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Fall Into Giving

The 30th annual National Philanthropy Day (NPD) Orange County Awards Luncheon

Doug Freeman says a heartfelt ‘thank you' to the honorees at the 30th annual National Philanthropy Day Orange County Awards Luncheon.

To the Association of Fundraising Professionals, giving is always in season. More than 850 family, friends, and philanthropists gathered on November 19 at the 30th annual National Philanthropy Day (NPD) Orange County Awards Luncheon. Guests enjoyed a program emceed by PBS So Cal’s Maria Hall Brown and Rick Reiff, honoring some of Orange County’s most giving men and women.

It was a calling-all-philanthropists kind of afternoon. The hope of event chair, Mitch Spann, and co-chair, Catherine Spear, was to celebrate the power of philanthropy in Orange County. “We wanted the honorees to have their moment in the sun, so that the audience would aspire to replicate what they’ve done in the community,” Spann said, post-event.

Storytelling was at the cornerstone of this year’s luncheon. Patricia Poss, the 2015 Honorary Chair, began with a personal anecdote about the humble outreach her father performed in their Midwestern hometown during the Great Depression. Doug Freeman, founder of National Philanthropy Day, recounted his vivid memories of President Reagan at the first NPD celebration in 1986. Video montages of photos and footage highlighting individual stories of service played before each Outstanding Honoree took the stage.

Anika Ortiz, the 12-year-old founder of Anika’s Pink Closet for Mariposa and recipient of the Outstanding Youth award, wowed the audience with a dedication to philanthropy well beyond her years. Ortiz, a lover of fashion and all things girly, added, “And when in doubt, just add glitter!” at the end of her speech, resulting in a standing ovation.

Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, founder of the Festival of Children Foundation and recipient of the Legacy Award, attributed her servant’s heart to parents Janet and Hal Segerstrom. “They already had three kids, they didn’t have to keep me,” Daniels joked onstage. She accepted the award, giving endless thanks to her supportive staff.

Other Outstanding Honorees were HKA, Inc. Marketing Communications, Rusty Kennedy, Donny Crevier, The Word and Brown Companies, James F. Amato, Fed Ex Cares, and Kia Motors. The 2015 NPD-OC was the ultimate expression of thanks and a testament to the compassionate hearts serving Orange County, proving that behind every categorically inspiring story of philanthropy is a humble soul.

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