For immediate release:
For information: Deborah Bertling

(Santa Barbara, CA. April 2023) – For four board members serving on the Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation (PASF) this year, helping young artists achieve their dreams has become a way to give back and to honor traditions of family service.

Members Erin Bonski-Evans, Neil Di Maggio, Marjorie Gies and Noel Lucky, all serve the foundation’s 2023 board as second-generation board members, said the organization’s President of the Board Deborah Bertling. Two members, Bonski-Evans and Di Maggio, once competed for PASF awards themselves. Gies and Lucky have family members who have served on the foundation’s board.

Established in 1982, the Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation provides financial aid to deserving vocal and instrumental students in Santa Barbara County. The annual competition encourages young musicians to strive for excellence and supports them in their growth as performers.

“It’s an incredible organization supporting young rising talent,” said Bonski-Evans who joined the board as its new secretary. A Minister of Music at First Presbyterian Church since 2015, Bonski-Evans previously competed and won third place in the foundation’s 18- to 30-year-old instrumental division, an experience she said helped launch her career as a professional musician and teacher.

Also a professional musician and teacher, Di Maggio, who is a pianist, and his wife Andrea, who is a flutist, both competed for scholarship awards from PASF. “The awards were instrumental in our early careers,” Di Maggio said. “I am grateful for the Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation and its donors, and give back for these reasons.”

Dr. Gies, medical director at Casa Serena, learned about PASF from her mother, Rosalind Amorteguy Fendon, who actively supported the foundation during her childhood and has herself served on the board for over 20 years. Dr. Gies’ grandparents were good friends of founder Sylvia Dellar, and her husband, Lincoln.

“I grew up experiencing the competitions,” Dr. Gies explained. “Early on, concerts were in people’s homes. Sylvia’s friends were the judges. She even coached the competitors, including on how to dress.”

Now an avid supporter of the Santa Barbara music community, Dr. Gies has also served on the board of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra.

Lucky’s parents, especially her father, Charles, were also involved in PASF during her childhood. They helped Dellar establish PASF, instilling in Lucky the importance of giving back to the community. When Lucky, who has a career in advertising and marketing, moved back to Santa Barbara in 2017, Bertling invited her to get involved in PASF herself. Lucky happily agreed to become a board member.

The board members will join seven others in completing the foundation’s board for the 2023 season.

Since 1982, PASF has helped hundreds of students achieve their performing arts goals through competition award funds, as well as through encouragement awards to select students in the audition process. Applicants range in age from 16 to 29 and compete for scholarships amounting to more than $27,000. Scholarships are awarded primarily on the basis of talent and skill, but financial need is also considered.

From left to right Erin Bonski-Evans, Noel Lucky-Ris, Marjorie Gies and Neil DiMaggio
From left to right Erin Bonski-Evans, Noel Lucky-Ris, Marjorie Gies and Neil DiMaggio