Santa Maria Sun / News
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 15, Issue 14
Hobnobbing with Helen
BY HELEN ANN THOMAS
Some very happy hobnobbing took place on Thursday afternoon, May 29, at the poolside Cabana Room of the Santa Maria Inn.
About 75 people, including prominent local educators, gathered at a reception held by the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara County.
The reception at the inn immediately followed a scholarship awards ceremony at the First Christian Church on South College Drive.
Folks from the Scholarship Foundation, the Santa Barbara Foundation, and local schools were on hand to mark the occasion: The awarding of scholarship funds to many students who otherwise would not be able to go to college.
Allan Hancock College president Kevin Walthers was among the crowd that included Janet Garufis, president and CEO of Montecito Bank & Trust (also president of the Scholarship Foundation board), and Colette Hadley, the super-committed dynamo who is executive director of the Scholarship Foundation.
Agnes Grogan, who had been on the Hancock faculty for many years, was on hand as well, as were Judy Markline—another former Hancock faculty member—and Charles Markline.
Santa Maria High School Principal Joe Domingues enjoyed the event. “I tell my students that if they want to be successful,” he told me, “they better have a plan when they leave Santa Maria High.”
Joe said he also reminds his students that they need to “work hard, set goals, and never give up.”
One of those who took Joe’s words to heart was former Saint and recent Hancock graduate Raymundo Lopez-Santiago.
With the help of Scholarship Foundation money, Raymundo is on his way to Cal State Long Beach, where he will study electrical engineering.
“It’s wonderful that there are so many people who want to help,” Raymundo said.
Foundation volunteer Marylinn Green interviews scholarship applicants. She has been associated with the Santa Barbara Foundation affiliates ever since they were founded in Santa Maria. Marylinn revels in being part of the process that helps so many young people.
Ed Cora, superintendent of Guadalupe schools, was pleased to see a former pupil from his Battles Elementary School days as principal: scholarship recipient Domitila Carmona, who is on her way to Cal Poly in SLO.
Enjoying the celebratory atmosphere were retired school principal Erik Frost and his wife, Judy. Erik is a board member and vice president of programs for the Scholarship Foundation. Both Frosts are on the foundation’s North County advisory committee, as are Dee Ringstead, Lompoc’s Joyce Howerton, and Craig Huseth.
I was glad to have the chance to chat with Jay Hardy, president of Hardy Diagnostics, and tell him how much I enjoy the relatively new, instantly popular restaurant, Moxie, that he instigated.
I was also delighted to meet Peter Rojas, who teaches math at Santa Barbara City College. Rojas was invited because he is on the board of the Mariachi Foundation, which raises money for scholarships.
The Santa Barbara Foundation was well represented by Kathy Simas, the community investment officer for North County, and current North Country trustees Diane Adam and Chris Slaughter.
The Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara has become the largest community-based scholarship provider in the nation. It has a wonderful, comprehensive website and two outreach coordinators at the Jones Street nonprofit building to assist potential applicants.
Santa Barbara County high school students are indeed fortunate to have this amazing resource available to them.
If you want to hobnob with Helen, you may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.