Tack Back Santa Cruz is honored to announce our newest COMMUNITY HERO
We chose Samantha because she embodies what TBSC is about. TBSC is a place were people not only figure out what they can give to their community but also find a team to make those ideas a reality. Samantha has headed up our NEVER FORGET tee shirt sales which enabled TBSC to give 2,500 dollars to the SCPD Memorial Garden project. She also was lead for the Pies4PD program. TBSC members bought 52 pizzas for SCPD and Woodstock’s did the making!! She is currently organizing our self defense programs. Offering group rates and a FREE SCHOLARSHIP program to our community. So, need we say more. This ladies and gentlemen is a member of our community, a gem. Learn more about Samantha.
Do you have a pet? What’s their name?
Yes, I have a wonderful Rottweiler named Lexi Bear. She is my 110 lb lap dog and one of my favorite people in the world.
Right-handed or left-handed?
Are you a morning person or night owl?
Definitely a night owl. Haven’t been able to change this habit, even though it has been years since my nights of tending bar and cocktail waitressing.
Do you have a hobby?
My hobby is gardening and all that goes with it. Starting my veggies from seed, growing my own organic food, canning and preserving it, saving seeds for the next crop, swapping seeds with others….The garden is my sacred place, where I can clear my mind and reconnect with myself and with nature. To me, growing a garden is an essential component of homeland security.
Who’s your mentor in life?
Yikes – I cant say that I have one – I have many that inspire me, but no true mentors. Can I pass on this one? On my ipod you will find almost every Led Zeppelin album (has been my favorite band since I was 13), The Stones, Hendrix, Aretha, Allman Brothers, The Eagles, Van Morrison, Donna Summer, The Bee Gees – my musical preferences live in the’70s for sure.
What is your favorite thing about Santa Cruz?
As cheesy as it sounds, it has to be the weather. My vegetable garden produces all year round. We are blessed with a climate that supports an incredible variety of fruit trees with harvests happening almost every month of the year. And I don’t miss the snow one bit.
What brought you to TBSC?
I joined TBSC on February 26, 2013, the night that Det Butler and Sgt Baker were killed in the line of duty. I did not know them personally, but it felt very personal to me. My dad is a retired officer with the NYPD so I feel like I have some blue in my blood. I have many friends, clients and a family member that work for the SCPD and other law enforcement agencies. I have a profound respect for their bravery and for the sacrifices they make in order to protect and serve our community. The fellowship I found within TBSC was a saving grace that night and in the weeks to come while I was wrestling with anger, grief, fear and hopelessness. This tragedy felt like a turning point to me and to many others – that it was time to stand up, join together and honor these fallen heroes, and ourselves, by Taking Back our town!
Why is it important to be a part of TBSC?
I feel that being part of TBSC is important because it is an action and solution based group. Despite what many people think, TBSC is not just a FB forum for people to come and complain or argue philosophies. This is a group of people that makes things happen. Whether it be positive loitering, cleaning up the Riverwalk, being on an investigative task force, attending court proceedings or a city council meeting, fundraising for the K-9 program, participating in the PRIDE parade, staffing a bike registration booth, organizing self defense classes or neighborhood watch groups – there is a way for everyone to participate, wherever you see a need and in whatever way you feel inspired to make a difference.
The other important reason to be a part of TBSC is because it is where you hear the news in real time first person accounts of events that you will never hear about in the paper or on the news. TBSC members are the boots on the ground in this movement, and it is here that we are mobilizing for positive change in this community.
More about Samantha Olden
Born and raised in Brooklyn NY
BA in Womens Studies from SUNY New Paltz
Moved to Santa Cruz, sight unseen, in 1995
Been a homeowner in Aptos since 1996
Worked for David Lyng Real Estate in Sales and Consulting since 1999
Specialties include working with Seniors, Investment Properties,
Commercial Leasing, Manufactured Housing and Property Management
She has a “Return on Investment” program in which she donates 10% of her
commission to a local non-profit of the client’s choosing.
Other Community Involvement:
Aptos Community Garden, Board of Directors
SC Fruit Tree Project, Steering Committee Member