Tag archives: philanthropist

An Open Letter to the Santa Barbara Community
By Montecito Journal   |   October 18, 2022

We knew Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree as the “Philanthropist of Santa Barbara.” As we lay her to rest, her presence in our city will continue as we pass by the many buildings and plaques that carry her name: The Ridley-Tree Cancer Center at Sansum Clinic; the Ridley-Tree Education Center at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art; […]

Honoring Ridley-Tree, Her Generosity
By Scott Craig   |   October 11, 2022

The Westmont community mourns the passing of Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, whose generosity made a profound impact on the college and touched the lives of many people and organizations in the Santa Barbara community. She personified what it means to be a true philanthropist. “She’s one of the most remarkable human beings to walk the face […]

She Was a Lady Like No Other
By James Buckley   |   October 11, 2022

Just before 8 am Monday morning the third of October 2022, ninety-eight-year-old Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree breathed her last at her home in Birnam Wood, with her daughter Suzette at her side. Leslie was a Lady in every sense of the word. Her late husband, Paul, was indeed the son of a Lord and he always […]

An Open Letter to the Santa Barbara Community from the Family of Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree
By Montecito Journal   |   October 6, 2022

We knew Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree as the “Philanthropist of Santa Barbara.” As we lay her to rest, her presence in our city will continue as we pass by the many buildings and plaques that carry her name: The Ridley-Tree Cancer Center at Sansum Clinic, the Ridley-Tree Education Center at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, […]

Honoring Hope
By Richard Mineards   |   May 10, 2022

Munificence reigned supreme when the Santa Barbara Education Foundation held its annual Hope Awards at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum honoring Montecito uber philanthropist Sara Miller McCune and Frank Stevens, who has been involved with the organization for its entire 37-year history. Tributes were paid to the dynamic duo by Barbara Keyani, former executive director […]

Reitman Was Righteous
By Les Firestein   |   February 22, 2022

I reconnected with showbiz vets James Widdoes and Tim Matheson on the passing of Ivan Reitman, the prolific director and producer and founder of the wildly successful production company The Montecito Picture Company. All four of us (including Reitman) are connected through the National Lampoon, a magazine where I was once editor but which has […]

Lisa Greer’s Message to Philanthropy: Revolutionize
By Daniel Heimpel   |   February 1, 2022

While she had built a successful career, Lisa Greer wasn’t born into wealth. But when her husband Josh’s company, RealD, IPOed in 2010, she was instantaneously vaulted into the 1%.  With the money came an opportunity for Greer to give back, and in seven figure increments. But like others whose lives are transformed by a […]

A True People Person
By Gwyn Lurie   |   November 16, 2021

How would you feel if you lived with Multiple Sclerosis for more than half a century and, in an unrelated incident, suffered an organ failure that necessitated a new kidney donated by your son? If you were Bruce Corwin, you’d feel overwhelmingly grateful. Corwin was grateful to have survived everything life threw at him, grateful […]

Jeanne Cooley Greeley Thayer: A Life of Wanderlust, Art & Family
By Jack Thayer   |   July 22, 2021

Jeanne Thayer never felt comfortable on a pedestal, ever since she was a young girl, too tall and lanky to feel like she belonged at the center of attention. Modesty followed her like a shadow, from her self-perceived awkwardness of youth into the awareness of her own privilege as a young adult. She lived a […]

Remembering Barbara Tellefson
By Montecito Journal   |   December 17, 2020

Pound for pound, or rather inch for inch, it’s doubtful that Santa Barbara has ever had a more hardworking, tireless, dedicated, and effective advocate for the underprivileged than Barbara Tellefson. The founder and president of Santa Barbara’s Unity Shoppe, who passed away at 84 on November 22, was an undeniable dynamo whose stature and influence […]

A Very Long Distance Engagement
By Beverlye Fead   |   July 16, 2020

An Italian mayor, a Montecito philanthropist, and love in the time of coronavirus Everyone loves a love story, maybe even more so in these difficult times. I know I do, and by providence, my husband and I were able to be in the middle of this one. The story started with longtime Montecito resident Marjorie […]

Drive-by Birthday Bash
By Richard Mineards   |   May 14, 2020

Hungarian-American philanthropist Eva Haller celebrated her 90th birthday at Casa Dorinda at the weekend with a “drive by” party. Eva, a trustee of UCSB, co-founder and president of the Campaign Communications Institute of America, Visiting Professor of Glasgow Caledonian University, and the 2014 Magnusson Fellow, who escaped the Nazis during World War II, was accompanied […]

State Street Ballet Fundraiser
By Richard Mineards   |   October 3, 2019

Montecito über philanthropist Sara Miller McCune was honored when the State Street Ballet hosted its 25th anniversary gala for 150 guests in the Biltmore’s Loggia Ballroom, raising around $125,000 for the popular local dance company, which has 20 dancers representing six countries. The room was decorated in myriad shades of blue, Sara’s favorite color, while […]

Altruism Repays Its Debts
By Peter Brill   |   September 26, 2019

What really matters in life? What experiences shape our journey? How is today a reflection of our journey and what we have learned and experienced along the way? And mainly, what causes a person to dedicate their life to philanthropy? I have been writing about community, change, and capital for months now and I thought […]

Impressive Pair
By Richard Mineards   |   September 12, 2019

The La Pacifica Ballroom at the Coral Casino was socially gridlocked when the Santa Barbara Foundation honored its 76th Man and Woman of the Year in front of 280 guests. Between them, Montecito philanthropist Jelinda DeVorzon and David Boyd, a member of All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, have a combined half century of service to the […]

Lauding Lady Leslie
By Richard Mineards   |   September 5, 2019

A torrent of tony tête toppers filled the Biltmore’s Loggia Ballroom when Montecito uber philanthropist Leslie Ridley-Tree, dressed immaculately in pink with magnificent millinery from Fenwicks of London, celebrated the 45th anniversary of her half century. The boffo bash was hosted by the Lady of Largesse’s many friends including Hiroko Benko, Bob and Val Montgomery, […]

94 and Counting
By Richard Mineards   |   September 6, 2018

Montecito über philanthropist Leslie Ridley-Tree celebrated the 44th anniversary of her 50th birthday with a pizza party hosted by her good friend, Christopher Toomey. The 50 guests noshed on pies from Christopher’s pizza oven before wishing her a rousing Happy Birthday. An amazing lady.

In Memoriam
By Richard Mineards   |   August 30, 2018

On a personal note, I remember Betty Stephens, a philanthropist and humanitarian, who has moved to more heavenly pastures at the age of 86. Betty, who came to our Eden by the Beach in 1969, would often invite me to her extravagant birthday bashes at the La Cumbre Country Club or her magnificent Hope Ranch […]

2018 Granada Legends
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 23, 2018

It was only a matter of time before publisher-philanthropist Sara Miller McCune received the honor of being named a Granada Legend. The only question was how long it would take. After all, Miller McCune is not only one of the best-known and enduring of the Performing Arts Center’s patrons, she was also one of the […]

Adding up the Pluses
By Beverlye Fead   |   May 31, 2018

Ever since I have been doing these columns about interesting people in their 70s, 80s, and 90s, friends have been saying, “You have to meet Natalie Myerson.” A mutual friend finally set us up for a lunch at Louie’s at the Upham Hotel in Santa Barbara, and Natalie was there waiting for us when we […]