People, groups to be honored as ‘hospice heroes’

sb hospice heroes
Hospice of Santa Barbara will recognize special heroes in the community at their Heroes of Hospice event on Sept. 12.

Staff Report

Hospice of Santa Barbara will honor special heroes in the community at its sixth annual Heroes of Hospice, “Jewels by the Sea” luncheon. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sept. 12 at the Four Seasons Biltmore, Coral Casino in Santa Barbara. The reception and ceremony will include a silent auction.

Each year, HSB recognizes outstanding organizations and individuals that play an important role in supporting its mission of providing care to anyone experiencing the impact of serious illness or grieving the death of a loved one.

“Our honorees this year demonstrate the excellence and heart of our community,” said David Selberg, CEO of Hospice of Santa Barbara. “These ‘Heroes’ are part of the fabric of the work we do at Hospice of Santa Barbara as well as the contributions they provide generally.”

This year, HSB will honor the Cottage Children’s Medical Center Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, Montecito Bank & Trust, Organic Soup Kitchen, and Marybeth Carty, the Executive Director of the Natalie Orfalea Foundation.

This year’s Heroes of Hospice award recipients are:

Partnership Award: Cottage Children’s Medical Center Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. Nancy Alvarado, coordinator, Sebastian Lebeau, Social Worker, Dr. David J Slomiany, Debra Launius, RN and Paralee Schmechel, RN.

Partnership Award: Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation. Lindsey Leonard, executive director. 

At Cottage Children’s Medical Center Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, child patients receive personalized, comprehensive care from medical professionals. The Cancer Care and Hematology Clinic at Cottage Health is recognized as a Special Care Center by the state, meaning children with acute and chronic conditions can receive comprehensive care covered by California’s Children’s Services. Cottage Health supports families that apply to financial assistance programs, which are available through local and national cancer foundations such as the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation.

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation provides financial and emotional support to families of children with cancer living in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo counties. Since 2002, it provided families with financial assistance for critical needs, such as rent assistance and family support groups.

Legacy Award: Montecito Bank & Trust, Janet Garufis, chairman and CEO.

Montecito Bank & Trust’s is committed to serving its community as demonstrated by the 5,200-plus hours its employees spend volunteering for local organizations every year. Since 2013, the bank’s Community Dividends program has donated $1 million annually to organizations throughout Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

Volunteer Award: Organic Soup Kitchen. Andrea Slaby, CEO, and Anthony Carroccio, executive director.

Organic Soup Kitchen has delivered high-quality, nutritious foods to residents facing dire health and financial challenges since 2009. It serves low-income cancer patients while working with local farmers to reduce food waste and carbon footprint. Organic Soup Kitchen also assists veterans, low-income seniors, and the Women’s Free Homeless Clinic.

Ambassador Award: Marybeth Carty.

Marybeth Carty has more than 15 years’ experience working in community partnerships, corporate philanthropy, and social responsibility and has spent the last 25 years in board leadership and service positions. Carty is executive director of the Natalia Orfalea Foundation, a local organization focused on early childhood education, youth development, school food programs, and disaster readiness. Carty was instrumental in the establishment of HSB’s Compassionate Care of Carpinteria program.

To reserve tickets for Heroes of Hospice, go to or call 805-563-8820.

Hospice of Santa Barbara provides professional counseling, support groups, and patient care services free of charge to individuals and families who are grieving the death of a loved one or experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness. Hospice of Santa Barbara also provides counseling in our offices and on eleven local junior and high school campuses to children and teens who are grieving the loss of a loved one. For more information about Hospice of Santa Barbara, including volunteer opportunities, call (805) 563-8820 or visit


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