Barringers, Askrens honored at SPMH Foundation ‘Celebrate the Season’ gala

December 29, 2002
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesThe Santa Paula Memorial Hospital Foundation honored two very special couples, Cathy and Carl Barringer of Santa Paula, and Carol and Pat Askren, Fillmore Fire Chief, at the annual “Celebrate the Season!” fundraiser, held Dec. 14th at Las Posas County Club.The club was turned into a winter wonderland with decorations reflecting the holidays as over 300 people gathered to support the hospital as well as the evening’s honorees, the Barringers, honored as this year’s Distinguished Citizens, and the Askrens, awarded the hospital foundation’s Meritorious Service Award.“We’re thrilled that so many people are here to support the hospital foundation,” said Celebrate the Season chairwoman Gabie Reeves, who with Anne Thille, Foundation President Martha Knight, Debbie Johnson, Maria Bombara, Marla De Zavala, Tami Cobos and SPMH CEO Mark Gregson spent months planning the event.Peggy Kelly was Master of Ceremonies for the evening, and with Dr. Mike Tushla presented the awards to the Barringers and Askrens.Cathy and Carl Barringer met at Stanford University when Carl returned to college after serving in the Army during World War II, where he was a highly decorated Infantry Squad Leader with the 104th Timberwolf Division.After they graduated from Stanford, the Barringers married in 1948 and moved to Santa Paula, where Carl became an independent contractor, Real Estate Broker and property manager; Barringer & Botke built the first addition to SPMH.Carl, a Past President of the Chamber of Commerce, served two terms - including double stints as Mayor - on the Santa Paula City Council. Citizen of the Year in 1981, Carl has been a longtime member and is Past Commander of the Mercer-Prieto VFW Post 2043; the Post supplies the SPMH flags and Carl moderates the annual Veterans Day and Memorial Day observances.Carl has been a member of the Santa Paula Rotary for over 50 years where he was twice honored with the Paul Harris Fellowship Award and served as President, and has been devoted to Polio Plus and Junior Achievement, among other programs.The Barringer’s four children attended the event; they also have seven grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.Cathy, a SPHS substitute teacher, was a founding member in 1980 of the Santa Clara Valley Hospice and is now serving her seventh term as President. She was the second woman to serve as the foreperson of the Ventura County Grand Jury and is the Past President of American Field Service Exchange Program, Ventura County Garden Club and the Las Patronas-Auxiliary of National Assistance League.Cathy was the President of the Board of Interface Children Family Services for two terms and has served the board for 16 years.She has been honored by Ventura County Caregivers, was Citizen of the Year 1994, Soroptimist Woman of Distinction, Santa Paula Woman of History, and received the Joe Nesbitt Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award in 1997.The Barringers, with family and friends, established the Margo Morrison Memorial Rose Garden on Hospital Hill over 25 years ago, now a glorious mini-park and community gathering place.The Barringers have opened their Oaks home for various fundraisers and in support of numerous organizations.
Carol and Patrick Askren, Fillmore High School sweethearts, married on Christmas Eve 36 years ago.Carol attended California Lutheran Hospital School of Nursing while Pat attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; he was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War, serving in Germany. Carol joined him overseas, working OB in the Army Hospital.Pat started with the Fillmore Volunteer Fire Department in 1976, and became the city’s first full-time Chief in 1987. He is the past President of the Fillmore Rotary Club, Fillmore High School Booster Club, co-founder of Grad Nite Live, Vice President of the Santa Clara Valley Historical Society, and is Past President of the Ventura County Fire Chief’s Association. Pat was Fillmore Citizen of the Year in 1999.Carol had been a Community Memorial Nursing Supervisor when she joined SPMH in 1978 as an ER staff nurse. Although she had thoughts of retirement a dozen years ago, Carol was promoted to ER Supervisor and Assistant Director of Nurses and serves on multiple SPMH committees, as well as representing the hospital on Ventura County emergency medical service committees.A Soroptimist International Woman of Distinction in 2000, Carol is widely respected for her care of patients beyond SPMH, ensuring that any special needs are met before patients are released. She has arranged ER clothing donations for trauma and needy patients, and is considered an invaluable SPMH asset for her effortless ability to function well at any level required.As a team, the Askrens were admired for their efforts immediately following the 1994 Northridge Earthquake which destroyed much of Fillmore when it struck at about 4:30 a.m.Carol rushed to SPMH to establish the river valley’s first triage center while Pat dealt with the fires, destruction and injuries that occurred in Fillmore.Carol enjoys her aptly named Treasure Station in Fillmore, a collectibles shop where she works with her partners.The Askrens have a son and a daughter and one granddaughter.The evening featured a Silent Auction for last minute gift buying as well as a live auction of fantasy items, from a Dodger package - including visits with Pitching Coach Jim Colburn and the players - to a stay and unlimited golf at the Ojai Valley Inn. Bidders also snapped up tickets to the UCLA-USC basketball rivalry game and rights to a Tahoe cabin for 10 for three nights.

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