Club’s ‘Black and Green Ball’ funds to help local homeless shelter

Jayne Bittner and Jayne Bittner

In an attempt to educate the local community and raise funds for Santa Barbara’s Transition House, a City College student organization will be hosting a benefit ball in May with the nonprofit homeless shelter.

Club G.R.I.D., which stands for Growing Resources International and Domestic, is putting on a Black and Green Ball at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 28 at the Fess Parker Double Tree. The ball will raise funds for the Transition House for educational programs, said Jerrel KeyAuthor, G.R.I.D.’s founder.

“G.R.I.D.’s tagline is ‘by building bridges with mind, heart and spirit,'” KeyAuthor said. “And that really encompasses education, the community, the home and families.”

KeyAuthor said his organization is working on the event with a local production company, Intrigue Productions, which is the club’s affiliate. All of the funds raised at the ball will benefit the Transition House.

The event is based on the concept of Transition House’s three-step program. According to the shelter’s Web site, the first step offers emergency shelter, the second provides six months in a communal living home to working families, and the third gives families a chance to apply for affordable housing in one of the shelter’s apartments in a more permanent setting.

Funds raised at the ball will aid the three-step program by offering classes aimed toward educating families through the Transition House about nutrition, sustainability, biodiversity, and horticulture, KeyAuthor said.

“These are going to be classes that they’ll be able to take and get careers in, because the environmental field is a huge field,” he said.

The event, which is open to the public, will include music, a bar, and dinner for guests, as well as a silent auction and raffles with prizes, like a Wii console, KeyAuthor said.

Guest speakers will be featured as well, including City College Biological Sciences Assistant Professor Adam Green, Leif Skogberg, Santa Barbara County’s Recycling Coordinator, and Pam Tuttle from the California Student Sustainability Coalition.

KeyAuthor also said a possible after-party is in the works, likely at a local club downtown such as Sandbar, EOS, or Sharkeez.

“It’s really more about getting people active and not only about the environmental field but the fact that it all has to do with everything – the big philosophy of it is biodiversity, and everything’s connected,” KeyAuthor said. “So we’re really trying to educate people and get people aware about these topics.”

Tickets for the event are $35 per person, and can be purchased online through Intrigue Production’s Web site, or purchased by contacting KeyAuthor through G.R.I.D.’s Web site.