SYV Elks support troops with donation

Santa Ynez Valley Elks Lodge 2640 presented We Support the Troops with a check for $2,500 from a grant made possible by the Elks National Foundation. The group will use the funds for food, hygiene items and other materials for active-duty military members, sending more than 100 boxes each month.

SYV We Support the Troops is an all-volunteer effort charged with soliciting the donations of supporters, purchasing the necessary goods requested by those deployed, and packaging and mailing the boxes to American troops serving in combat zones.

To get more information or learn how to volunteer, go to For more about the Santa Ynez Elks Lodge, go to


Poll workers needed for November election

The Santa Barbara County Registrar of Voters office is looking for volunteers to serve as poll workers for the Nov. 6 election.

Community participation is key to staffing the nearly 170 precinct boards for the election, a spokesman said. Some large employers in the county show support by allowing and encouraging their employees to participate.

“Poll workers are on the frontline of democracy; without them voting does not happen,” said Joseph E. Holland, County Clerk-Recorder-Assessor and Registrar of Voters.

People who work at a polling place receive a stipend of $180 to $240 for Election Day and to attend training. Each polling place has one or more Precinct Boards composed of one inspector and two to four clerks. Each polling place has a coordinator and, if needed, a traffic clerk.

To learn more about the poll worker program and training process, go to To sign up, call 844-259-0348 or email in the Santa Ynez Valley and North County, or for South Coast polling stations.


Buellton Senior Center thanks volunteers, donors, staff and supporters

The Buellton Senior Center on Aug. 9 “gathered all the many people together who contribute time, money, food, and love to make the center such a wonderful place,” at the home of Executive Director Pam Gnekow and her husband Bill.

The Gnekows set up their tennis court for an outdoor dinner with stations for appetizers, barbecued tri-tip and chicken, baked potatoes with all the trimmings, green salad, decadent desserts and beverages.

Eighty-seven people attended and were called up in groups to be thanked and receive framed certificates with their names to acknowledge their contributions. Board President David Lehman, who is moving out of the area, was presented with a going-away gift for his new home.


Donors to get free dinner after Vikings blood drive

Donors at a blood drive hosted by the Vikings of Solvang from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, will receive a $25 voucher for dinner at a participating local restaurant.

The Vikings are volunteering to coordinate the event, which will be at the Solvang Veterans Memorial Hall, through United Blood Services (UBS) of the Central Coast.

“The Vikings rely on the generous people in the Santa Ynez Valley for a successful blood drive,” said Rene Martinez, this year’s Viking chief. “Our goal is to collect at least 100 pints of blood, and the free dinner is our way to thank you for your support — and for your donation of blood for those who need it.”

Walk-in donors are welcome, but UBS asks that donors make an appointment in advance, if possible, at, using sponsor code 1081, or by calling 805-543-4290, ext. 0.

Donors must be 18 or older. They are asked to eat a meal and drink plenty of water before arriving, and to bring photo identification. For more information call the Vikings blood drive chairman, Max Hanberg, at 805-688-6012.

The Vikings of Solvang are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides help for the medically related needs of qualified people and organizations in Santa Barbara County, with a goal of improving people’s quality of life.

For more information, go to


Danish homestay program seeking host families

In February 2019, Santa Ynez Valley Union High School will have close to 30 new students when the Neils Brock Homestay program returns to the valley for a seventh year.

The program also allows local families to get a first-hand introduction to Danish culture by sharing their home and community with a Danish student.

The group of students, who are between 15 and 17 years old, arrives at the beginning of February and departs June 1. Once here, students attend the high school but are taught their own curriculum to align with their degree requirements back home.

North American colleges and universities are considered to be among the best in the world, and it is a priority for many Danish parents that their children get to experience the American culture and educational system first-hand. By becoming a homestay host, families will give a Danish student a chance of a lifetime.

Host families receive a $600 monthly stipend and in return are asked to welcome the student into their family and community.

For more information or to participate, contact Jutta Aichinger at or 805-637-8956.

For more information about Niels Brock and the Solvang project, visit