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Community Service


 Project Pajamas, Founder 2007-present

Bi-annual drive to collect new pajamas for homeless and disadvantaged children.

Project Pajamas is dedicated to providing a new pair of pajamas to every child in Santa Cruz County who is homeless, or arrives at a shelter, even if they just stay one night,  or in any form of transitional housing.  Whatever may be happening in the adults lives, the children are not to blame and must be very scared.  Giving them a new pair of PJs – theirs to keep even if they just stay one night – will help them feel warm and safe and may even help them think someone cares. Since 2007, more than 10,000 pairs of PJs have been distributed to kids in need.  Some of the recipients include, but are not limited to:

The Rebele Family Homeless Shelter, the Salvation Army; The Walnut Avenue Family and Child Shelter; Sienna House; the Boys and Girls Club; CASA; the Children’s Palliative Care society; Jacob’s Heart; the Pajaro Valley Homeless Shelter;  Above the Line; New Life Community; the Jesus, Joseph and Mary home; Monarch Services battered women’s shelter; Valley Churches United; Barrios Unidos; Family Preservation Court; Spanish children in foster care; Haven of Hope. 

"Ari's passion for Project Pajamas has made a difference in the lives of thousands of local children." --  Rene Schlaepfer


Santa Cruz Sunrise Rotary – 

Ari has been an active member of the Sunrise Rotary since 1997.  The goal of Rotary is to encourage and foster the idea of service to our community.  The Sunrise Club, through its active membership and generosity, contributes over $100,000 per year to our community and youth.  Some of the projects Sunrise Rotary has spearheaded and contributed to include the Santa Cruz High Track and Field; the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center; Leo’s Haven, the county’s first inclusive park; the Pump Course located at Grant Park; the Tannery; CASA; Teen Kitchen; Second Harvest Food Bank; the Butch Baker and Elizabeth Butler Scholarship Fund.   Sunrise Rotary is an active sponsor of Project Pajamas as well. 

The Criminal Justice Council (CJC) –

 The Purpose of the Criminal Justice Council is to create a forum for discussion of and recommendations for programs and plans for solutions to criminal justice issues.  Ari has been on the executive Board since the CJC was reconstituted in 2011 and been the Chairperson for six years.  The CJC membership includes the sheriff and all four Chiefs of Police; two members each from the County Board of Supervisors and each City Council, and representatives from non-profits and some county agencies.  During Ari’s time on the Council, she played a leadership role in the 2013 Turning the Curve on Youth Violence conference and Symposium and the 2016 Behavioral Health Conference for a Safer, Healthier Santa Cruz County.

Certified Yoga Instructor offering free lunchtime classes to courthouse employees

During the recession years when county employees were being asked to furlough and other hardships, the judges brainstormed what things they could offer to court employees to lessen the stress.  One suggestion was to bring in a yoga instructor.  While it was a good suggestion, that would cost additional money for the employees.  Ari offered to lead free yoga classes, as she had been taking such classes for 20+ years.  After doing that for a few years, two times per week at lunchtime, Ari decided to take the 200 hours of teacher training to become a certified yoga instructor, so that she could competently and with confidence offer such courses.  Ari still offers the free lunchtime course and has some dedicated (and flexible) students!

Board of Directors, New LifeServices, Inc. 1998 - 2001

Residential rehabilitation program for drug and alcohol abusers; battered women’s shelter

Board of Directors, Shakespeare Santa Cruz 1997-2003

Santa Cruz County Cultural Council, Medici Circle Member 2004, 2005

Rotary, International-Santa Cruz Sunrise Chapter 1997–present

Board of DirectorsD.C. Rape Crisis Center 1986

Volunteer, Conservation International  Guatemala 1996 - spent two months living in and working to preserve the rainforest in Guatemala. 

Member, Twin Lakes Church approximately 2006 - present

Volunteer, Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter

Ari has been a trained “Cat volunteer” since April 2017 at the shelter.  She spends time socializing with the kittens and cats, to help them adjust to their surroundings in the shelter and to better prepare them to be adoptable to a "furever" home. 

Second Harvest Food Bank: volunteer and contributor

Stroke and Disability Center, Cabrillo College

Advisory Board 2014-present

VIP Mentors 2005

Volunteer organization pairing attorneys with parolees from the California Youth Authority or California Department of Corrections to mentor while readjusting into society.




Paid for by Ariadne "Ari" Symons for Judge
343 Soquel Avenue, #137
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
FPPC #1419781

Treasurer Fred Keeley
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