last year.

Oscars Adjust

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has done away with one of its longstanding eligibility requirements for the 2021 Oscars due to COVID-19.

The academy’s board of governors has approved “a temporary hold” on requirements that a film must play in one theater in L.A. for seven consecutive days.

While this opens the doors for movies whose theatrical releases have been delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak, it doesn’t mean every streaming film will be eligible.

They must have had a theatrical release already in place before the COVID-19 outbreak led to theaters closing en masse.

Sitting on the Throne

While battening down the hatches at Maison Mineards Montecito during quarantine, I’ve been reading the two volume diaries of the late Kenneth Rose, diarist of the Daily and Sunday Telegraph newspapers in London.

Exceptionally well connected with frequent dinners with the late Queen Mother and Prince Edward, Duke of Kent – grandson of King George V –, Rose, who died in 2014, records in an entry for June, 1957, that English playwright Noel Coward at social gatherings, when he wanted to go to the lavatory, would grandly announce: “I must telephone the Vatican!”

Ever the wit…

Full House

An eagle-eyed reader noted that last week’s column included an emperor, queen, a prince, two princesses, an archduchess and a duchess.

Almost a royal flush!

Eternally Grateful

My eternal thanks to the Montecito Association for a pandemic kit that was left gratis outside my cottage door.

The kit consists of four ounces of hand sanitizer, six KN95 and ear loop masks, and 12 Nitrile gloves.

An invaluable gift in these most traumatic of times.


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