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Students’ Summer Project Makes a Difference at Foodbank of Santa Barbara County

10-28-2014 12-07-42 PM


Over the summer, several of our district’s elementary and junior high school students volunteered to work for and fundraise for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. They joined a team called Join Jacob, led by Jacob Mansbach (Roosevelt fifth grader), to compete in the Santa Barbara Triathlon and to raise money for the Foodbank to help feed children in our community.

The students spent their summer volunteering for the Foodbank, spreading awareness about hunger issues, and training for a triathlon. All but two of the students participated in their very first triathlon and crossed the finish line on Sunday, August 24, with smiling faces. Over the summer, the team members volunteered at the Foodbank warehouse to assist with food re-packaging and distribution and they handed out lunches on summer afternoons through the Foodbank’s Picnic in the Park program. These kids took it upon themselves to find ways to raise money: they gave speeches to local professional groups, held bake sales and lemonade stands, set up a booth at local famers’ markets; and walked door-to-door. They raised $29,530 for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. The money will be used to provide nutritious food as well as education on nutrition to 600 children for a year here in Santa Barbara County.

The following students from our district gave their time and talent to this cause. Roosevelt Elementary: Olivia Aaronson, Allison Bartholomew, Sarah Fisher, Lucy Fisher, Jacob Mansbach, Joe Mansbach, Alana Sanchez, Rhaya Sanchez, Gwen Tormey. Washington Elementary: Jackson Kelly. Monroe Elementary: River Nguyen-duy. Santa Barbara Junior High: Madeleine Mishler and Liam Tormey.

Santa Maria Empty Bowls Helps Fill the Coffers for Foodbank of Santa Barbara County





Hundreds of hungry attendees feast on soup provided by local restaurants; the Santa Barbara Empty Bowls fundraiser is set for Nov. 2

102214-Empty-Bowls-630Brooks Wise, Heritage Oaks Bank’s market area president for Santa Maria, gets his bowl filled with chicken noodle soup from KSBY news anchor Jeanette Trompeter at the Empty Bowls fundraiser in Santa Maria on Wednesday to benefit the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)


By Janene Scully, Noozhawk North County Editor | @JaneneScully | Published on 10.22.2014

Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rogelio Flores ladled bacon cheddar beer soup, using his best courtroom voice to lure hungry attendees with empty bowls needing to be filled.

Nearby, TV news anchor Jeannette Trompeter touted the healthier, although less enticing, chicken noodle soup, telling attendees, “It cures what ails you.”

Flores and Trompeter were two of the soup servers at the 13th annual Santa Maria Empty Bowls event Wednesday.

The fundraiser for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County took place at the Santa Maria Fairpark, where this marked the first time the Santa Maria event has held two seatings for attendees.

“It’s been a wonderful event,” said Judith Monte, North County development manager for the Foodbank, noting the varied sectors of the community to show up at the event.

In addition to community leaders and elected officials, those who attended included groups of office workers and parents with children, showing the broad support for the Foodbank, Monte said.

Organizers expected to serve 800 people during the two seatings, with the first at 11:30 a.m. and the second at 12:30 p.m. Soups came from various restaurants in the Santa Maria Valley.

The two serving sessions aimed to address long waiting lines attendees encountered at previous Empty Bowls benefits in Santa Maria, according to Monte.

“We tried to make sure the second seating has the same experience,” Monte said, adding that the soups and bowls matched those of the first hour.

Bowls came from a variety of sources, but Monte said that Allan Hancock Collegecontributed a record number this year.

102214-Empty-Bowls-350Empty Bowls attendees get bowls filled with soup served by Judge Rogelio Flores. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

For a donation of $25, attendees selected a hand-crafted ceramic bowl, enjoyed a meal of gourmet soup and bread, and took home the bowl as a reminder of the event’s purpose: to help feed wholesome and hearty food to needy people in the community.

The Foodbank served 60,000 in the Santa Maria Valley last year, Monte said, adding, “That’s a lot of people.”

Because of the drought, the nonprofit organization had to pay $200,000 more to purchase food for its clients this year, Monte said.

Wednesday’s event was one of three held annually to benefit the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

The 17th annual Santa Barbara Empty Bowls is set for Nov. 2 at the Page Youth Center, 4540 Hollister Ave., with three seating times of 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.  Tickets can be purchased for $31 per person by clicking here.

For more information, sponsorship or raffle details, contact events manager Diane Durst at 805.967.5741 x104.

Lompoc’s Empty Bowls fundraiser is held on the fourth Wednesday of March each year.

The Foodbank also is poised to launch its Thanksgiving turkey drive on Nov. 1.

— Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at[email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk,@NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


102214-Empty-Bowls2-630Savannah, left, and Dana Moody make their selections from a variety of handcrafted ceramic bowls at the Empty Bowls fundraiser on Wednesday. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

The Last Extinction is Announced

10-22-2014 8-33-51 AM



Santa Barbara, California

MOODBOOKS presents The Last Extinction, a new environmental thriller from documentary filmmaker Michael Scott Hanrahan, featuring an innovative digital book format incorporating extraordinary animated illustrations.

While fictional, The Last Extinction presents environmental themes that are eerily similar to current events. Hanrahan’s new digital format encourages reading by integrating old fashioned storytelling with animated “enhanced illustrations.” The Last Extinction is available in digital format for the iPad, Kindle, Kindle Fire, and Nook; as well as paperback on Amazon.com.


