74 F
Laguna Hills
Saturday, Jul 13, 2024


Gift of Well-Being

Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) received a $2 million gift from the Tsao Family Foundation, which will be used to help bring dedicated spaces where students can unwind and connect with mental health resources to more than a dozen Irvine schools.

WellSpaces, a collaboration between CHOC and the Orange County Department of Education, will open on 17 campuses throughout the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) over the next four years. The first four locations are expected to open by the beginning of the 2022-23 school year at South Lake Middle School, Venado Middle School, Irvine High School and University High School. Each school year, four additional facilities are expected to open on other IUSD campuses until all 17 are operational.

WellSpaces feature biophilic designs with a home-like feel to provide a space of calm, punctuated by mindfulness activities such as journaling, aromatherapy, beads and other crafts. Students learn breathing exercises and other techniques to help them build resilience and self-regulation skills so they may gain a better sense of control and return to learning.

Additionally, the Tsao Family Foundation gift will allow CHOC’s mental health services team to work closely with the WellSpaces coordinators and other school-based mental health staff to support the development of targeted wellness programming to help youth better cope with daily stresses, manage difficult emotions, and promote full achievement in school.


Let’s Be Frank


The eighth annual Let’s Be Frank About Cancer gala, founded in 2015 by Frank Di Bella, philanthropist and cancer survivor, was held on May 14 at the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach and raised more than $450,000.

Since its inception eight years ago, the black-tie gala has raised more than $8 million for the City of Hope. Funds from this year’s event will support research by oncologist Sumanta Pal, M.D., who treated Di Bella at City of Hope, and Lennar Foundation Cancer Center at City of Hope Orange County, which is opening in Irvine later this year.

“In 2011, I was given three months to live. Now, more than 10 years later, I am not only living but thriving because of Dr. Pal and the great care at City of Hope,” Di Bella said. “I have now dedicated the rest of my life to raising funds for Dr. Pal and bringing the great cancer care of City of Hope to Orange County.”

The evening saluted Orange County’s many cancer champions and was capped by honoring Marybelle Musco, philanthropist, with the Frank Di Bella Humanitarian Award. James Doti, president emeritus, Chapman University, presented the award to Musco, who, along with her late husband S. Paul Musco, are noted for their philanthropic legacy, which includes support of City of Hope, Chapman University, the local opera scene, Orange County School of the Arts and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

“Thanks to generous donors like Marybelle, Frank, and the entire gala committee, we will soon open the Lennar Foundation Cancer Center, bringing to Orange County many cancer services never before available in the region,” said Annette Walker, president, City of Hope Orange County. “This is what happens when visionary people in our community share a goal as big as ending cancer.”


Best Way to Start the Day


Orange County United Way hosted the 19th Annual Women’s Philanthropy Fund Breakfast on May 19 at the Westin South Coast Plaza, raising nearly $500,000 to support initiatives targeting poverty and housing instability in underserved neighborhoods in Orange County.

More than 650 community leaders attended.

Bank of America and UPS served as Champion Sponsors of this year’s event. The companies are longtime supporters of the Women’s Philanthropy Fund and Orange County United Way initiatives.

“This year’s Women’s Philanthropy Fund Breakfast inspired action to change lives and support the advancement of children and families in Orange County,” said Susan Parks, president and CEO, Orange County United Way. “The annual event gives us the opportunity to truly care for each other The OC Way, to celebrate the power of philanthropy, and acknowledge the amazing network of caring women who are leading the charge to help our community’s struggling families transition from surviving to thriving.”

Celebrity guest Misty Copeland, the first African American woman promoted to the position of principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater, spoke in front of attendees and at-home viewers during a special Q&A centered on the importance of diversity and representation in the arts, as well as the power of giving back to uplift one’s community.

Additional sponsors of the Women’s Philanthropy Fund Breakfast included Edison International, Edwards Lifesciences Foundation, Avanir Pharmaceuticals, City of Hope, Ernst & Young, MicroVention, NextHome and Pacific Life.


New Center for Services 


Easterseals Southern California (ESSC) celebrated the opening of its new Orange County Pyott Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 14.

The newly renovated center in Santa Ana is located on the former site of the nonprofit’s corporate headquarters and was funded by a $1.75 million gift from the David and Molly Pyott Foundation, which was co-founded by Molly Pyott, vice president, David and Molly Pyott Foundation and board member, ESSC; and her husband, David Pyott, president, David and Molly Pyott Foundation and former CEO, Allergan Inc.

The gift was used to pay off the mortgage and renovate the site to provide adult day services for individuals with physical and development disabilities. ESSC, which also has a senior center in Brea and an autism therapy center in Irvine, provides other local, community-based services throughout OC, as well as in Los Angeles, San Diego, Imperial, Kern, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura counties.

The Pyott Center will serve up to 200 individuals through on-site programs, providing them with the opportunity to become active members of the community by learning work-related skills and engaging in regularly scheduled volunteer work, community service projects and other activities.


Bits & Pieces


HomeAid Orange County concluded its annual Diaper Drive with a community-centered Drive Thru Drop-Off event on June 10 at Christ Cathedral, bringing in 226,190 diapers and 3,024 boxes of wipes and nine life-size structures made from diaper boxes by HomeAid’s law enforcement and homebuilding industry partners OC Sherriff’s Department, Tri Pointe Homes, Landsea Homes, Meritage Homes, Brookfield Residential, The New Home Company, Murow Development Consultants and The Vintage Group. … Newport Beach-based Decorative Arts Society (DARTS) has announced that it has given 13 Orange County non-profit organizations a total of $275,000 in grants for the 2022-2023 year and an additional gift of $60,000 from an anonymous DARTS donor has been given to two vetted nonprofits. … On June 11, the Los Angeles Angels hosted a free Play Ball Weekend Clinic at The Great Park in Irvine, bringing in more than 1,000 children who participated in activities such as running the bases, hitting and fielding with Angels players Jared Walsh, Brandon Marsh, Griffin CanningJimmy Herget, David Fletcher and Taylor Ward. Each participant received an Angels hat, game tickets, and a plastic bat and ball set for at-home play.


Want more from the best local business newspaper in the country?

Sign-up for our FREE Daily eNews update to get the latest Orange County news delivered right to your inbox!


Featured Articles


Related Articles