Awards - Bacara Resort & Spa

News-Press Honors Three Humanitarians
November 12, 2006 7:51 AM

Press co-publisher Arthur von Wiesenberger and, at right, owner and co-publisher Wendy McCaw, flank the newspaper's Lifetime Achievement Award winners: second from left, William S. Thomas Jr., Sara Miller McCune and Morris "Morrie"
South Coast residents William S. Thomas Jr., Sara Miller McCune and Morris "Morrie" Jurkowitz received the Santa Barbara News-Press' Lifetime Achievement Awards Saturday night at the newspaper's 18th annual banquet at the Four Seasons Biltmore Resort. "Each year, the selection committee, made up of past honorees, gathers to review the many qualified and dedicated humanitarians to select this year's recipients," said co-publisher Arthur von Wiesenberger. "We are delighted to recognize and celebrate three key members of our community who tirelessly demonstrate their deep commitment to help locally, and for the betterment of our world. We are proud to salute each of them on this special evening." Mr. Thomas is president and chief executive officer of Pacific Capital Bancorp, a community bank holding company that operates nearly 50 branches in Central California. He is a trustee of the UCSB Foundation and a board member of several organizations, including United Way of Santa Barbara County. He is also chairman of the Fighting Back Community Leaders Advisory Board of the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, and is on the boards of Westmont College and Partners in Education. Ms. Miller McCune is currently the publisher and chairwoman of Sage Publications, a Southern California book- and journal-publishing house, and is president of the McCune Foundation, which sponsors graduate fellowships and book scholarships in the U.S., as well as micro-development projects in India. Among her many honors and distinctions, she was recognized as the "1998 Philanthropist of the Year for Santa Barbara County" by the National Society of Fundraising Executives and as a Lifetime Fellow of Fielding Graduate University. Ms. McCune is a board member for the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts and currently serves as its chief financial officer. A native of Pennsylvania, Mr. Jurkowitz moved to Santa Barbara in 1963 to pursue his real estate development and investment business. He serves on the board of trustees for Santa Barbara City College as well as its Foundation. His board involvement also includes the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara and Unity Shoppe. Mr. Jurkowitz actively contributes to the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts Granada Restoration Campaign, Santa Barbara Ballet, Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Santa Barbara Rescue Mission, The Dream Foundation and Hillel House at UCSB. The event also officially kicks off the News-Press Holiday Fund drive, which will run through New Year's Day. T.M. Storke, founding publisher of the Santa Barbara News-Press, established the News-Press Holiday Fund in 1949 when he broke his leg and was shocked to discover the cost of a wheelchair. The Holiday Fund has since raised more than $2 million for local nonprofits from individuals, local groups, companies and foundations and is an annual tradition continued by its current publishers. Contributions may be mailed to: News-Press Holiday Fund, P.O. Box 1359, Santa Barbara, CA 93102.