164 nonprofits are sharing $1 million handed out at the annual Montecito Bank & Trust Community Dividends Awards luncheon.
The event took place this afternoon at the Coral Casino along the Montecito coastline. Guests were served a turkey lunch with all the trimmings, to kick off the Thanksgiving week.
Chairman of the Board Michael Towbes says the first year this lunch was held was 2003. He is hoping other corporations will also give out community donations as a sign of corporate philanthropy.
In good times and bad, the funding is essential. For some groups, it will keep them operating in 2014 at a time when donations have fallen off.
"The economy has not been good to non-profits," said Towbes. "We're really committed to supporting the nonprofits in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. It really makes a big difference in terms of quality of life to everyone to have healthy and successful nonprofits."
Among the groups to receive a portion of the funds, was the Alano Club. It offers programs for those who are recovering from addictions. Spokesperson Bonnie Raisin said, "This is a dream come true."
Roman Baratiak with UC Santa Barbara Arts and Lectures says donations like this are very helpful in their efforts to keep quality events coming to the area. "It makes a difference in what we can offer to the community, the outreach, and the educational master classes. It's wonderful in the Thanksgiving season to have such a gift."
Over 300 groups sent in an application for the funds.
For a complete list of groups chosen for the Community Dividends for 2013 go to : https://www.montecito.com/depts/community/communitydividends.aspx