Women’s Fund of Northern Santa Barbara County Members Conduct First Annual Site Tour
Women's Fund members pose with a sign thanking them for funding at the Lompoc Library.
Excitement was in the air on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 as an enthusiastic group of Women’s Fund members braved the cold winter wind, boarded a SMOOTH bus, and embarked on their first ever site visit tour. After awarding $129,500 to six organizations (Boys & Girls Club of Santa Maria Valley; Friends of the Lompoc Library; Friends of the Santa Maria Library; Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara County-Lompoc; Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Teen Court’s Young Women’s Leadership Group; and Santa Maria Youth and Family Center) in 2011, members were invited to see how their funds were being put to good use in an informative afternoon.
The first stop on the visit was the Santa Maria Public Library. Women’s Fund members were greeted by Cathy Allee, librarian and youth services manager. Cathy conducted a tour of the facility, sharing how the $12,500 grant they received enabled the library to bring in professional storytellers, a magician, and a jazz performance during Black History Month. In addition, funds were also used to provide supplies for craft projects and the purchase of almost 400 books, each one marked as a Women’s Fund of Northern Santa Barbara County donation.
After visiting the Santa Maria Public Library, members of the Women’s Fund proceeded to the Lompoc Library, where Lezlee Hurtado, youth services manager, explained how funds were used to purchase new computers, software, computer tables, chairs, and a video camera all for teens to use in their “Teen Zone.” Librarian, Molly Gerald, then ushered the group into the Grossman Gallery for refreshments graciously provided by the Lompoc Friends of the Library.
The final stop of the day was the United Boys & Girls Club in Lompoc, where funds were used to support salaries and benefits for tutors working in the Learning is Fun program. Rita Horton, learning care center/program director, explained the elementary level curriculum and Fund members were able to observe students working on computers to improve their reading skills. From this visit, it was apparent that the staff was working very hard to coordinate the curriculum to students’ needs, providing an amazing service to the youth and community of Lompoc.
After a very informative afternoon, Women’s Fund members returned home knowing that the agencies receiving funds were continuing to make positive impact in the communities they serve. Summing up the day, Kathy Simas, north county director of the Santa Barbara Foundation and Women’s Fund liaison said, “It was rewarding for the women to engage with the grantees and see their philanthropy at work.”
Click here to find out more about the Women’s Fund of Northern Santa Barbara County or to become a member.