SYV Pride hosts new fundraiser to grow its Pride activities and youth scholarship program

Photo courtesy of Alyce Barrick
NEW FACES: Since Santa Ynez Valley Pride’s inception three years ago, the nonprofit has added three new board members to help oversee its events, fundraising efforts, and youth scholarship program.

Santa Ynez Valley (SYV) Pride’s first fundraiser outside the month of June will help fund the nonprofit’s Pride parade and festival and its youth scholarship program. 

The Love Above All Ball is a black-tie event on Feb. 17 from 5 to 9 p.m. at Vega Vineyard and Farm—9496 Santa Rosa Road—which features a silent auction, dancing, tarot card readings, and take-home bottles of wine, SYV Pride Vice President Alyce Barrick said. 

“I am so blown away by the support and the momentum we’ve gained over the past three years; it’s incredible,” Barrick said. “I’m really proud of this community. After everything we’ve gone through, people are down to give and support.” 

Last year, several Santa Ynez Valley residents pushed back against a proposal from fellow LGBTQ-plus nonprofit The Rainbow House Inc. that requested permission from the Solvang City Council to hang Pride-themed banners throughout downtown Solvang. According to previous Sun reporting, the backlash against the proposal highlighted historical discrimination of the LGBTQ-plus community in the Santa Ynez Valley and garnered international attention

SYV Pride’s advocacy and efforts in the community took the team to Copenhagen in August 2023 for the Danish city’s Pride events and celebration. Since then, SYV Pride has added three new board members to its team and is working to expand its youth scholarship program—which gives money to help support Santa Ynez Valley high school seniors with their college tuition. 

“Last year we gave two $500 scholarships to graduating seniors. They had to submit essays that discussed how they were allies or contribute to the LGBTQ community. As a board, we voted on those two recipients; we were present at senior scholarship night and awarded the two scholarships to the seniors,” Barrick said. 

This year, the nonprofit wants to give a percentage of its proceeds to graduating seniors, rather than a set dollar amount, and give scholarships to four students, she said. 

“That amount will be contingent on the fundraising we receive from now until June. The more fundraising we receive the more scholarships we can give,” Barrick said. 

Ticket purchases and silent auction bids will help fund SYV Pride’s parade and festival or the scholarship program. Auction items include a 20-person tequila tasting experience; wine tastings; a well person’s exam where the recipient can receive a pap smear; a private plane ride; a poster signed by the local writers of the Oscar-nominated Pixar Film Elemental; local artwork; and local business baskets, she said. 

Those who can’t attend the fundraiser but would still like to contribute can become a sponsor or send in a one-time donation. SYV Pride hopes to sell 100 tickets at a minimum, with the goal of selling 200. Tickets need to be purchased before Feb. 12. Sponsorships are ongoing and can be sent before or after the fundraiser to contribute to SYV Pride’s efforts. 

“Pride exists 365 days a year. Pride is not reserved solely for the month of June,” Barrick said. “Celebrations can occur and reasons to donate are ongoing because we are continuously funding our scholarships and the need to protect our parade and festival because security is constantly changing.”

Tickets cost $150 per person, which covers dinner and drinks throughout the whole night and a bottle of wine to take home. Visit to buy tickets and to find other donation or volunteer opportunities. 


• The Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce invites the public to a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of Aspen Dental, which will take place on Feb. 13 at 675 North H St. beginning at 8 a.m. Aspen Dental is a full-service dental provider offering a wide range of services, including clear aligners, dentures, dental implants, emergency dental care, cosmetic dentistry, checkups, and other general dental services. The ceremony will feature a tour of the new facility, opportunities to meet the team, and learn more about their services. Call the Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce at (805) 736-4567 for more information. 

• High school students and adult mentors across Santa Barbara County are invited to participate in the Student Advocacy and Mental Wellness Summit—a workshop aimed at equipping ninth to 12th grade students with leadership and advocacy skills. The summit will take place on Feb. 25 at the EnviroHub, 1219 State St. in Santa Barbara, from noon to 5 p.m. Following the opening session, students will have the chance to participate in skill-building activities. State Sen. Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara) and Assemblymember Gregg Hart (D-Santa Barbara) will share their insight and experiences to inspire and guide the young leaders. Register for free at

Reach Staff Writer Taylor O’Connor at [email protected].

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