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Two Great Schools in Santa Barbara

March 10, 2009

Quote of the day: “What’s up, Toads! Wow, I haven’t called anybody that before–what a great mascot”—crew-member Daniel, to students at Thacher School.

After Los Angeles, Darius and crew headed north to Santa Barbara. First up, we met with some great friends of the cause for a relaxed dinner.

The fish tacos were delicious. Thanks Marco!

Aaron Eidelheit, standing, hosted us in his home. (He also whooped us on the Wii!) Aaron, Marco, and Caroline Farrell—along with family—gave us a great first night in Santa Barbara. More DGW supporters were also there: Max and Shelly Ruston, along with Geri and Jerry Bidwell and two of their three daughters.

Everybody made the night memorable for crew member John Hadden, who turned 25. Happy birthday, boy!

Next, Brooke and Alex Bidwell decided to use Aaron’s Wii to make characters based on Darius and Daniel.

Above, Daniel stands in front of his. They look so similar, it’s eerie.

After dinner, we were off to meet our Santa Barbara hosts: Margo and Jeff Barbakow (above with Logan).

Jeff is the president of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, which served as Darius Goes West’s first-ever film festival (and the movie’s first Audience Choice Award win). Ever since, Margo and Jeff have been incredibly generous to Darius and the crew, and to the cause of eradicating Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Some of the crew members even stayed at Margo and Jeff’s wonderful Montecito home.

Margo and Jeff’s son Max helped with Darius’s visit to Yale, and in Santa Barbara, Margo and Jeff organized a visit to Max’s former high school.

Our visit to Thacher School was awesome. Thacher is a very prestigious institution, and the students were incredibly motivated and compassionate.

After the screening, we got to hang out with some of the students and faculty, as well as others in the Thacher community. Props to Chris Mazzola for setting this visit up.

We had a blast sharing laughter with Thacher students over ice cream–and enjoying the magnificent campus.

Finally, we made our way back to the Barbakows for late-night pizza and movies.

Next up, Darius went to Santa Barbara Middle School.

SBMS hooked up with DGW around the same time as Margo and Jeff did; during Darius Goes West’s premiere at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, students interviewed the crew.

Since then, Darius has served as a source of inspiration to both students and staff at SBMS. Students made a film of their Darius-inspired adventures and shared it with the crew.

Above, a teacher offers Darius a bit of competition as a budding rap artist.

SBMS values creativity and expression, and those are gifts they continue to share with DGW.

As Darius and crew visit schools across the country, we are in constant awe of the amazing students growing up in our schools. Thanks so much, Margo, Jeff, and everyone who had a hand in bringing us to Thacher and SBMS!


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2 Responses to “Two Great Schools in Santa Barbara”

  1. On March 11th, 2009, Joan said:

    The rap that the teacher wrote is wonderful! It makes my heart sing to see others moved just like we are in S.C. You guys really are making a difference in people as well as for DMD!
    Keep rocking!

  2. On May 12th, 2010, Sandokazi said:

    Super Duper-site! I like this! Back again

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