One of the most well-known nonprofits in the area, the Santa Barbara Foundation, just tipped its hat to its 76th woman and man of the year, Jelinda Devorzon and David Boyd.
The SB Piano Boys serenaded the 300 individuals gathered at the Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club. The guests were there to join hands with the Santa Barbara Foundation in celebrating the two honorees’ philanthropic track records, which combine to span more than half a century.
Among these attendees were leaders of nonprofits in Santa Barbara (Mental Wellness Center CEO Annmarie Cameron and Santa Barbara Humane Society’s executive director Kerri Burns, for example), former Congresswoman Lois Capps, and her daughter Laura Capps, the current vice president of Santa Barbara Unified School District Board.
The Santa Barbara Foundation’s board chair, Diane Adams, welcomed the guests and gave an introduction about the honorees.
“A combined 50 years of service to the community” is what the woman and man of the year are bringing, Ms. Adams told the crowd, some of whom replied with impressed whistles and “wows.” Their awe is justified, as the two honorees have worked with multiple organizations in the county throughout their lives.
Ms. Devorzon, for instance, has been volunteering for more than three decades, including with the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the Unity Shoppe and Cottage Health.
“For me, being a volunteer has never been a burden; it’s always been a blessing,” said Ms. Devorzon. “I’m reminded of the Lennon–McCartney lyrics: ‘And in the end, the love you get is equal to the love you give.’ As eloquent as those words are, I’m convinced you get much more love back when you give.”
Ms. Devorzon has also served on the Montecito Union School Foundation Board, the Santa Barbara City College Foundation Board and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art Board.
The achievement that she is most proud of, though, shines brighter for her than all the other leadership roles and position Ms. Devorzon has held.
“My greatest achievement has and always will be my family,” Ms. Devorzon told the crowd.
Mr. Boyd seems to feel similarly about his own family. Mr. Boyd attended the luncheon with his wife Alyce, who received an affectionate kiss from her husband before he went on the stage for his speech.
Mr. Boyd served as a U.S. Navy officer for three decades, before he retired as captain in June 1980. While reminiscing about his U.S. Navy days during a News-Press interview, Mr. Boyd was all smiles.
“I started as a basic officer, you see,” Mr. Boyd said to the News-Press.
And in many ways, Mr. Boyd continues to serve. He has volunteered with organizations such as All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, Montecito Emergency Response and Recovery Action Group, Transition House and Esperanza.
“I believe with conviction that volunteering is what God is calling me to do for this time in my life,” said Mr. Boyd in his speech. Mr. Boyd continued on to say that for him, volunteering to help the most vulnerable is how “Jesus Christ, who has no body on Earth, uses my body to do good on Earth.”
Ms. Devorzon and Mr. Boyd were presented with two crystal plaques to remind them of the foundation’s awards, though there are probably those in the community who need no reminders to recognize the two honorees’ contributions.