Umbrella Dancers by Jonathan Winters
Crescend Health held a signature fundraising event, Hope and Laughter on May 11, 2016 at the El Encanto in Santa Barbara. It was a tribute to comedic legend, Jonathan Winters, who was a long time resident of Santa Barbara and a friend of our agency. He had been the Featurued Artist at our Art Along the Creek show in 2011.
Julie Kessler Solomon, President of Crescend Health's Board of Directors, and Alex Smariga, Board Member, were event Co-Chairs. Honored with Jonathan Awards at the gala were Lillian Lovelace, philanthropist, Suzanne Riordan, Executive Director of Families Act! and Zev Nathan, MD, community psychiatrist. In diifferent ways these three individuals have made, and continue to make a major contribution to improving mental health services in the Santa Barbara community. Co-emcees for the event were J. T. Turner, Crescend's Executive Director, and Mark Magid. Featured entertainment during the dinner was a specially choreographed Umbrella Dance by the SELAH Dance Group.
We very much appreciate Lucinda Winters for her support of this event. Her father was not only an improvisational comic genius and gifted actor, he was also a trained and accomplished artist. Lucinda donated a 30 x 40 giclee of his brilliantly whimsical painting, Umbrella Dancers to the Silent Auction at the event. A signficant portion of his work had been showcased at our 2011 Art Along the Creek. The poingnancy of our giving out Jonathan Awards stems from his having experienced serious psychiatric challenges during his life, including an 8-month hospitalization in his 30s to treat his bipolar symptoms. His ability to cope with, and triumph over, his psychiatric challenges provides a wonderful example of how your diagnosis does not have to be your destiny!
For information about, and photos of this successful and fun event , which was attended by 180 people, see http://www.noozhawk.com/article/crescend_health_inaugural_jonathan_awards_20160517