The Story Behind the Event


Evacuated from the Thomas Fire, three Montecito friends -- Eric Phillips, Pat Smith, and Sheila Herman – met up in Los Angeles where they anxiously awaited news and the fate of their homes. Marveling at the heroism of the first responders, they all agreed: when the fire was finally contained, the men and women of the fire, police, sheriff and CHP would need to be properly thanked. Their friends, Patrick and Ursula Nesbitt, agreed to host an event at their estate and the idea soon took off. The first committee meeting was held Christmas Eve and in just over a week, nearly $250,000 had been raised.

What is it: Kick Ash Bash will first and foremost be a day of fun for our first responders, in a heartfelt statement of immense gratitude. After all, they just saved our town! This will be a family-friendly celebration that includes live music, food, drink, and entertainment for the kids. The event has already been paid for by the immediate and extraordinary generosity of individuals and local foundations. All of our firefighters and first responders are now covered to attend with their families at no cost. 

Who Benefits? Having covered the cost of the event, we hope to raise money to help our First Responders purchase equipment they desperately need but not in their budgets. For that, we are seeking corporate sponsorships and private donations. This is the first ever event in our community to bring together ALL of our first responders - fire, police, sheriff, and CHP - under one banner. It benefits everyone in our community and County, regardless of where they live. Our fundraising Goal: $500,000+

Who manages the funds raised? Senior representatives from Santa Barbara’s Police, Fire, and Sheriff are all on the committee. All funds are being directed to the Santa Barbara Firefighters Alliance -- a 501(c)3 – which will distribute them to all first responder organizations. 

Where: Kick Ash Bash will be held at Patrick and Ursula Nesbitt's Bella Vista Estate -- providing ample space for the expected 1,000+ people in attendance.

When: Sunday February 25, 2018 from 12 – 6 pm

Entertainment: Prominent celebrities and musicians being confirmed, TBA under separate cover.

Event Committee



Eric Phillips & Patrick Nesbitt


Kids Festival, Karla Blackwell

Kirsten Cavendish and Tammy Hughes, Entertainment Committee

Caroline Harrah, Marketing & PR

Sheriff Bill Brown

Officer Greg Hons

Captain Tony Pighetti

Warner Anderson

Tracy Bollag 

Kirsten Cavendish 

Mike Eliason 

Sheila Herman 

Diana Starr Langley 

Ian Mather 

Arlene Montesano 

Kristi Newton 

Tom Parker 

Marla McNally Phillips 

Tom Rollerson 

Pat Smith 

John and Olesya Thyne 

Committee Chairs

Diana Starr Langley, Budget & Finance and
Food & Beverage

MIke McGrew and Officer Greg Hons, Venue and Operations


Chief Pat McElroy

Lt. Kevin Huddle

Captain Cindy Pontes

Mary Bahnken 

Debbie Borden

James Darnborough 

Joanne Funari 

Tammy Hughes 

Elliot Lowndes 

Alixe Mattingly 

Holly Murphy 

Jimmy Nigro 

Robyn Parker 

Nina Phillips 

Lisa Sands 

Richard Weston-Smith 

Leanne Wood 

Tom Parker, Foundation and Individual Giving

Captain Tony Pighetti, Philanthropy

Richard Weston-Smith, Corporate Sponsorships

Chief Chip Hickman

Chief Lori Luhnow  

Ali Ahlstrand 

Karla Blackwell 

Paul Cashman 

Lisa Douglas 

Caroline Harrah 

Andria Kahmann 

Diana MacFarlane 

Mike McGrew 

Ursula Nesbitt 

Rachel Nobles 

Lee Phillips 

Catherine Remak

Denise Sanford 

Roxie Solakian