After hosting a virtual campaign in place of the Red Feather Ball in 2020, guests gathered in person for the first time in two years for the 24th annual Red Feather event, held on October 8th, 2021. Due to lingering restrictions and safety concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was reformatted from a traditional indoor ball to an outdoor reception held in two parts.
The first portion of the evening, Act I, was held at the private estate of Xorin Balbes and Truman Davies. Guests celebrated at the newly renovated property alongside the event’s six co-chairs: Shari Liu Fellows, Amber Ortiz, Nati Smith, Belle Hahn, Lily Hahn, and Fran Kirchmair and honorary committee members. Over the course of the evening, attendees heard from Shari Liu Fellows, event co-chair and member of the United Way Board of Directors, followed by commentary from Steve Ortiz, President and CEO of the organization. The brief presentation focused on the importance of United Way’s educational programming, which has become even more essential with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health and well-being of students of Santa Barbara County. After the formal reception at Act I came to a close, guests were escorted two doors down to the home of Michael & Nati Smith for music, cocktails, and dancing.
Traditionally, the Red Feather event is a primary source of funds for United Way’s educational programs, including the award-winning Fun in the Sun summer program and the local United Learning Centers. In 2019, the Red Feather Ball broke records as the highest-grossing fundraiser in the organization’s history. For the 2021 campaign, United Way raised a total of $223,444, with the third-highest net revenue in the event's history. United Way credits its supportive network with this success and looks forward to a return to a traditional event next year.
PIctured: Guests at Act I | Event hosts, Xorin Balbes & Truman Davies with Belle Hahn and James Semick | Steve Ortiz, President & CEO
Event Co-Chairs, Fran Kirchmair, Lily Hahn, Belle Hahn, Amber Ortiz, Shari Liu Fellows, Nati Smith