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Friday, Sep 30, 2022


True Heroes

The inaugural Heroes & Living Legends Gala, held on July 17 at The Duke Hotel in Newport Beach, brought together more than 200 business leaders, sponsors and supporters to help raise $729,000 to benefit Open Gate International, which provides vulnerable populations with vocational training for long-term economic stability.

“With the support of those who attend and share our belief in the value of providing sustainable life skills and vocational training to vulnerable individuals, we hope to come together for many more successful years,” said Deidre Pujols, Open Gate’s founder and chief executive.

During the gala, Open Gate presented the 2017 Heroes and Living Legends Hero Award to Susan Kang Schroeder, chief of staff for the Orange County District Attorney’s office. In 2013, she founded and continues to co-supervise the Human Exploitation and Trafficking Unit, which targets perpetrators who sexually exploit and traffic women and underage girls for financial gain.

Transformative Gift

In July, HomeAid Orange County opened Family Care Center, which will provide homeless families with access to year-round emergency housing and critical support services. HomeAid anticipates serving 10 to 15 families daily at the 56-bed, 10,000-square foot facility, which was largely supported by a $1 million gift from the Pacific Life Foundation.

“We believe the Family CareCenter meets a critical need and will be a vital resource for homeless children,” said Tennyson Oyler, president of the Pacific Life Foundation. “It also provides a safe environment for children, something the most vulnerable families of Orange County desperately need to get back on their feet.”

HomeAid is also facilitating a $1.3 million grant from the Children and Families Commission of Orange County, payable over five years for operational support. The William Lyon family and William Lyon Homes also contributed $500,000 toward the campaign. HomeAid is seeking additional support to supplement operations of the program and building maintenance.

Living and Loving Life

More than 700 people attended St. Joseph Hospital’s annual Circles of Life Fashion Show and Luncheon on June 25 at the City National Grove of Anaheim. This year’s event netted more than $160,000 for cancer research at the hospital’s Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment.

It was presented by FiveStar Gourmet Foods and Dr. Sam Huang of St. Joseph Hospital. Other sponsors included McDonald’s Restaurants, Hematology Oncology Medical Group of Orange County, Macy’s, St. Joseph Heritage Medical Group, California United Bank, Valley Radiotherapy Associates, Golden State Construction Inc., Orange County Pathology Medical Group Inc. and Jaguar Land Rover Anaheim Hills.

Guests enjoyed a champagne reception, silent auction, raffle drawings and a luncheon. The highlight of the day was the fashion show, which featured cancer patients and survivors who walked the runway.

Ongoing Commitment

TCA Architects raised more than $107,000 at its 17th annual charity golf tournament on June 15. The sold-out tournament was held at Oak Creek Country Club in Irvine. Proceeds are used by Habitat for Humanity of Orange County to build and repair affordable homes for limited-income families in Cypress, Westminster, Santa Ana, Anaheim and Orange. Since its inception, the event has raised more than $1.2 million for the nonprofit organization.

“It is more important than ever to go above and beyond in providing homes for those less fortunate,” said Aram Chahbazian, TCA Architect’s president and managing partner. “Habitat for Humanity does a wonderful job ensuring all contributions are translated right back into our local community where we can see the results.”

AMPAM Parks Mechanical and TCA Architects were Gold Sponsors. Silver Sponsors included Sares-Regis Group and Bernards. Bronze Sponsors were Fluidmaster and the Frome Family Foundation. Additional major sponsors included VCA Engineers, Edelman Financial and R.D. Olson.

Bits & Pieces

Irvine Barclay Theatre recently welcomed City National Bank as 2017-18 Season Sponsor, the first season sponsor in its 25-year history. … Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County was among 15 Southern Californian organizations to receive a $10,000 grant from Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California on June 21 at the Ronald McDonald House in Orange.


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