Free Wheeling Celebration
Irvine-based Free Wheelchair Mission hosted its 20th Miracle of Mobility Live, presented by Advisors Mortgage Group LLC on July 22. The event, which featured a hybrid format with options to participate virtually and at in-person watch parties around the country, raised more than $1.7 million, surpassing the organization’s goal and exceeding the total raised at last year’s fully virtual event. The funds will enable the organization to distribute more than 21,250 wheelchairs around the world to those living with disabilities in developing countries.
In addition to Advisors Mortgage Group, event sponsors included loanDepot, Diamond Hill Capital Management, TriGuard, PR Construction, Sage Stone Wealth Management, Oak Valley College, Brookfield Residential, Sands Chevrolet, In-N-Out Burger, KPMG, Koon Family LP, Sunshine Trading Co., Genesis Metals, BNY Mellon Wealth Management and more.
The virtual program featured special guests, musical performances, live watch party video check-ins, and stories from wheelchair recipients, all to raise awareness and resources to support the organization’s work in providing life-transforming mobility.
In addition to the virtual program, the organization supported local watch party events, including gatherings in Orange County; Prescott, Ariz.; and other places around the country. Watch parties included food, music, games, and special messages by Free Wheelchair Mission supporters and staff.
Coming Together for the Kids
On Saturday, June 12, the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach held its annual gala at the Montage Laguna Beach. Philanthropic support was provided by Tuttle Click Automotive, Crevier Family Foundation, Montage Laguna Beach, Mission Hospital, Wilson Automotive, Aetna, Anderson Law Group, Dykema Gossett LLP, Capo By the Sea, Chase Auto and others.
The event, themed “Come Together,” netted close to $500,000, which will be directed to the organization’s enrichment programming offered at the club’s five locations.
Guests were invited to don their grooviest threads and relive the Summer of Love. The Montage lawn resembled a ’60s film set with go-go boots, fringed vests, and a balanced mix of hippies and mod attire. During the surf and turf dinner, musician John Heussenstamm played ’60s favorites on guitar. The gala also featured an auction that showcased a finale item that included a personalized video hello from Sir Richard Branson, founder, the Virgin Group. Following the post-dinner espresso bar and churros, guests enjoyed dancing to The Beatles favorites performed by tribute band “Hard Day’s Night.”
The Wooden Floor welcomed more than 750 guests as they returned to their first live performance since 2019 for its 38th Annual Concert: Passage/Home, A Site-Specific Exploration of Place. This year, nearly 80 underserved youth from low-income communities collaborated with choreographer and film director Stephan Koplowitz to transform The Wooden Floor’s Ernesto Vasquez-designed space at its Main Street flagship location into a multiplatform stage and exhibition space for a unique site-specific performance. Each vignette touched on its own subject matter, drawing from The Wooden Floor’s mission—past, present, and future. Guidelines for social distancing and safety were strictly incorporated for both the rehearsals and performances.
Underwriting for this year’s annual concert raised more than $215,000 for the organization and its successful year-round dance, college and career readiness, and family service programs for 475 youth in economically disadvantaged communities. Underwriters included the Helen Sperry Lea Foundation, the California Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Hydraflow–The Ayloush Family, Tuttle-Click Ford Lincoln and others.
Celebrating By Giving
In honor of and celebrating 125 years in business, Bixby Land Co. is partnering with California State University, Long Beach by donating $125,000 in funds for eligible students pursuing a bachelor’s degree through the Long Beach College Promise Program.
The College Promise Program is a structured model for public education that results in high retention and graduation rates for underrepresented students.
“Bixby Land Co. has a legacy of supporting the communities we serve,” says Aaron Hill, CEO and president, Bixby Land Company, “We thought the best way to celebrate the company’s 125th anniversary was to support the students of Long Beach in their pursuit of higher education.”
Bixby Land Co. has long held strong connections to the city of Long Beach, with the city once serving as the company’s headquarters until its move to Newport Beach.
Bits & Pieces
Banana Boat Suncare and CVS Pharmacy drugstores launched a summer promotion through Aug. 31 that donates 50 cents to Easterseals Southern California for each Sport SPF 30 or SPF 50+ sunscreen lotion or spray purchased, with participating Orange County stores in Anaheim, Dana Point, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and others throughout Los Angeles and San Diego counties. …Orange County Rescue Mission has announced a critical need for back-to-school items for children living at Orange County Rescue Mission’s transitional facilities for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year, including underwear for boys and girls, sizes 3T and 16; socks for boys and girls, all sizes; reusable water bottles, plastic, or aluminum material in 16-24 oz; and iPad chargers. … City National Bank awarded $40,000 in Community Reinvestment Act grants to seven nonprofit organizations in Orange County, including Cielo Community for Innovative Leadership and Opportunities, Families Forward, Foster Kids Charity of California, GreenPath Financial Wellness, NeighborhoodWorks Orange County, Second Chance Orange County and The Priority Center, which will help the nonprofit recipients meet the growing needs of businesses, families, individuals and children throughout the county.