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Rubicon supporters decide that the show must go on

By   /   Friday, December 14th, 2018  /   Comments Off on Rubicon supporters decide that the show must go on

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The Rubicon Theatre Company in Ventura is able to stage its current production of “South Pacific” because of donors who stepped up in the wake of the Thomas fire.

The not-for-profit, professional theater company documented about $260,000 in losses from the blaze but only $85,000 of that has been recovered through insurance, according to Producing Artistic Director Karyl Lynn Burns. She said many of its subscribers lost their homes.

The company persevered and its 20th anniversary season culminates with “South Pacific,” which runs through Dec. 23 and features a cast of 28 led by Broadway star Ben Davis. Anne Smith Towbes of Santa Barbara provided underwriting for his contract.

Norma Beck of Thousand Oaks provided funding for actor Joseph Fuqua, and a group of women attorneys from Los Angeles and Ventura called BBA provided underwriting for director Katharine Farmer’s contract. Title sponsors include Dr. Jeanne Adams of Camarillo, Ventura philanthropists Jordan Laby (in memory of his wife Sandra Laby) and Barbara Meister, and an anonymous donor who splits her time between Washington, D.C. and Ventura. Co-sponsors are E.J. Harrison & Sons/Harrison Industries, Hilford Moving & Storage and Roto Rooter.

Some of the cast members have trained with Rubicon since they were six years old and their professional contracts were underwritten by Bonnie and Don Carlton, Elise and William Kearney, Jan and Hal Wasserman, the Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Foundation and two anonymous donors.


Kaiser Permanente Southern California has announced a $650,000 contribution to relief and recovery efforts in communities impacted by the Woolsey fire.

Kaiser Permanente is giving $500,000 to the United Way of Greater Los Angeles. The health care organization will also provide $150,000 to the Ventura County Community Foundation with $50,000 specifically allocated to the foundation for organizational capacity support and the balance for disaster survivor relief and recovery.

“We truly appreciate Kaiser Permanente for being a close community partner that cares about our mission and helping those struck by a tragedy as devastating as the Woolsey fire,” said VCCF CEO Vanessa Bechtel.


Santa Barbara-based casual footwear company SeaVees partnered with Soles4Souls charity to help victims of the Camp, Hill and Woolsey wildfires in California. More than 1,000 pairs of new shoes were donated to those affected by the fires.


The 18th annual Santa Ynez Valley Christmas Basket Program in 2018 is supporting 157 Santa Ynez Valley families comprised of 346 children and 288 adults. Each family will receive a hamper of food, staples and toiletries, fresh chickens donated by El Rancho Market, a gift card for a local grocery store, as well as a large, decorated box filled with wrapped presents for each family member, plus toys donated from the Alexander family’s annual Christmas display in Buellton.

The Christmas Basket Program is organized by volunteers from Old Mission Santa Inés, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church and Santa Ynez Valley Presbyterian Church along with support from hundreds of individuals and more than 30 businesses and organizations.

The program is in need of cash donations to cover the cost of the hampers. Checks may be made out to Old Mission Santa Inés, referencing 2018 Christmas Basket Program, and mailed to 1760 Mission Drive, Solvang, CA 93463.


FoodShare and Roadrunner have teamed up to collect food for families in need this holiday season. Roadrunner will collect canned goods on their shuttle and car services and the Camarillo Area Transit buses operated by Roadrunner through January.

Earlier this year, Roadrunner was acquired by RATP Dev USA.

Roadrunner drivers will collect the canned food. Nonperishable items such as tuna, canned fruits and vegetables, rice, beans, pasta and peanut butter are in high demand.


The public is invited to view the Hillside House’s “Shining Light on Abilities” holiday decoration and light display on Veronica Springs Road off of Las Positas Road in Santa Barbara.

Hillside House is a residential facility for people with developmental disabilities, including intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, autism and epilepsy.

The “Shining Light on Abilities” display will allow Hillside House residents to enjoy an adaptive sleigh that Riccardo Morrison, artistic director of the annual Summer Solstice Celebration, and Boy Scout Troop 37 helped build.

• The Good Works column is a monthly roundup of nonprofit and philanthropy news in the Tri-Counties. Please submit items to

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Managing Editor-Pacific Coast Business Times