Ellen Degeneres, Katy Perry surprise — and pay tribute to — 2,300 first responders at the One805 benefit.

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One805’s Kick Ash Bash gratitude event honored first responders while raising much needed funds for emergency equipment and relief efforts in the wake of the Thomas Fire and subsequent January 9 Debris Flow, which claimed 23 lives and destroyed hundreds of homes.

On Sunday, February 25, at the Bella Vista Polo Club in Santa Barbara County, One805 treated guests to an exciting lineup of live musical performances, family activities, and exhibits by local response agencies. Of the 3,000+ tickets available, 2,300 were donated to first responders and their families who came from across the state.

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Katy Perry surprised guests during the tribute portion of the event when she followed Lauren Cantin — the 14-year-old who was famously rescued from her mud-filled home — while she was performing with her school choir. Perry performed five acoustic songs, including Part of Me, Firework, and Roar. Ellen Degeneres unexpectedly came on stage to offer personal expressions of appreciation, remarking “the news has moved, on but we have not moved on.” A special tribute for Ashley Iverson, widow to fallen firefighter Corey Iverson, was also among the day’s events.

Perry who got her start at the Santa Barbara Farmers’ Market when she was thirteen said, “Santa Barbara will always be my home. I am blessed to be part of One805 in honoring our first responders and survivors,” noted Perry. “After the storm comes light. Everyone here today is a testament to that. This is the light…the community coming together towards healing, recovery, and strength. I am proud to be from Santa Barbara (Goleta).

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Other performers and presenters (all who waived their fees) — in performance order –included Alan Parsons and Friends: David Foster,Katharine McPhee, Dishwalla, The Sisterhood Band, Glen Phillips, Steve Vai, Richard Marx, Wilson Phillips, and Kenny Loggins, who closed out the show. Dennis Miller served as the master of ceremonies.

From 6:15–10:00 pm, the event transitioned to an “After Bash” party, hosted by Michael Keaton. David Crosby and the Sky Trails were joined by Iration, Robby Krieger of The Doors, playing music on The Doors 50th Anniversary, The Caverns, The Feal, plus DJ Zeke Monarrez, DJ Suzanne Boisvert, DJ Matt Moore.

“The good will that comes together at an event like this is a feeling that should be remembered for the rest of our lives,” said Michael Keaton when addressing the audience to kick off the “After Bash.”

“One805 far exceeded our expectations,” noted event coordinator Richard Weston Smith. “Logistically, this event was a bit of a beast. Yet it really was easy to rally performers, volunteers and sponsors around this cause. Collectively, we accomplished something big for our community and for our first responders.”

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All tax deductible funds raised by One805 will be routed through the Santa Barbara Firefighters Alliance. From there, a beneficiary committee comprised of first responders from Santa Barbara City Fire, County Fire, Montecito Fire, City Police, and the Sheriff’s Department will determine the allocation of funds and equipment purchases. Direct Relief International will determine funds for survivor relief and the At-Ease Program, bringing in counselors for first responders.

“It’s really a collaborative process for those of us serving on One805’s beneficiary community,” said Santa Barbara City Fire Chief Pat McElroy. “Essentially, we all take off our badges and say ‘Okay, what does our community need most?’”

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Tony Bowles is one of the youngest sought out journalists in the media world. He focuses on lifestyle, travel, entertainment, food and more! Based out of NYC.

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