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Awards, charity and even a ball.

Awards, charity and even a ball.

Photo BY Tom Summa

Jon Lester, Sam Guinane, co-chairs Leonard and Dodette Shulman, John Vallely


am Guinane was thrilled. The seven-year-old leukemia patient got an autographed baseball from Boston Red Sox pitcher and lymphoma survivor Jon Lester, who pitched the winning World Series game for the Red Sox. The 450-guest affair, Celebrating 25 Years of Miracles, marked the Pediatric Cancer Research Center's 25th anniversary and honored UCLA Hall of Famer and former NBA basketball player John Vallely, cancer survivor and father of a child who lost her battle with cancer.

Dr. Mitchell Cairo, director of bone marrow transplants at New York Children's Hospital, said, "Today we can boast, through PCRF's efforts and others like them, that eight out of 10 children are cured of cancer." PCRF has raised more than $20 million for childhood cancer research over the 25 years through the support of individuals, businesses, charity foundations, and sales of its holiday cards, to which Guinane is a contributing artist. The celebratory evening at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel in Anaheim netted $350,000, thanks to a tempting live auction and Fund-A-Cure effort.


Photo BY Peggy O'Donnell

Nedka Stills, Junior League President Stacey Kinney, Janine Wald

I have to have a little fun in my life. My work is so serious," Nedka Stills said of her volunteer efforts in support of Junior League of Orange County's 32nd annual Christmas Company Shopping Extravaganza in November at the Orange County Fair and Exposition Center in Costa Mesa. Stills, a Santa Ana Police dispatcher and chair of the annual four-day shopping event, said several new options were added to the effort, such as a fifth American Girl Fashion Show, a Grab and Go breakfast for early-bird shopping and a Fire Safety Education event for boys. Opening night chair Janine Wald mentioned some more.

"For the first time we offered shopping to the public all day before the opening night party," she said, "and the event is less formal, so guests can come from work and enjoy." The event's theme, The Spirit of Christmas, drew 600 guests opening night with over 20,000 attendees for the entire effort, which showcased 100 unique retailers and netted approximately $200,000 for Junior League charitable projects.


Photo BY Ann Chatillon

Kate Peters, Paul Folino, OCBCA Founding Executive Director Betty Moss, Doug Simao, Kristina Dodge

The arts are alive and well in Orange County, thanks to the support of area businesses. To that end, 12 local businesses were honored by the Orange County Business Committee for the Arts at its annual Business in the Arts Awards held at the Newport Beach Marriott in November. Paul Folino, OCBCA Chairman and Executive Chairman of Emulex Corporation, thanked "an enlightened business community that understands the deep importance of the arts to our quality of life."

Keynote speaker Kristina Dodge of American Sterling Group

Photo BY Ann Chatillon

David Emmes, Judy O'Dea Morr, Martin Benson

lauded local business efforts but encouraged further support, saying, "We must all be patrons of the arts. That's how we have an impact."

Among the 12 honorees was Narratus Inc., represented by President Kate Peters and CEO Doug Simao, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award for their longtime support of the arts.

The Arts Award was presented to Orange County High School of the Arts and first-ever Lifetime Leadership in the Arts Awards were presented to Judy O'Dea Morr of the Orange County Performing Artscenter and South Coast Repertory co-founders and artistic directors Martin Benson and David Emmes. O'Dea Morr, the Center's executive vice president, shared, "We set forth 20 years ago with our volunteer leadership in the business community, and are now built out and very soon will have a new neighbor, an arts museum, and together with our wonderful neighbor, South Coast Repertory, we have a performing arts campus that is rivaled nowhere." Following the awards, a scrumptious dinner was held at The Ritz Restaurant & Garden for the 300 guests.


Photo BY Ann Chatillon

Bob and Amanda Hogan, Dr. Richard Afable, Hoag Drs. and underwriters Shail and Rajesh Lal

The ball, the 552 Club's first fundraising event in 1966, has played an important part in club history, raising $37 million for Hoag's priority projects through the years," said Bob Hogan, who, with his wife Amanda, chaired Hoag Hospital's 41st annual Christmas Carol Ball in early December at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel.

Indeed, the festive holiday affair netted more than $500,000 for Hoag's Neuroscience Institute and brought toys to U.S. Marine Corps families at Camp Pendleton, thanks to Toys for Tots and the generosity of the 400 attending guests. The ball, themed appropriately A Christmas to Remember, opened with 40-year ball attendee Nora Jorgensen Johnson's heartfelt prayer and segued into a singalong of holiday favorites led by Johnson, Hoag President and CEO Dr. Richard Afable, 552 Club President Doug Meece, and the Hogans.

Following a delicious repast, the LA Allstars picked up the pace with a lively set for dancing. For it is, most definitely, a dancing crowd!


Photo BY Robert Rooks

From left, first row: Outstanding Philanthropists James and Susan Swenson; 2007 Spirit of Philanthropy Lifetime Achievement Award winners Janet and Walkie Ray, 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award winners and honorary chairs Pat and Bill Podlich;
Second row: VP Ken Purcell for First American Corporation as Outstanding Large Business; Jane Sussman and Lindsay McKenna for Pink Ribbon Clubs, Outstanding Youth/Youth Group; Free Wheelchair Mission's Don Schoendorfer as Outstanding Founder;
Third row: Eberhard Equipment's Sandra and Ken Eberhard for Outstanding Small Business;
Fourth row: Outstanding Volunteer Fundraisers Julie Brinker-hoff-Jacobs and Don Jacobs; Carol Hanes for Cookie Moms Group, Outstanding Philanthropic Group

National Philanthropy Day's Spirit of Philanthropy Awards Luncheon never ceases to inspire me, not only with the amazing award winners and their incredible propensity to help others but also with the hundreds of award nominees.

Held November 13 at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel and hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Orange County Chapter, the 1,000 guests enjoyed UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake's keynote speech, which said that Americans gave $300 billion to charity in 2006.

Terry Horne, president and publisher of The Orange County Register, the event's 15-year Presenting Sponsor, presented Janet and Walkie Ray with the Spirit of Philanthropy Award.

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