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Philanthropy

An Evening of Gratitude

The J. F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center hosted its annual gala at Montage Laguna Beach on June 17.

The event, hosted on the Pacific lawn and grand ballroom of the hotel, welcomed 340 new and longtime Shea Center supporters. The evening raised more than $500,000 to support the nonprofit’s mission to improve the lives of people with disabilities through equine-assisted services.

The gala was designed as an “evening of gratitude” from The Shea Center to its supporters who donate time, talent, and treasure to further the center’s mission.

The luxurious setting offered cordiality, passed hors d’oeuvres and a signature cocktail at the full bar. The wine wall offered selections from Trinitas Cellars.

The evening’s live auction included a six-day vacation in Paris, a chef-curated three-course dinner with vintage wine parings at Loft restaurant, and a five-night getaway to Moorea, Tahiti. More than 300 silent auction items were posted online for nine days to benefit the gala event.

Gala sponsors included The Hermann Financial Group, Optivest Wealth Management, Air Control Systems, CSI Construction, Donnie Crevier, Crevier Classic Cars, The Crevier Family Foundation, Fidelity National Title Builder Services, Fluidmaster, Providence Mission Hospital Foundation, Silverline Construction, South Coast Plaza, US Bank/Paul O’Mara, Shea Properties and The Orange County Register.

The occasion also included the presentation of the Michael Lewis Friends of the Disabled Award to Bonnie Eastman, owner, Bonnie Gonzalez Interiors; member, board of directors, The Shea Center; and David Eastman, founder, DBE Consulting Inc-Business Consultants, gala sponsors and longtime Shea Center supporters. This honor is given to individuals, organizations, families, and companies that significantly impact the lives of people with disabilities at The Shea Center and in the greater community.

The award is named after the center’s first client in 1978.

Groundswell of Support

Marking a transformative milestone in its 32-plus year journey, OC Human Relations Council unveiled its new name, Groundswell, during its annual fundraising gala on May 24.

The name “Groundswell” encapsulates the organization’s mission to shift energy, progress forward and amplify perspectives while emphasizing the collective power to create lasting change.

Held at the City National Grove of Anaheim, the Groundswell Gala brought together community leaders, philanthropists, and advocates for a night of celebration and reflection, and raised $200,000.

The funds will support the organization’s programs, initiatives, and educational efforts, strengthening its capacity to challenge discrimination, foster dialogue, and create lasting impact in communities. Groundswell’s commitment to inclusivity and social change remains unwavering.

Event sponsors included Vans, CHOC, Hoag, Cox Communications, Banc of California, SoCalGas, Vans, Union Bank, Capital Group and the Orange County Credit Union.

“We extend our heartfelt thanks to all who joined us for this monumental evening,” said Alison Edwards, CEO, Groundswell. “We are excited for the future of our organization, and your commitment and support enable us to continue building better communities.”

For more on Groundswell, see the June 10 print edition of the Business Journal.

The Power of 44

More than 280 attendees gathered at the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach on June 7 for the 19th Annual Scholarship Luncheon, benefiting Orangewood Foundation.

Hosted by the 44 Women for Orangewood (44WFO) auxiliary, the event, themed “The Magic of Giving,” grossed more than $413,000 through ticket sales, sponsorships, online auction items, and an opportunity drawing.

The event featured a program that included a gourmet lunch and an opportunity drawing for a jewelry set donated by Twila True Fine Jewelry & Watches.

This year’s scholarship luncheon was led by co-chairs Susan Samueli, Ph.D., member, board of directors, the Samueli Foundation; co-founder, 44WFO; member, board of directors, Orangewood Foundation; and Judy Nicholls, senior communications, marketing and strategic planning consultant.

The funds raised support Orangewood Foundation’s programs and services for youth in foster care that focus on life skills and employment development, housing, education, and health and wellness.

A highlight of the luncheon came during the call for scholarship fund contributions, during which Shirley Pepys, philanthropist, Renee Pepys Lowe, president, RPL & Associates, and Dan Houck, president, Universal Asphalt Co./DMH Equipment Co., matched donations up to $75,000.

“We are grateful for the incredible support of donors and sponsors who made this year’s Scholarship Luncheon both deeply impactful and memorable as we gathered to make a difference for Orange County’s foster and community youth,” Samueli said.

Event sponsors included the Samueli Foundation, Stumpf & Associates APC, F&M Bank, Friends of Orangewood, the Anaheim Ducks and Honda Center; South Coast Helicopters, Modern Luxury Riviera Orange County, Fletcher Jones Motorcars, Newport Beach Dermatology & Plastic Surgery, The HON Company and Epictrends.

Bits & Pieces

More than 500 supporters and volunteers joined the Beyond Blindness 19th Annual Destination Independence Walk + Family Fair on June 3, raising more than $65,000 for the nonprofit’s critical programs and services that enrich the lives of children with visual impairments and other disabilities, and their families.

In June, Human Options was awarded a grant of $100,000 from the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, a statewide domestic violence coalition, to bring awareness and to collaborate with local police departments, lawyers, judicial officers, medical professionals and community members to provide education and trainings on the importance of gun violence restraining orders and domestic violence response.

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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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