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OC Philanthropy: CASA Celebration, Jazz Night Annual Ball, It’s in the Bag

Meeting Critical Needs

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Orange County held its annual CASA Celebration on May 6 at Vea Newport Beach. More than 220 guests gathered to support CASA’s mission of connecting abused, abandoned, and neglected children in Orange County with a trained volunteer advocate.

This year’s gala netted $1.1 million, exceeding budget goals. The funds are critical in the wake of significant budget cuts from anticipated government funding, according to officials.

The event spotlighted individuals, corporations, and family foundations whose support has been critical to sustaining CASA’s services. The evening program included a silent auction, a live auction and an award presentation.

Ian Thomason, Los Angeles regional sales manager, Victaulic, and CASA volunteer was honored as this year’s Advocate of the Year and his CASA-matched youth were honored with the inaugural Bright Futures Award.

Newport Beach Dermatology and Plastic Surgery was named this year’s Outstanding Corporation, the Sun Family Foundation as this year’s Outstanding Foundation, and Lucy Donahue, self-employed senior IT business executive and board member, CASA, as this year’s Children’s Champion.

This year’s sponsors included the Sun Family Foundation, Lugano Diamonds, Disc Sports & Spine Center/Dr. Robert Bray, Spectrum e-Commerce Solutions, Genea Energy Partners, Paul Fenner Floral Design, KCRW and Riviera Modern Luxury.

The Future is Radiant

Radiant Futures, formerly Women’s Transitional Living Center Inc., brought in more than $131,000 at its Jazz Night Annual Ball, which was held on April 29 at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach.

Funds raised will support Radiant Futures’ mission to use survivor-driven, trauma-informed practices to build a safer community by providing crisis help, including a 24-hour bilingual helpline, plus comprehensive services for all survivors, and education to help prevent domestic violence and trafficking.

The evening included a silent and live auction, dinner and live entertainment, courtesy of vocalist Mel Collins, a singer in the mold of jazz greats Ella Fitzgerald and Nancy Wilson.

She was accompanied by the swinging’ big sounds of the D. Ben-jamin Big Band.

Among the organizations sponsoring the Jazz Night Annual Ball were Pacific Premier Bank, Pacific Western Bank, Farmers & Merchants Bank, NFP Insurance Solutions, Providence St. Jude Medical Center, Pepsico and Century 21 Discovery.

During the awards portion of the evening, the Radiant Service Award was given to Suzy Lins, communications director at Century 21 Discovery, who has served as a Radiant Futures board member for more than a decade and helped shape of the nonprofit’s programs, strategic planning, fundraising efforts, and recent rebranding.

The 2023 Radiant Partner Award went to Doug Chaffee, Orange County Supervisor, and his wife, Paulette Chaffee, ambassador, Fourth District, Orange County for their 20-plus years of supporting the nonprofit.

Never Goes Out of Style

Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire (MAWOCIE) hosted its annual It’s in the Bag luncheon and fundraiser at The Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach on April 23, raising more than $300,000 to grant wishes to critically ill children in Orange County and the Inland Empire. The event was organized by Women’s Circle of Wishes, a MAWOCIE support group.

The luncheon, presented by Common Thread, showcased luxury handbags by Versace, Gucci, Prada and other high-end designers. Attendees bid on their preferred bag, with the winners taking it home that afternoon.

The event also included a fashion show, which was sponsored by Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as an opportunity drawing and a live auction.

“The Women’s Circle of Wishes does a fabulous job hosting this event and this year was no exception,” said Gloria Jetter Crockett, CEO and president, MAWOCIE. “The support and generosity seen each year enables us to fulfill wishes waiting to be granted in Orange County.”

Additional sponsors included Disneyland, Allergan Aesthetics, Urban Crossroads, Bwam, Apriem Advisors, Flagstar Bank and LA Girl/LA Colors.

Bits & Pieces

The Orange County Conservation Corps, which serves at-risk young adults through programs that build self-sufficiency and benefit the community through conservation-driven projects, celebrated the grand opening of its Food Pantry and Warehouse in Anaheim on April 28, which will help Corps members, and their families manage food insecurities and everyday necessities.

On May 6, Providence and the TGR Foundation unveiled the newest green bench as part of Providence’s Green Bench OC initiative which was launched in 2022 and aims reduces stigma about mental health by encouraging organizations to paint benches lime green, the international symbol for mental health awareness, to symbolize a place to pause and have a conversation about how individuals are feeling.

Orange County Credit Union raised more than $2,600 for Children’s Hospital of Orange County at their latest Shred and eWaste day on April 22, collecting 9,400 pounds of paper and over 2,000 pounds of electronics to safely recycle for its members.

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.
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