SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

The annual Local Heroes awards have been handed out to those who have been dedicating their lives to help others in Santa Barbara County.

They were presented by the Santa Barbara Independent at a special luncheon held at the SOHO restaurant.

The heroes were all featured in the newspaper.  The award was a framed copy of the article, lunch and a chance to speak to a group of local leaders, supporters, special guests, and the Independent staff.

The winners included a doctors who provides dental care in Afghanistan, a long time foster parent, and mentors who help young people communicate with each other to reduce conflicts.