CADA’s 36th Annual Amethyst Ball

By Joanne A Calitri   |   October 10, 2023
Dennis Forster, Cynder Sinclair, and Fred Brander (photo by Joanne A Calitri)

The Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (CADA) held its 36th Annual Amethyst Ball at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum on Friday, September 29. The Ball’s theme this year was “The Great Gatsby,” and guests were in full-on brilliant 1920s vintage frocks, with women in colorful sequined dresses, silks, matching cocktail gloves, feathered velvet headpieces, and furs. Men donned their finest suits, hats, and classic dress shoes. 

CADA board member Victoria Lindstrom and Director of Development Catherine Remak (photo by Joanne A Calitri)

The event décor was extraordinary and well appointed, under the gifted guidance of board member Victoria Lindstrom. Tables were adorned with white roses, silk linens, crystal beads, pearls, slender vase lighted centerpieces, goldware, and crystal glasses. The very regal evening included Brander Vineyards Estate Reserve wines donated by Fred Brander, Jordano’s beverages, catering by Duo Events, and music by The Academy Band. During the cocktail hour, guests mingled and took their best bets to the casino tables and silent auction items, which included Condor Express tickets, Aesthetics Spa Montecito services, an Alan Parsons signed Fender acoustic guitar, Yoga Soup classes, Glenn Annie Golf Course lessons and golf bag, jewelry, and Alfred Dunhill antique pen.

Director of Development Catherine Remak welcomed the guests and introduced Scott Whiteley PhD, who has led the organization for five years. He talked about the services and programs CADA provides, highlighting their unique multi-disciplinary program that is the gold standard for substance abuse, and recognized the CADA staff to whom he credited the organization’s success. Remak then introduced Fred Brander as this year’s CADA Champion. Brander talked about his path from growing up in Argentina to moving to Santa Barbara with his parents at age 12. While attending Laguna Blanca High School he taught himself winemaking and from there started his boutique vineyard. He recalled attending his first Amethyst Ball in 1998 and has been donating wines to it since. Following his speech, everyone raised a wine glass to toast him for his continued generosity to our community.

The second speaker was John Herzog CPA and CADA Board member for 17 years, who told his personal recovery journey with drugs and alcohol since age 19, that came to a point when he decided to get help: 

“It’s not what happened to you, it’s the story you choose to tell about it. Right now, we have people who are on a waitlist for CADA’s Daniel Bryant Youth & Family Center, and we need your help. As Bob Bryant once said to me when I asked him how much I should give, he replied, ‘How much do you want to be blessed?’”

There were blessings everywhere as Andrew Firestone led the live auction raising over $53,000 and the ask raising over $119,000. He has been leading the live auction at CADA for nine years and shared, “I grew up with my grandfather being an alcoholic, but back then we did not know that is what it was. I’m here as a father of three children to support CADA’s outreach programs.”The event concluded with dessert and dancing.

It takes a village, thus huge nods to: the Women Co-chairs Erin Graffy, Victoria Lindstrom, Diana MacFarlane, Dana Mazzetti, Holly Murphy, Susan Neuman, Jill Nida, Anne Smith Towbes and Betsy Turner, with their committee members Bitsy Bacon, Amy Baird, Janine Bebensee, Dawn Bokman, Patty Bryant, Shari Liu Fellows, Ali Ferris, Janet Garufis, Perri Harcourt, Heidi Hullander, Penny Jenkins, Andria Kahmann, Susan Keller, Claire Lindstrom, Carol-Anne Lonson, Rosanne Marquis, Nancy Melekian, Mireille Noone, Marsha Roberston, Adrienne Schuele, Marie Ann Strait,and Jennie Strait; and the Men’s Co-Chairs Bob Bryant, Virgil Elings, Bob Fuladi, Peter Hilf,and Earl Minnis with their committee members Gordon Auchincloss, Richard Berti, Fred Brander, John Brinker, Mike Bryant, Salud Carbajal, John Daly, David de L’Arbre, Kent Englert, John Herzog, Robert Kemp, Don Lafler, Ralph MacFarlane, Dale Marquis, Barney Melekian, Bob Murphy, Jim Neuman, Dennis Phelps, John Savrnoch, Terry Ryken, Chip Turner,and Ron Werft

CADA would like the community to know that although for over 74 years it provides programs and services on the education, prevention, and treatment of substance abuse and co-occurring mental health conditions, the need is growing for critical treatment, with people on waitlists. Two key facilities, the Daniel Bryant Youth & Family Center and their Adult Residential Treatment Services (ARTS), are now too small to meet the needs of the area. In response, CADA has initiated its first formal fundraising campaign, titled, “CADA and the Community.” For more information and to make a donation, see the 411.



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