052319 Community Action Commission

Left to right, Tribal leader Raul Armenta accepted the Community Action Champions award on behalf of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. Congratulating him is Community Action Commission CEO Patricia Keelean, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Joan Hartmann, and CenCal Health CEO Bob Freeman, who is also the Chairman of the Board for Community Action Commission.

Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County (CAC) recently held their 14th annual Champions Dinner at Hotel Corque in Solvang, recognizing the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians as the 2019 Community Action Champions. Each year, CAC selects standout organizations or individuals who have helped improve the lives of children, youth, families, and seniors in their community. 

According to CAC CEO, Patricia Keelean, the Chumash were selected as 2019 Champions due to their ongoing support of the local community, especially providing opportunities to the less advantaged, and improving the lives of young people.

At the May 17 event, tribal leader Raul Armenta accepted the award on behalf of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, Keelean reports. Armenta is Vice Chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians’ Business Committee, and is responsible for establishing policies and overseeing the legal and business affairs of the tribe, while providing for the economic well-being of its members. 

Exploring Vandenberg’s ancient Chumash art

The annual dinner event themed “The Art of Giving Back” raised $350,000 -- funds that go to support CAC’s Healthy Senior Lunch program.

Consistent with the theme, fine artist Yuliya Lennon PhD, an internationally acclaimed artist, created a still life painting onsite that was auctioned that evening. 

Sponsors of this year's Champions Dinner were CenCal Health, the Kei Lin Foundation and BB&H Benefit Designs. CenCal Health was a $100,000 Diamond Sponsor, matching every dollar raised up to an additional $100,000 contribution.

Previous years’ Community Action Champions in attendance included Dr. Kevin Walthers of Allan Hancock College, Bob Freeman for CenCal Health, and Flo Furuike. Third District Santa Barbara County Supervisor Joan Hartmann, County Health Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso, Chairman of Community Bank of Santa Maria Jim Glines, Kellye and Eric Onnen of Santa Barbara AirBus, and Santa Barbara Foundation’s Jackie Carrera were also in attendance. The evening’s Master of Ceremonies was local personality Jim Byrne.

More information is available at www.cacsb.org. Donations to the CAC Senior Meals program can be made by calling 805 964-8857, ext. 1101.

Lisa André covers Valley Life for Santa Ynez Valley News. 


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