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Monday, Oct 2, 2023


40 Years of Changing Lives

On Oct. 15, the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach was transformed into a 1940s-style USO camp in commemoration of the 40 years of service Alzheimer’s Orange County has offered.

Cheers to 40 Years earned more than $700,000 to fund critically needed, life-changing programs and services for the 84,000 local Orange County residents affected by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Guests embraced the theme, with many women wearing vintage dresses and hats, and men arriving in wide, colorful ties and period fedora hats and caps.

The evening included dinner, both a live and silent online auction, and entertainment by the Satin Dollz. They sang songs from the 1940s, including “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and other popular WWII-era tunes.

Among the award honorees were Irvine Clinical Research, which received the Community Partner award, and the Frome Family Foundation, which was recognized with the Legacy Partner award. The premier sponsors were Julia and George Argyros. Additional sponsors included Lugano Diamonds; Angels Baseball; CareChoices; Caring Companions at Home; Discount Tire & Service Centers; Dr. Jacque DuPont-Carlson, founder, Dupont Residential Care and Assured In Home Care and Marc Carlson, managing director, 3 Points Partners; Irvine Clinical Research; Kaiser Permanente; UCI Health; Risk Strategies; and Sperry Equities.

Zest for Life

Orange County United Way’s Alexis de Tocqueville Society hosted Zest of OC on Oct. 29, raising more than $500,000. All funds raised will help with the Orange County United Way’s key initiatives, including supporting local students’ efforts to achieve academic and personal success, aiding struggling OC families in their efforts to gain financial security, and helping Orange County’s unhoused find a place to call home.

Zest of OC, which took place at the Marriott Irvine Spectrum, celebrated the “zest” of Orange County’s philanthropic spirit. The event also recognized honorees that have continually exemplified “The OC Way” by going the extra mile to help and support Orange County residents in need. Among those receiving awards were Linda Mussallem, member, board of advisors, Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute, and her husband Mike Mussallem, chairman and CEO, Edwards Lifesciences Corp., who received the Taking Action medal for their ongoing support up to help address the critical issues facing Orange County (see story, page 12); Artyn and Max Gardner, members, Orange County United Way’s Million Dollar Roundtable, who received the Legacy medal for embodying the spirit of philanthropy over the years; and Maya Patel, CEO, Tarsadia Foundation, and the Tarsadia Foundation received the Inspiration medal for their dedication to breaking barriers and inspiring change.

Disneyland Resort, Edwards Lifesciences Foundation, and the Tarsadia Foundation were the event’s Gold Sponsors. Silver Sponsors included Banc of California, Bank of the West, City of Hope Orange County, Ware Malcomb, and Cinda Churm and Steve Churm, founder and principal, Churm360.

An Extraordinary Mission

More than 200 guests joined Extraordinary Lives Foundation’s (ELF) annual Comedy Night fundraising gala on Oct. 19 at the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach. The evening began with a cocktail hour and silent auction, followed by videos, presentations and comedic acts. Featured comedians were George Wang, Lowell Benjamin and Frances Dilorinzo.

An estimated 1 in 5 children have a diagnosable mental health condition. The $155,000 raised at Comedy Night will support ELF’s educational resources to increase children’s emotional development and its Hugs for Life Healing Center.

Major event sponsors included Dr. James Lin, founding physician, managing partner, Reproductive Fertility Center; Mara James, founder, CEO, ELF and her husband Kenneth James; Hoag Hospital Memorial Presbyterian and Lisa Bartlett, Orange County Supervisor.

Bits & Pieces

On Sept. 21, the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF) hosted Igniting Potential, a collaborative online Giving Day to support Orange County youth, in which 873 donors contributed more than $513,000 to participating nonprofits, including the Assistance League of Irvine, Child Creativity Lab, Giving Children Hope, Hispanic Educations Endowment Fund, Irvine Public Schools Foundation, KidWorks Community Development Corporation, MOMS Orange County, Pretend City, The Children’s Museum of Orange County, The Literacy Project, and Unidos South OC. … The Newport Beach Public Library Foundation will rename its renovated courtyard “Stahr Courtyard” to recognize a $750,000 contribution from Elizabeth Stahr, philanthropist and wife of the late John Stahr, founder, Latham Watkins, Orange County office, and Witte Hall lobby the “Louise and Roy Woolsey Memorial Lobby,” to recognize the $1 million commitment from their son, Roy B. Woolsey, in honor of his late parents, who were well-known Orange County philanthropists. … Tilly’s Life Center (TLC) has announced that Colleen Versteeg, who served as the executive director, Orange County Head Start, for more than a decade, will be its new CEO.


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