April 2, 2024
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Street smarts: Ventura County YMCA launches annual fundraiser


The Southeast Ventura County YMCA has launched its 2024 annual fundraising campaign, the nonprofit announced Feb. 14. 

Until March 15, the Y’s goal is to raise $200,000 so it can continue to offer its programs to all community members, regardless of an ability to pay, it said in a press release.

This year’s annual fundraiser is particularly special as the Southeast Ventura County YMCA is also celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2024.

The YMCA‘s two no-cost signature programs are supported solely by donations.

One of the programs, Find My Genius, closes the learning gap that often occurs during summer, especially for children in low- to middle-income households. 

In 2023, Find My Genius enrolled 575 young scholars in its summer program and 287 took part in its year-round afterschool program.

The other program, Safety Around Water, is a no-cost program that teaches the basics of water safety and how to be safer near and around water. 

Last year, 720 children participated. The Y also provided $200,000 in financial assistance in 2023 to those in childcare, summer camp and teen and membership programs who could not otherwise afford to take part.

 “For 60 years, the Y has focused on giving back to our neighbors. We’re committed to providing enriching programs for children, improving the overall health of community members and being at the forefront to help people in need. Each donation made during the month-long campaign can be life-changing,” Ronnie Stone, president and CEO of the Y, said in a press release.  

Other YMCA programs include after school childcare in the Conejo Valley, Las Virgenes, Moorpark and Simi Valley school districts, summer camps, and Model United Nations and Youth & Government for middle and high schoolers.

To learn more about the fundraising campaign or to donate go to sevymca.org/annual-campaign.


El Camino Homeless Organization, a SLO County-based nonprofit aimed at providing supportive services to homeless people, announced that it has helped 31 individuals and families find housing in the community so far this year. “This milestone exemplifies the impact that can be achieved when a community comes together to support our mission,” Wendy Lewis, CEO of ECHO, said in a press release. 


• Santa Barbara-based CIO Solutions was named to the annual CRN Managed Service Provider 500 list. The MSP 500 list aims to showcase and celebrate MSPs that are driving growth and innovation in the industry. Congrats on the honor!

• Mission Wealth announced it received the 2024 Women’s Choice Award for Best Place to Work for Women and Millennials, a testament to the firm’s ongoing commitment to creating an empowering and inclusive workplace. Congrats on the honor!

The Pacific Pride Foundation, in partnership with House Of Pride and Equality, hosted the second Pride Movie Night in Santa Maria on Feb. 21. The goal of the event was to highlight the importance of change and expanding one’s horizons. Keep an eye out for more events in the future!


The 16th Annual Tour of Paso bike ride is set to kick off on March 24, offering enthusiasts a chance to pedal through Paso Robles wine country while supporting a noble cause. Organized by the Cancer Support Community – California Central Coast, this event aims to raise funds to aid local cancer patients, survivors, and their families. Learn more at tourofpaso.org.


The Santa Barbara Airport, along with Alaska Airlines and Atlantic Aviation, will host the Alpha Resource Center’s third  annual Plane Pull fundraiser on March 2, where teams will compete to pull a nearly 100,000-pound Alaska Airlines Embraer 175 aircraft with a rope for a distance of 20-feet in the fastest time possible. Learn more at: alphasb.org/plane-pull. 


SCHOOL FAIR: The Santa Barbara County Education Office is hosting its second job fair on Feb. 24 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. to help schools and district offices attract more workers.

HELP WANTED: The American Red Cross Pacific Coast Chapter is seeking volunteers to help install more than 180 free smoke alarms for local families during a Sound the Alarm home fire safety event in Santa Maria on Feb. 24. Learn more at SoundTheAlarm.org/CCR.

SBMA CONCERT: The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is hosting the acclaimed Ying Quartet for a chamber music concert on Feb. 27 starting at 7:30 p.m.