Santa Barbara – Receives Spirit of Successful Aging Award

Assistance League of Santa Barbara public relations chairwoman Susan Engles, left, and board president Carolyn Dennis. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

The Center for Successful Aging presented its sixth annual benefit concert, “Sophisticated Ladies,” featuring an exclusive performance by local music legend Ike Jenkins and his Santa Barbara Big Band.

Twenty accomplished musicians played two sets of polished performances of the brassy, jazzy and nostalgic music of the Big Band era at the beautiful Marjorie Luke Theatre. The 10 musical selections included songs by Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington and others. The performance, to benefit programs for seniors at the Center for Successful Aging, was co-produced by Rod Lathim and CSA board members Bobbi Kroot and Lashon Kelly.

CSA also honored the Assistance League of Santa Barbara with an on-stage presentation of its Spirit of Successful Aging award, which recognized the all-volunteer organization for its 70 years of service, commitment and dedication to the Santa Barbara community.

The Assistance League provides many services and programs, largely funded by the Assistance League Thrift Shop, including Bear Hugs, Fun in the Sun, “Faux Prom” for Seniors, Friendship Luncheon, Prom Dress, Hillside House Resident Enrichment, Operation Bookshelf, Operation School Bell and many more.

Upon acceptance of the Spirit of Successful Aging award from CSA board president Bobbi Kroot, Assistance League board president Carolyn Dennis said, “It is so amazing to receive an award for doing what we love — having fun while helping others.

“To receive the award from such a highly respected organization gives it even greater significance. We send our thanks and appreciation to the Center for Successful Aging for this special recognition, and to our generous community for their 70 years of support.”

Past recipients of the Spirit of Successful Aging award were recognized in the audience: Gil Rosas, Marilyn Gilbert and inaugural honoree Natalie Myerson, who turned 98 last week.

The Center for Successful Aging continued its tradition of presenting mission-driven events that celebrate both the talent and the love of artists who are seniors, paired alongside younger performers.

The concerts not only provide an entertaining performing arts experience for seniors and their families, but further the mission of the CSA, to serve seniors and their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs.

“I would like to acknowledge Anita Lampert, who was in charge of the volunteers on the day of the concert, Lashon Kelley, Nancy Gomez and her team, Art Kroot for making the bandstands, and Beverley Jackson for her support of the event,” Kroot said.