It was an incredible honor to create an event commemorating the late Michale Towbes, Santa Barbara’s most influential and respected entrepreneur and philanthropist. The community event consisted of an afternoon at the Granada Theatre. Over 2000 spectators and community members gathered as Michael Towbes’ closest friends, family, work confidants and even Governor Jerry Brown took the stage to individually honor and shared in songs, stories, photo collages and favorite memories of the beloved guest of honor. The touching tribute ended with Mr. Towbes friends and family on stage to sing the guest of honor’s favorite song and getting every single spectator of the filled theater on their feet to .
The afternoon memoriam was followed by a champagne toast and mini cupcake reception at the iconic Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Gardens. A quartet performed Mr. Towbes favorite songs while guests mingled and celebrated the life of our community’s beloved philanthropist, and all-around mensch. The garden party included orchids, his favorite flowers as well as personalized cocktail napkins printed with his favorite quotes or “Towbe-isms including:
“Onward and upward…”
“Some of the best deals I ever made were the ones I didn’t make”
”The only thing I like better than a ground breaking is a ribbon cutting”
”I always try to do my best, even when no one is watching”
We had the absolute pleasure of working with Mr. Towbes on several party planner projects, including his 80th Birthday Celebration and Fundraiser for the Granada Theatre Capital Campaign, his 85th birthday brunch and a show at Bacara Resort and Spa, as well as one of his company’s 60th Anniversary Celebration and Roast of MT. Each event was carefully planned to exemplify things Mr. Towbes loved and supported, the arts, fundraising and success in business. Creating this garden party to reflect and combine the personality, passion and entrepreneurial psyche of our local tycoon was the hardest story to tell, and the most rewarding to produce.
Undoubtedly, Mr. Towbes has been a huge influence on our community and the people in it. Everybody wanted to celebrate the life of this extraordinary man, Michael Towbes.
Santa Barbara will not be the same without him.