From the Desk of Candace Winkler

We recently received word that the Scholarship Foundation will receive a 2017 Goleta’s Finest Award during a ceremony at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara on December 2. The annual awards honor individuals and organizations whose contributions have enhanced the Goleta community, according to the Goleta Chamber of Commerce. The Scholarship Foundation will receive this year’s Community Impact Award.

Such recognition is gratifying to say the least. While we are regularly lavished with expressions of gratitude from students, parents, and education professionals, it isn’t every day that the Foundation receives a commendation. It’s especially meaningful to be honored by an organization with such deep roots in the community. The Goleta Chamber was founded in 1947, and has been administering its awards program since 1949.

Honors of this sort invariably engender a renewed sense of purpose among recipients. In our case, that means the hardworking staff at the Scholarship Foundation, as well as our dedicated volunteers, donors, and Board members.

I view it primarily as a validation of our efforts to increase educational opportunities for students across Santa Barbara County, including those in Goleta. As we focus on workaday concerns, it’s easy to lose sight of the Foundation’s profound impact on families throughout the region. This award serves as a fresh reminder that we touch many lives. That for me is the main takeaway.

The Foundation will be in some very good company come December 2 at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara. Other award recipients will include the United Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County (Nonprofit of the Year) and Scholarship Foundation Board member Lisa Rivas (Volunteer of the Year).

We thank President and CEO Kristen Miller and her colleagues at the Goleta Chamber of Commerce for this prestigious honor.