An ancient relic unearthed. A long-held secret revealed. Six sacred species on the verge of extinction. And the fate of humanity rests in the hands of one woman… The adventure begins when a National Geographic expedition travels deep into the heart of the Amazon and uncovers a mythical tablet, the Wheel of Omagua. Carved into the Wheel are images of six sacred animals, creatures assigned great distinction in the natural world. The extinction of any one of them could mean the end of humanity. Young biologist Christina Larson must race around the world and against time to put things right before the Wheel’s horrifying predictions come to pass.

“According to Nielsen, the target audience for my book was no longer interested in reading by age 14 and no one was sure how to attract them back to books. Facebook, video games, YouTube, and other more visually engaging content was pulling them farther and farther away,” The Last Extinction author and MOODBOOKS creator Michael Scott Hanrahan explains. “Parents were frustrated. And more importantly, the imagination of young people was diminishing.”

Inspired by the illustrations in literary adventure classics, Hanrahan set out to build a creative team that would help him to realize his vision for the new frontier of reading.


“My instinct was to try to meet the teen audience on familiar ground – to somehow blend the visual action that so appealed to them in video games and introduce that into a strong, written narrative,” said Hanrahan. “Our goal is to nurture the imagination, not replace it – preparing young people to care for the planet they are inheriting.”

Each chapter in the ‘enhanced version’ of “The Last Extinction” has an ‘enhanced illustration’ embedded somewhere within the pages.

“We sought to create supplemental atmospherics – mood enhancements,” said Hanrahan. “We want readers to look forward to these ‘enhanced illustrations,’ not merely keeping them engaged but actually deepening the narrative.”

About the Author
Michael Scott Hanrahan is an educator and filmmaker who teaches environmental media storytelling at the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Carsey-Wolf Center for Film, TV, and New Media. Born in New York, he studied marine science and film at the University of Miami. For the past twenty years, he’s told stories about the natural world for clients like the Discovery Channel, The Nature Conservancy, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. The Last Extinction is the first in his series of environmental thrillers. http://www.lastextinction.com

MOODBOOKS takes the written word and embellishes scenes into animations that are not meant to supersede the imagination, but enhance it. We work hard to identify elements that will be shown to readers, bringing them deeper into the story, but never showing too much.

Lompoc Record: Foodbank of Santa Barbara County Filling up Empty Bowls




54482402bb927.preview-620Anaysa Rodriguez chooses a bowl during the 13th annual Santa Maria Empty Bowls fundraiser at the Santa Maria Fairpark Wednesday.


Empty Bowls, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County’s annual fundraiser, drew approximately 800 people to Santa Maria Fairpark on Wednesday.

“Definitely, numbers were up,” said Judi Monte, the foodbank’s development manager.

Now in its 13th year, Empty Bowls is the foodbank’s only annual fundraiser in Santa Maria.

Purchasers of $25 tickets picked a handcrafted ceramic bowl, then had it filled with gourmet soup donated by a number of area restaurants and catering companies.

“At the end of the day, they take their bowl home as a reminder that we have empty bowls we need to fill in our community,” Monte said.

Foodbank board member Jim Stollberg said that while the event raises money, it also serves to raise awareness about hunger in the county.

Stollberg said that nearly everybody he talks to about the foodbank is surprised at how many people receive donations from it through one of its many partner organizations.

He said one in four Santa Barbara County residents rely on the foodbank at some point throughout the year, some for a short time when they are out of work, and some regularly.

“You likely know someone who has needed the foodbank in the recent past,” Stollberg said.

In addition to ticket sales, 41 items were raffled off. While donation totals for Wednesday’s event weren’t available at press time, Monte said that last year’s event raised $42,000.

Ron Lovell, co-owner of Moxie Cafe, said that he quickly ran out of the five gallons of tri-tip chili he brought, and was nearly out of the southwest chicken soup.

“They told all the restaurants to bring at least five gallons. We brought 10 just in case,” he said.

The bowls were donated by ceramics students at Hancock College, Righetti High School and Orcutt Academy High School, as well as individual donors.

Hancock College ceramics instructor Bob Nichols said that artists in his program donated more than 400 of the colorful bowls.

Nichols said that he would make 10 or 12 bowls during a demonstration at the event, which would be donated next year.

“Hancock and the students there do their fair share to support this event,” said Mike McNutt, a laboratory assistant in the program.


5448252930b78.preview-620Santa Maria Community members look for the perfect bowl during the 13th annual Santa Maria Empty Bowls.


5448240312a1e.preview-620Seven-year-old Madelyn McCoy takes a sip of her soup during the 13th annual Santa Maria Empty Bowls fundraiser Wednesday.


544824034d254.preview-620Sandy Parson gets a bowl of soup from Santa Maria Inn’s Sarah Kleinsmith during the 13th annual Santa Maria Empty Bowls Wednesday at the Santa Maria Fairpark.


544824f12a21a.preview-620Bowls wait to be chosen during the 13th annual Santa Maria Empty Bowls Wednesday at the Santa Maria Fairpark.


544824f17a762.preview-620Hancock College ceramics instructor Bob Nichols throws clay as Gloria Mulder watches during the 13th annual Santa Maria Empty Bowls.


544824f1b8722.preview-620Joanna Soto chooses a bowl during the 13th annual Santa Maria Empty Bowls.


544824f1f2a50.preview-620Three-year-old Hudson Coulter takes a bite of some bread dipped in clam chowder during the 13th annual Santa Maria Empty Bowls at the Santa Maria Fairpark.