News Articles


The Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara will host the Site Visit Kick-Off, 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26, at The Fess Parker. The annual event, now in its 13th year, features progress reports from the local nonprofits that received $485,000 in Women’s Fund grants this past spring.

Grantees will describe to Women’s Fund members and their guests the impact the grants have had on their organization and their clients.

Laurie and Shelly speak to Sunset Rotary

Laurie Tumbler and Shelley Hurst of the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara paid the Sunset Rotary a visit this week to review how the Fund serves the communities from Goleta down to Carpinteria. The volunteer-driven collective donor group has funded more than $6 million to various organizations since 2004—close to $1 million of that right here in Carpinteria. The following local organizations have received grant funds: Carpinteria Children’s Project, Girls Inc. of Carpinteria, Community Action Commission (Senior nutrition), Peoples’ Self-Help Housing (Dahlia Court and Casas de las Flores... Read More

AHA! Peace Builders

An AHA! initiative called Peace Builders was recently expanded into four junior high schools—Santa Barbara, La Colina, La Cumbre, and Goleta Valley—after receiving a grant from the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara. The Peace Builders program consists of interactive workshops and bimonthly meetings that promote camaraderie in the classroom as well as empathy and curiosity among students and their peers, said Melissa Lowenstein, Programs Coordinator and Facilitator. “The idea is that we really want to empower the kids and have it be their program."


First, a little background—in May 2016, the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara gave TRADART Foundation a $50,000 grant, earmarked for materials to build three Tiny Houses on the campuses of Santa Barbara’s three high schools—Santa Barbara, San Marcos and Dos Pueblos. To ensure the sustainability of the program, upon the completion of the Tiny Houses, they are to be sold and the proceeds used to fund the construction of three more houses.

Once construction on the houses began, it was clear to the Advanced Woodworking and Construction Technology project instructors that completion of the... Read More

Laurie Tumbler and Shelley Hurst

Every year after the Presentation of Grants, the Women’s Fund Steering Committee Co-Chairs change, and a new year begins under their leadership. This year our co-chairs are Shelley Hurst and Laurie Tumbler. Laurie returns after having served last year with Nancy Harter, and Shelley is brand new to the position.

So that you can get to know them better, we caught up with them at a local café during one of their frequent meetings.

First we asked them some questions about their new positions as Steering Co-Chairs. Here are their responses:

What are... Read More

Parm Williams and DPEA founder Amir Abo-Shaeer

We wanted to get to know D'Penguineer Friends, so we intreviewed Group Captain, Parm Williams.

What inspired you to join the Women’s Fund and when did you join?
Jo Gifford, a Women’s Fund founding member, asked me to join the Women’s Fund in 2004. I joined in 2005 as part of a two-member group with Sarah de Tagyos. Our group name was “PS”—for Parm and Sarah—not very creative, but it worked for us! We both were so impressed with the Women’s Fund that we volunteered for committees right away. I chaired the Membership Committee from 2005 to... Read More

2016-17 Grantees

On May 8, 2017, 345 members and guests of the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara gathered for the 13th annual Presentation of Grants Reception at the Fess Parker Doubletree hotel. Grants totaling $485,000 were distributed to area nonprofits for eight programs: the Accelerated Reader Program, AHA! (Attitude, Harmony, Achievement), Casa Pacifica, Channel Islands YMCA (for Noah’s Anchorage), Domestic Violence Solutions, PEAC (Program for Effective Access to College), Peoples’ Self-Help Housing, and St. Vincent’s.

Novel Women

We wanted to get to know this group better, so we interviewed Group Captain, Karen Feeney.

Why and when did you join the Women’s Fund?
I decided I wanted to join the Women’s Fund after having had the opportunity to observe the organization as a sponsor. I work for Allen Construction, and Barbara Hauter Woodward, a former Allen client, asked the company if we would support the Women’s Fund by sponsoring the buses for the annual Site Visit, which we gladly did. I was immediately impressed by the mission and work of the Women’s Fund. Barbara invited me to a... Read More

East Beach Walkers

To get to know East Beach Walkers, we interviewed Co-Captains, Lalla Brutoco and Pat Fulmer.

Why and when did you join the Women’s Fund?

Pat: I first heard of the Women’s Fund and its good works shortly after moving to Santa Barbara, but was under the impression it was a very exclusive organization. In 2011, I met Barbara Hauter Woodward at Susan Case’s house and was pleased to gain a new understanding about women working to make a difference in our beautiful community—and having a good time doing so. We were all... Read More

SBHS construction student, Melissa Perez, SBHS Tiny House Trailer, SBHS Tiny House being framed

The success of the Tiny House project at the three participating local high schools—Dos Pueblos, San Marcos and Santa Barbara—falls significantly on the shoulders of two instructors—Caleb Chadwick at Santa Barbara High and Chris Mollkoy at Dos Pueblos. Caleb teaches in both the construction and the Academy for Success programs.

Eighty-nine of Caleb’s students have made significant progress toward the completion of their Tiny House, and we recently had the opportunity to visit with him and view the construction site. It’s impressive. As the photos depict, walls have been framed and... Read More