Friday, December 12, 2008

Benefit for Burn Victims

I don't usually do this, but today I'm devoting my entire post to an e-mail I received yesterday from Jennifer Rose of the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization. It's about a fundraiser for burn victims, Lance and Carla Hoffman.

When the Tea Fire took the home and studio of one of our long time Directors, Laura Knight, owner of Pascucci, our Board immediately and collectively came together and said “how can we help”? And in true Laura form, caring for others when she herself had just suffered a devastating blow, she replied, “Don’t do anything for me, please help out Lance and Carla”…and thus started the makings of the benefit for Lance and Carla.

As two long term employees of downtown businesses, Carla at Metro Entertainment and Lance, first at Pacific Traveler Supply and then at Paseo Nuevo, it seemed a great idea. Lots of downtown businesses jumped on board and Metropolitan Theatres immediately offered up their one black night of the holiday season and convinced Paramount Studios to donate one of Carla’s favorite movies free of charge. A trip to Hawaii was donated soon after by Santa Barbara Travel Bureau. Internet friends of the pair from around the country have been offering up their services. With food and drinks from many of Santa Barbara’s favorite providers rolling in, plus free advertising from many of the City’s media outlets we thought the benefit could be a huge success.

I met with Lance and Carla’s mothers on Monday and got an update on their status. While their children are very scared and are facing a long struggle, the two exhausted women were very upbeat and encourage me to thank everyone who was helping to support their children. As a result of our conversation we have asked people that can’t or won’t be attending the benefit to turn the tickets over to our First Responder thank you list. All the donated tickets will be turned over to First Responders of the Tea Fire and their families so they can join in the fun.

Whether the economy is slow, people have donated to other charities, the movie is not to their liking or any other of a number of reasons, ticket sales are slow. After meeting their families I know how important it is that every penny we raise is just one less worry that the couple and the rest of the family will have. So, if you do have a moment to mention the benefit, either on your blog or just to your acquaintances, anything will help. Below is the press release with all of the details if you are interested in getting the word out.

Consider it done.

Movie Benefit for the
Lance & Carla Hoffman Trust

On Monday, December 15th please plan to attend a movie benefit for the Lance & Carla Hoffman Trust. Ticket holders will be able to enjoy a movie that Tea Fire burn victim’s Lance and Carla have taken pleasure in countless times. In honor of Carla’s love of the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan will be shown at the Arlington Theatre. Thanks to a generous donation from Paramount Studios and The Metropolitan Theatre Corporation all proceeds will go to the Hoffman Trust. While Lance and Carla continue to improve at the UC Irvine Regional Burn Center, they are still facing months of expensive recovery and rehabilitation. In hopes of assisting with their medical costs and to help them successfully return to live in the Santa Barbara area, the downtown business community is rallying around two of their long-time employees.

The 7pm benefit screening, emceed by John Palminteri, will also include a free drawing for all ticket holders. A drawing for a 4-night Hawaiian vacation including airfare, hotel and car voucher donated by Santa Barbara Travel Bureau is all part of the $15 dollar ticket price. In addition, a limited number of $25 tickets will also be sold. These tickets include the movie and drawing, but also allow ticketholders to attend a pre-movie reception in the Arlington Courtyard. The appetizer, martini and wine reception, catered by Olio e Limone, Café Buenos Aires, Los Arroyos, Pascucci, opal restaurant, California Pizza Kitchen, Santa Barbara Olive Company and Fess Parker Winery will begin at 5:45 pm.

Tickets are available through, the Arlington Theatre Box Office, Paseo Nuevo Management Offices and Metro Entertainment. For more information call the Downtown Organization at 962-2098 ext. 10 or email