The Newport Beach Public Library Foundation presented the Five Hundred Summer Stories Benefit on Jan. 28 with more than 180 in attendance. The evening featured filmmaker Greg MacGillivray, founder, MacGillivray Freeman Films, at the Newport Beach Central Library.
MacGillivray spoke about his life as a filmmaker from surf films to Hollywood masterpieces to his 45 groundbreaking IMAX films that raised awareness about the natural world. His presentation included video clips of his films including “Everest, to the Arctic, Journey to the South Pacific” and his early career with his partner Jim Freeman, co-founder, MacGillivray Freeman Films
The evening benefitted the A/V Technology Fund for the soon-to-be-constructed Witte Hall at the library, which will include technically advanced stage lighting and audio-visual equipment, computer-controlled lighting, multiple state-of-the-art speakers, the capacity to livestream presentations and a wireless Assistive Listening System. The hall will accommodate lectures with corresponding images and video, musical performances, films, children’s theater, and community events.
It is anticipated that groundbreaking for the new hall will be this year with the grand opening next year. The city of Newport Beach is providing half of the funding, with the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation raising the remainder.
Bellwether Financial Group is spearheading an outreach program to introduce underserved youth from both local and inland communities to aquatic activities including swim lessons, ocean education, whale watching, surfing, kayaking and sailing.
Since it started in August 2022, the Underserved Youth Program has provided hundreds of children and teens in the community the opportunity to experience ocean education and activities, often for the very first time. This year, the program aims to provide ocean experiences and education to more than 1,000 underserved youths.
To implement the program, Dana Point Harbor Partners LLC (DPHP) has partnered with the YMCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, the Boys & Girls Club of San Juan Capistrano and San Juan Elementary School.
“As we enter into our first full year, it is incredible that we have more than 20 organizations participating in our efforts,” said Joe Ueberroth, founder and president, Bellwether Financial Group. “My partners and I look forward to continuing this program in 2023 and beyond for seeing the smile and reaction of a child that has just learned to swim or stepped on their first boat or rode their first wave never loses its magic for all of us involved.”
The most recent whale watching trip with Big Brothers Big Sisters took place on Jan. 28 on the Manute’a, one of Captain Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari’s catamarans.
Bellwether Financial Group is a partner in DPHP and the firm is responsible for Dana Point Harbor Marina operations and redevelopment. The $400 million, multiyear revitalization of Dana Point Harbor commenced at The Marina at Dana Point in August 2022. In collaboration with the California Coastal Commission, DPHP will improve public access to the water through the intricate design of The Marina and the newly developed community outreach programs.
New Office, Expanded Reach
Alzheimer’s Association Orange County Chapter opened a new office in Irvine on Jan. 18.
Nearly 200 leaders across community, business, philanthropy and service attended the event, which also included an awards ceremony in honor of top fundraisers, teams and sponsors for the 2022 Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s events across Orange County. The new office is at 38 Executive Park Ave., Ste. 350.
The event also marked the departure of longtime board member and recent chair, Paul Wexler, philanthropist and CEO (ret.), Paul Wexler Inc.
“Since our humble beginnings, the Alzheimer’s Association is now recognized as the leader in the effort to eliminate Alzheimer’s and all other dementia, offering on-the-ground care and support across the OC as well as hope for all those affected,” Wexler said. “I am exceptionally proud of where we have been and where I see the Orange County Chapter going in the future.”
Wexler is succeeded as board chair by Derek Serrano, financial adviser, branch manager, Banker’s Life, and board member, Alzheimer’s Association Orange County Chapter, since 2006.
Attending dignitaries included representatives from the offices of Katie Porter, U.S. Representative; Josh Newman, senator, state of California; Farrah Khan, mayor, city of Irvine; and Cottie Petrie-Norris, assemblywoman. Also in attendance were Bryan Starr, CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Clayton Chau, director, Orange County’s Health Care Agency; and Meg Barron, regional leader, Alzheimer’s Association.
Bits & Pieces
After 47 years of service to survivors of domestic violence, Women’s Transitional Living Center Inc. has rebranded itself to Radiant Futures in a move to better reflect the breadth and scope of what the organization is now, which over the years has expanded to include survivor-driven, trauma-informed practices to build a safer community by providing crisis help, including a 24-hour bilingual helpline, plus comprehensive services for all survivors, and education to help prevent domestic violence and trafficking. … Last year, Newport Dunes donated $33,000 to local charities and nonprofit organizations that work to protect local wildlife and habitats, including the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, Newport Bay Conservancy, and Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center of Orange County, as well as causes that benefit underserved youth and family, among them Project Hope Alliance, Laura’s House, CHOC Children’s Hospital, Beyond Blindness, UNICEF, Acoustic for a Change, and Boys Hope Girls Hope of Southern California. … Mission San Juan Capistrano and the Mission Preservation Foundation welcomes Seth Teigen, chief executive, Providence Mission Hospital, and Trevor Baird, owner, Trevor’s at the Tracks, to its board of directors, to support the foundation’s comprehensive preservation work that ensures that Mission San Juan Capistrano remains the most significant historic site in Orange County.