December 2017 Around Town

Giving the Gift of Time

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County is putting out a special call for BIGS—mentors who can benefit from the friendship of a Little Brother or Little Sister. Some 150 youth in Ventura County, known as “Littles,” are eagerly waiting to meet their BBSVC program role model and friend.

As a part of this call to serve volunteers, BBSVC is launching their “12 Kids of Christmas” campaign, which involves matching volunteers (of all backgrounds and faiths) who are interested in getting started as a Big during the holiday season and continuing as a mentor for at least one year, with a Little. The goal is to match at least a dozen youth by the end of the holiday season.

With over 150 children on the BBSVC waitlist, there are youth in every city across Ventura County who are anxiously waiting to offer their wisdom and friendship as Little Brothers and Little Sisters, and some of these kids have been waiting for more than a year. Mentoring is not about changing one’s priorities or schedule, but many mentors find that it changes their lives for the better, forever: it’s a fun, easy and impactful way to support a child’s journey toward a positive future.

“The best present that you can give—and receive—this holiday season is a gift of your time,” says Vice President of Recruitment Danica Selvaggio. “Mentoring is a gift that keeps on giving, and it impacts the lives of everyone who is involved.”

All of the Littles on the BBSVC waitlist are primarily from single-parent homes, foster or kinship care, or a home that lacks two positive role models. Over 70% of the youth on the BBSVC waitlist are boys. All of the children on the BBSVC waitlist are ready for a mentor to step in as a positive friend and role model at this time in their lives and are looking forward to participating in the program. BBSVC invites all role models in Ventura County who want to make a difference this holiday season and beyond to apply to be a BIG.

Anyone interested in learning more, please visit or call Danica Selvaggio at 805.484.2282.

Montecito Bank & Trust Adds Up

Congratulations to Montecito Bank & Trust, which reported its net income grew 11.52% year-over-year, to $12.2 million, driven by strong loan growth of 16% during the same period, or $127 million, to $924 million. Deposits grew 3%, or $35 million, year-over-year. Assets grew 3.64%, from $1.3 billion to $1.35 billion, during the same period. The bank’s total capital remains very strong at 12.7%, exceeding the 10% regulatory minimum required to be considered well-capitalized.

“I am proud of the continued dedication our locally-based teams demonstrate to our communities each and every day,” states Chairman and CEO Janet Garufis. “Our priority is to provide flexible solutions to meet the individual needs of our customers and as loan demand continues to be strong we can be extremely responsive in offering the communities we serve the products and services they need to thrive.”

Montecito Bank & Trust is the oldest and largest locally owned community bank in the Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Founded in 1975, the bank celebrated its 42nd anniversary on March 17, 2017 and operates 10 branch offices in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Solvang, Montecito, Carpinteria, Ventura, Camarillo and Westlake Village.

Santa Sighting

The Camarillo Ranch’s annual Santa Nights take place December 6, 11, 13 and 18, at 201 Camarillo Ranch Road. Take your child’s photo with Santa & Mrs. Claus in the 1892 Camarillo Ranch House and visit Santa’s Workshop in the Red Barn. $5 admission per adult. Parking is free. Gourmet food trucks will be onsite serving up hot cocoa and tasty treats. Hours: Wednesday, December 6 & 13, 4:30-7:30 p.m.; Monday, December 11 & 18, 3-6 p.m.

Calling All Angels

Come join The Little Angels Project and their rescue partners at Winter’s Wish: A New Year Gift Gala, Dec. 2, for live entertainment, including domestic and exotic animal meet and greets, cocktails, dinner and auctions. This fundraising gala by Darlene Geekie, RVT, and Sarah Fitzgerald benefits The Little Angels Project and their rescue partners. “The Little Angels Project” is a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in 2016 whose mission is to reduce the euthanasia rates of domestic and exotic animals with advanced medical needs throughout Los Angeles County and surrounding areas by providing surgical and medical treatment. This special evening begins at 5 p.m. with cocktails, followed by dinner and a live auction. The hosting committee includes Dot Jones, Alison Eastwood and Karn Myers. Ticket cost includes: Dinner (your choice of vegan or vegetarian), meet and greets with several exotic and domestic animals that have been helped by The Little Angels Project, two drink tickets and entertainment. Held at a private residence, the event is $140. RunOut Groove, a four-piece Classic Rock Semi-Acoustic band featuring amazing artists from well-known bands such as Mirage and Bella Donna will entertain.

Holiday Boutiques

There’s something about doing your holiday shopping at local boutiques benefiting great causes that makes your heart smile. The Cancer Support Community Valley/Ventura/Santa Barbara holds its 26th Annual Holiday Boutique on Saturday, December 2 and Sunday, December 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church, 5801 Kanan Road, in Westlake Village. The boutique complements the Holiday Homes Tour, one of the organization’s largest fundraisers. The Holiday Boutique is free to the public and does not require the purchase of tour tickets. Proceeds from this event allows CSCVVSB to continue providing cancer support, education and hope, free of charge, for people affected by cancer and their families. Purchase tickets at or call 805.379.4777.

The Ojai Valley Woman’s Club Artisan Holiday Boutique also takes place on Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 441 East Ojai Avenue in Ojai. The Ojai Valley Woman’s Club’s mission is to raise money for worthy causes in the community. The club has donated to dozens of local projects and charities, including the Ojai Education Foundation, the Ojai Independence Day Committee, the Girls’ Empowerment Workshop, the “Libbey Bowl Project,” the Community Assistance Food Project, “Adopt A Family” at the Holidays and many more.