Nonprofit LifeChronicles Bestows Remarkable Life Award on Harry and Judi Weisbart

by | May 4, 2024 | Featured Nonprofits

Judi was eight years old when her father died. She struggles to remember his face and the sound of his voice. Harry’s father passed away when Harry was just 23 years old.

Both wish they could have had a LifeChronicles video of their father. Instead, they have dedicated themselves to helping others remember their loved ones through the profound videos by founder, Kate Carter, and her team.

LifeChronicles will honor local luminaries, Harry and Judi Weisbart, with the Remarkable Life Award at their Dancing With Our Stars event on June 15.

“We both believe Kate’s work is powerful,” Judi said. “We want to honor her work and help LifeChronicles remain healthy by raising funds and awareness.”

Snuggled up on their sunshine yellow love seat, Harry and Judi reminisced about their 51 years together and told Noozhawk the secret of their lifelong joy.

During the pandemic, Harry’s kids were worried about him going out so much to dance.  “I’m 86 years old,” Harry told them. “Dancing gives me joy so I’m not giving that up.” He believes that people are joyous when they are dancing. Harry is 88 years old now and still loves cutting a rug with Judi who is 73.

Judi and Harry both find joy in giving back to their community. “We feel blessed to live in Santa Barbara,” Judi said. “We believe that improving our community brings joy to us all and is the rent we pay for living in such a beautiful place.”

“Judi helps support so many nonprofits because she has a big heart and she can’t say no,” said Harry. “I do it because she drags me along and I love supporting her.”

Harry and Judi will be receiving the 8th annual Remarkable Life Award, which honors a couple who has led an outstanding life of service to the community. “Judi and Harry have been unsung heroes for many years in Santa Barbara, working tirelessly for a diversity of causes that improve the lives of others,” said Kate Carter, founder of LifeChronicles. “Our work is meaningful to them on a personal level, and we are grateful for the support they have given to our mission for years.”

Judi served as program director and then development director for Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) from 1993 until 2000. She worked with WEV founder, Marsha Bailey, in the early years because she has a heart for education and social justice. Judi started their first signature event called The Business of Fashion. Models were comprised of a variety of people from the community. Harry even helped with the show which was held at the Coral Casino.

In 2009, Judi started her business, A Busy Woman. She specializes in creating strategic, mission-driven fundraising events for nonprofits such as New Beginnings, CommUnify, Foodbank, the Anti-Defamation League, the Library Foundation and Montecito Firefighters Charitable Foundation.

Harry has a heart for the elderly. Every week he would read chapters in a book to 100-year-old Natalie Meyerson. “She always dressed to the nines in her own house in St. John knits and heels,” Harry said. “She died last year at 102 and never had a memory problem.”

Harry also served as a board member for Sarah House, as a mentor for CADA and he delivers food to the elderly for the Foodbank. He even does dance routines with Beth Amine on a video to help her raise funds for her nonprofit, Joyous Movement, which helps the elderly at places like Friendship Center enjoy music and dancing.

For the last 26 years, Life Chronicles has been creating magic for families. From the young mother with three children and a husband who is dying of cancer to the grandparents who want to leave a message for their family, these videos leave a powerful legacy.

“Kate connects people with ideas, helping them leave important messages for their friends and family,” Judi said. “This isn’t just for people who are dying. Kate made a video for Harry and I for our 40th anniversary. She has a magical way of getting people to open up on camera, saying things you want your kids to know but you don’t particularly want to discuss with them.”

LifeChronicles has traveled to 430 cities to film 2,000 videos. Those wishing to contribute to this profound work can give financially or donate their airline miles. The cost for a video is $3,500 but no one is ever turned away. Therefore, everyone is encouraged to contribute what they can to the important work of LifeChronicles.

Kate’s vision for the future is to compile all the films in one place, organize them into categories and post them to a website where teachers can help students learn from real life situations. She will call it LifeSpace.

LifeChronicles also invites young people to participate as part of the filming crew. Kate has found that this helps them learn compassion and how to communicate. “When they are behind the camera, they get to see the real world, not just on social media,” Kate said. “People facing the end of their life often talk about what really matters.”

Councilmember, Oscar Gutierrez, credits his time behind the LifeChronicles camera when he was 17 years old with keeping him from going down the wrong road.

“It’s not just about the dying, it’s about the living and leaving a legacy,” Judi said. “LifeChronicles gives us the opportunity to be remembered as who we really are.”