‘Day of Healing’ Precedes Somber Vigil

A vigil for Thomas fire and Montecito mudslide vicitims was held Jan. 14 at the courthouse Sunken Garden.

Several hundred men, women and youngsters crowded into the downtown Impact Hub on Jan. 14 to decompress from the double whammy of the recent deadly Thomas fire and subsequent Montecito mudslide. 

Impact Hub General Manager Dan Ferrick told a crowd on the facility’s patio under blue skies and 80-degree weather that the community will be stronger together if it comes together and helps each other as Sunday’s event was intended to do. Impact Hub decided to stage the event just two days prior to actually holding it. 

It included live music, massage therapy, food, drinks, counseling, a children’s room and other stress-relieving activities. It appeared to be one of Impact Hub’s most well-attended events by bringing some 300 to 400 people through the collaborative shared office space. 

For most of the past week, Impact Hub opened its doors to various companies and office workers from Carpinteria, Summerland and Montecito who lacked Internet, electricity, natural gas, potable water and other services. 

The counterpoint of Sunday, however, was the following vigil for the fire and mudslide victims, which included two who died in the fire and at least 20 who perished in the flood. Several people were still missing in Montecito as of the evening of Jan. 14. 

Several thousand people attended the evening vigil at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Garden. The names of mudslide victims were read as some audience members lighted candles in the evening gloom. 

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