More than a decade ago, Coast magazine first honored local leaders, philanthropists, volunteers, and organizations that have impacted the Orange County community in a myriad of ways. It had long been Editor-in-Chief Justine Amodeo’s dream to revive, expand and improve the Coast Community Awards, and that’s what occurred at a celebratory gathering at AnQi Bistro.
The process began months back as nominations poured in from the public in 12 categories, including top arts organization, business, philanthropist, nonprofit, individual, couple, gala, city project, volunteers, educational and health organizations, and environmental cause.
The diverse list of worthy nominees was narrowed down with great difficulty to four finalists, with all invited to the award ceremony. The evening was emceed by Coast Publisher Jeffrey Ditmire, with presenters in each category that included community leaders, Coast editors and owners and executives from the Orange County Register and Freedom Communications.
The apex of the evening was when Henry Segerstrom accepted the Coast lifetime achievement award for his nine decades of community and cultural leadership and philanthropy. A film highlighting a few of his countless achievements was shown, after which Segerstrom charmed the crowd with his remarks.
Others honored included Clair Trevor School for the Arts at UCI; Pacific Life; Newport Beach Civic Center; Wylie and Bette Aitken; Soka University Performing Arts Center; The Ecology Center; OCEANA SeaChange Summer Party; CHOC Hospital; Susan Samueli; Free Wheelchair Mission; Geoffrey and Nancy Stack; and Izzy’s Corner at the Second Harvest Food Bank.
Each honoree took home an award Coast commissioned from sculptor Chris Schulz and a gift from Bloomingdale’s and Grayse. All 48 finalists received the Henry T. Segerstrom book, courtesy of Assouline.
Event sponsors included Mission Viejo Jaguar Land Rover; Independence Bank; Bloomingdale’s; Goodwill of Orange County; Grayse; and PBS SoCal.