All Are Welcome Through December 31, 2022 to Hillside’s 6th Annual Shining Light on Abilities

By Giving List Staff   |   December 19, 2022
Residents L to R Pilar, Richie, Michael, and Laura with Santa Claus #16

The Hillside 6th Annual Shining Light on Abilities is open! All are welcome to visit and experience the festive display of holiday decorations and brilliant lights nightly through December 31. Admission is free for this family-friendly, must-see holiday extravaganza at Hillside, 1235 Veronica Springs Road, Santa Barbara.

Troop 37 Scouts at Harmony House
Quinn McCormick and Mona

Earlier this month, the Assistance League® of Santa Barbara carolers led by Ann Rudolph; Gail Campanella, accordionist extraordinaire; and Santa Claus joined residents; their families and loved ones; and other attendees and sang Christmas and Hanukkah songs. Snowflakes fell just as Michael Rassler, President & CEO; Santa Claus; and Candace, Hillside resident, led the countdown to the lighting of the decorations and lights. It was magical, and the residents were thrilled! To close the program, everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to the residents celebrating their December birthdays. Santa Claus reminded everyone: “Be good and no peeking!” 

“I am grateful to the Hillside Facilities Team and those who helped create such a beautiful presentation for everyone to enjoy – residents, their families and loved ones, staff, neighbors, sponsors, donors, volunteers, the Santa Barbara community, and all on the trolley lights tours,” said Michael Rassler. Lending the Facilities Team a hand with the setup were Troop 37 Scouts, who volunteered for the fifth year during their Thanksgiving break. Will Rubison of Troop 37 (bottom row on the left) had the distinction of being the Scout who traveled the farthest – driving all the way from San Francisco to be at Hillside to volunteer. Said Rubison, a junior in Alta Vista’s Middle College program, “Helping at Hillside with Shining Light on Abilities around Thanksgiving has become a Troop 37 tradition; I wanted to be here to show the younger Scouts the importance of volunteering, plus Hillside always feeds us well!”

Hillside 6th Annual Shining Lights on Abilities

In addition to the lights and decorations, the display includes a slideshow produced by Elizabeth Arendt, Office Manager, and features some of the 59 individuals living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Here, the residents are shining light on their abilities and sharing who they are and what they can do. “I am happy to be part of the slideshow and share that I like to help other residents,” offers Mona, who has lived at Hillside since 2015, and earlier this year graduated from Project SEARCH, a job coach program of employment preparation for individuals with disabilities. The slideshow plays continuously on a large-screen monitor in the picture window of the main Hillside building. It also expresses gratitude to the Sponsors including (to date): Demboski & Chapman Financial and Insurance Solutions; Easy Lift Transportation; Jordano’s; Klein DeNatale Goldner Attorneys At Law; MarBorg Industries; John D. Rubin Enterprises; and Unity Shoppe.

There is still time to be a sponsor to help “keep the lights on” at Hillside and fund therapies, programs, and the services residents rely on since many are still unable to attend their off-site day programs. For Sponsorship Opportunities, please contact Michael Padden-Rubin, Director of Development, at 805-687-0788 x115 or or visit Donations are welcome at;using Hillside’s QR code on the right; or via the donation lockbox at the main entrance when visiting for Shining Light on Abilities. Proceeds benefit Hillside and the residents. 

Hillside residents and staff are grateful to all who made gifts during 2022 including year-end donations this month. Thank you! Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season and New Year to all! 



Donate now!
(805) 687-0788 x111
(805) 766-0896 (m)
President & CEO: Michael S. Rassler


Our mission is to provide a home that supports our residents’ efforts to maximize their physical, cognitive, social, and emotional abilities so that they can attain their highest level of independence in an environment where people are treated with dignity and respect.

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Caring for our son JP was extremely hard on our whole family. My marriage was suffering, and I didn’t really have a relationship with our daughter. It was all so overwhelming and difficult. JP’s needs were too much for us to handle. Hillside has enabled us to be a family again. JP is happy, all his needs are being taken care of, and he is learning so much. I have a healthy marriage now, and a great relationship with our daughter. We are so grateful for the wonderful care and love Hillside provides our son.
Lisa Wilcox, Mother of JP (Hillside Resident) and Hillside Board Member

Equity and Inclusion for Hillside Residents

Hillside residents live far below the poverty level. Government reimbursements cover the bare minimum: room, board, and essential medical care. In order to help residents reach their goals, Hillside must raise in excess of $800,000 a year to fund a variety of critically important services, programs, and activities including:

• One-on-One Aides – most residents require individual care for walking or wheelchair use, dressing, eating, bathing, and toiletry;

• Speech Therapy – crucial to help residents express themselves so they can let their wants and needs be known;

• Physical Education – adaptive sports and movement increase mobility and bring residents a sense of accomplishment;

• Behavioral Therapy – decreases maladaptive behavior and teaches residents techniques to help cope with their challenges; 

• Physical Therapy – maximizes residents range of motion, reduces pain, and prevents locking of joints;

• Aquatic Therapy – helps residents gain more muscle control, increase their self-confidence, and improve physical function;

• Skills Development – to achieve greater independence such as cooking, money recognition, and using assistive technologies.

Key Supporters

Ann Jackson Family Foundation
Assistance League of Santa Barbara
Henry W. Bull Foundation
Chumash Foundation
City of SB Human Services
Demboski & Chapman Financial
Brad and Cynthia Frohling
Norris and Barry Goss
Hutton Parker Foundation
IOA Insurance Services, Inc.
Jim and Chana Jackson
Latkin Charitable Foundation
Donald Logan
June G. Outhwaite Foundation
Joan Redmond & Susan Crossley
Robert Ross
Santa Barbara Foundation
Gary Simpson/SB Home
St. Francis Foundation
Thomson Charitable Foundation
Towbes Foundation
Peter and Gina Troesch
Alice Tweed Tuohy Foundation
Williams-Corbett Foundation
Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara