Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara 20th Anniversary Grantee Celebration

By Joanne A Calitri   |   May 21, 2024
Women’s Fund SB Founding Members: Joanne Rapp, Perri Harcourt, and Anne Towbes (photo by Joanne A Calitri)

For its capstone annual event, The Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara (WFSB) held its 20th year anniversary “Celebration of Grants” at the Lobero Theatre on Tuesday, May 7. 

The WFSB provides grants for the much-needed services and organizations that support all citizens in our town. With its strict guidelines of qualifications and series of interviews and research on each grantee, the team’s confidence level is 100% for their annual selection of grant recipients.

Women’s Fund SB Executive Director Jamie Dufek with Research Chair Yonie Harris (photo by Joanne A Calitri)

In 2023, WFSB Board Chair Jamie Dufek charged the members with a $1 million in funding goal challenge for their 20th year anniversary. Excitement and pride were overflowing at the event, as the members had raised $1.125 million in grants to local nonprofits. This adds to their legacy of total grants since 2004 equaling $11.6 million. 

As she welcomed the members and their guests, she shared the history of the WFSB, how grantees are selected, encouraged attendees to join, and acknowledged Kim and Donny Lieberman, owners of Sunseri Construction, as the 20th Anniversary sponsor. 

Dufek stated, “This is a special time of year to gather and celebrate, our grantees to receive our record-breaking $1.125 million in grants. WFSB was founded 20 years ago on the idea that women can have a significant impact on our community if we pooled our nonprofit donations. As we decide which organizations receive grants, we sit and discuss the impact the organization will have on our community. The WFSB impact includes growing our members from 67 to 1,300, along with grants awarded. Together we really have changed peoples’ lives.”

Lauded at the ceremony were three of the WFSB’s Founding Members present, Perri Harcourt, Joanne Rapp, and Anne Towbes

Presenting for their organizations at the event to talk briefly about where the funding will go were the following executive directors: Marguerite Sanchez,Doctors Without Walls; Scott Whiteley, CADA; Shawna Morris, Casa Pacifica; Freya Estreller, DignityMoves; Lori Goodman, LEAP; Brad Fieldhouse, City Net; Susan Rodriguez, Unity Shoppe; Judie Lugo, Santa Barbara Police Activities League; Rich Sander, SB ACT;and Harry Bruell, PathPoint.

Women’s Fund SB 2024 Grantees (photo by Joanne A Calitri)

This year’s lucky 10 grantees are:

CADA (Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse) – $100,000 for vehicles for substance use disorder services

Casa Pacifica – $90,000 for expansion of mobile youth crisis services

City Net – $100,000 for a mobile safe space for homeless women

DignityMoves – $125,000 for a child-care center at a family village

Doctors Without Walls – $100,000 for over two years for intensive case management for homeless clients

LEAP (Learn. Engage. Advocate. Partner) – $120,000 for gap funding for child-care program

PathPoint – $105,000 for shower installation for behavioral health properties

SB ACT (Santa Barbara Alliance for Community Transformation) – $200,000 over two years for staff and supplies for permanent homelessness navigation center

Santa Barbara Police Activities League – $110,000 for renovation of teen center

Unity Shoppe – $75,000 for purchase and stocking of refrigeration units

The Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara is a member of Philanos, the leading network of national collective giving circles. Philanos serves to catalyze the movement of women in philanthropy by connecting women’s grantmaking organizations to increase their impact in the community. 

411: www.womensfundsb.org


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