The 22nd Annual Girls Inc. Luncheon

On May 3, U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett will be the featured speaker for the Girls Incorporated of Greater Santa Barbara 22nd Annual One Hundred Committee Luncheon that will be held at Bella Vista, the 40-acre ranch of Patrick Nesbitt and Ursula Krebs.

Scarlett, a Santa Barbara resident of 30 years, has been a dedicated swimmer, dogsledder and hiker since her youth. She earned multiple degrees at UCSB and says she was highly impacted by the oil spill in 1969 that sparked the national environmental movement. She began her career researching environmental issues for the Reason Public Policy Institute, rising to the helm of the think tank prior to her appointment to the Department of the Interior. She has written numerous studies and articles on environmental research and policies and describes her ideal formula for environmental policy as government by the “Four I’s” – integration, innovation, inspiration and insight. This philosophy, she believes, results in individuals and organizations working together to develop the best cooperative solutions and becoming invested stewards of their particular environment.

It is this approach to environmental policy that will be the focus of Scarlett’s talk at the upcoming luncheon. She says she will speak on “developing affirmative thinking skills” and show through her own experiences how “connecting with the environment can build leadership skills for life.” And while global climate change remains a hot button issue in the broad discussion of the environment, Scarlett says she will steer away from a politically loaded agenda and instead rely on positive messages for girls, discussing the opportunities for building life skills through interacting with nature.

Organizers of the luncheon credit Scarlett for her depth and discernment of her analyses and her adeptness at building partnerships between often-competing stakeholders.

“As a brilliant and dedicated professional, making a difference in a field of vital importance, Lynn Scarlett is truly an example of a strong, smart and bold woman,” says Nancy Barry, luncheon co-chair. “She’s a wonderful role model and inspiration for young girls to become active in education and advocacy, to aspire to leadership positions, and to believe that they can make a difference.”

The luncheon will be held on the Nesbitt polo grounds overlooking the Pacific Ocean. A massive white tent, provided by Classic Party Rentals, will frame the seating area, which will be decorated with cornflower blue and white, striped table linens and chinoiserie blue and white bowls overflowing with mums and white Gerber daisies with yellow centers. According to décor committee co-chair Sandi Nicholson, Wildflower Linens from Los Angeles is again providing the linens, as it has for the past three years, and Sunshine Floral in Carpinteria is supplying the flowers. Highlighting the theme of interiors, Scott Hogue, Maison K, Rue de Lillie and Summerhill Antiques will all have special displays.

Guest favor bags will be coordinated and donated by home couture store owners Caroline and Steve Thompson, owners of Cabana Home. The Girls Inc. chorus, under the direction of Montecito singer-songwriter Jeff Barry, will perform a medley of songs that includes “This Land is Your Land,” “America the Beautiful” and “Strong, Smart, and Bold,” Barry’s original composition for Girls Inc.

Until April 28, a portion of all proceeds at Susan Pitcher’s Dressed and Ready boutiques will be donated in support of Girls Inc., and on Thursday, April 26, from 9 am to noon, both stores will offer a special brunch.

Raffle tickets are available for $20 each or three for $50 and may be purchased through the Girls Inc. office; you are eligible to win, even if you do not attend the luncheon. Raffle items include diamond drop earrings donated by Carole Ridding, owner of Silverhorn; a stay at Catamount Lake in Steamboat Springs, Colorado donated by Polly Coleman, augmented by a fly fishing guide donated by Perri Harcourt; a $1,000 shopping spree donated by the South Coast Plaza, complete with hotel lodging; a wine lover’s basket of vintages; an overnight stay and brunch donated by The Four Seasons; and a deluxe spa package offered by Susan Ciminelli.

Girls Incorporated, founded locally in 1955, is a non-profit organization that provides after-school and summer educational enrichment programs for more than 1,000 girls ages 4.5 to 18 years old. It offers these programs at both Girls Inc. centers in Santa Barbara and Goleta Valley, as well as through many offsite and outreach locations.

Each year, it hosts the One Hundred Committee Luncheon, a benefit that has carved out a distinction through its legacy of power women speakers, including Oprah Winfrey, former First Lady Barbara Bush, professional race car driver Janet Guthrie, broadcaster Joan Lunden, First Lady of California Maria Shriver and Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Wangari Maathai.

For more information on the luncheon or purchasing raffle tickets, please contact Girls Inc. at 805-963-4757, ext. 16.