In addition, Pimco Chief Executive Manny Roman and Chief Investment Officer Dan Ivascyn will give $5 million each personally to charities, including GFN, which focus on alleviating the devastation caused by inadequate access to food and resources.
The foundation’s previous donations of $3.5 million to GFN have helped expand food access to more than 3 million people and in one case, the partnership with GFN helped a local food bank in Indonesia increase its reach from 3,000 people served to 29,000 in just one year. The new funds, which will be deployed over a five-year period, aim to improve food access by distributing 17.9 million kilograms of food globally.
“Food security is essential for societies and economies to thrive,” Roman and Ivascyn said in a statement. “While our investments are just one humble contribution in global efforts to eradicate hunger, we believe we can have a real impact by supporting organizations like GFN to help supply a reliable source of food to communities in need.”
Pimco, founded in 1971 in Newport Beach, is one of the world’s premier fixed income investment managers with $2.16 trillion in assets.
GFN supports locally led food banks in more than 40 countries, the majority of which are based in resource-scarce communities.
Brian Fargo, founder of Newport Beach video game developer inXile, donated $1 million to University of California, Irvine, to advance UCI research for tinnitus treatment, commonly described as “ringing in the ears.” The funding will support development of innovative implantable electronic stimulation device
A UCI multidisciplinary research team, led by Dr. Hamid Djalilian, professor of otolaryngology, School of Medicine and director of otology, neurotology and skull base surgery for UCI Health, found that electronic stimulation of the inner ear can alleviate tinnitus. Based on the success of its initial studies, the team has been developing an innovative implantable device that is placed behind the ear drum. Patients use a compact hand-held controller to turn electric stimulation on and off as symptoms occur and subside.
“Anyone who has the condition knows the frustration of dealing with the general lack of hope for a cure. Coming to UCI was a real breath of fresh air in a world of pessimism,” said Fargo, a patient of Djalilian. “I spent years researching and traveling the world looking at different solutions. One of the things that was abundantly clear was the lack of money being put into solving this problem. That’s why I’ve decided to step up and help accelerate the doctor’s work.”
Fargo’s gift is a $1 million challenge. He will match all donations one-on-one until $2 million is raised to fund the next phases of research and, ultimately, bring a device to market.
Life of Independence
On April 18, the Blind Children’s Learning Center (BCLC) hosted its 17th Annual Destination Independence Walk, raising more than $125,000. The event proceeds will fund BCLC’s three areas of focus: Academic & Mobility Support, Family Support Services, and Early Intervention. All of these programs are essential to Blind Children’s Learning Centers families as they cover braille training, white cane mobility, parent education and training and more.
This year’s Destination Independence Walk took place in a relay format, allowing participants to enjoy each other and the festive atmosphere at a safe, social distance. Walkers had the option to walk in person at Mater Dei High School on April 18 or on their own time virtually. In total, this year’s event welcomed 340 walkers, 42 fundraising teams, and 657 donors who all came together to support children with visual impairments and their families.
Event benefactors include gold-level sponsor Safety & Health Consulting Services, silver-level sponsors AvalonBay Communities, First Choice Bank, Oasis Medical and Tustin Auto Center and bronze-level sponsors Amwins and Union Bank.
Coming Together for Vets
Oltmans Construction Co., Howard’s Southern California, and the Orange County Rescue Mission came together in a collaborative effort to expand the Tustin Veterans Outpost, a housing facility that offers transitional housing for homeless or formerly homeless veterans in Orange County, along with veteran specific services including case management, mental health services, educational assistance, vocational training, and food and nutrition assistance, among many other services.
Orange County Rescue Mission along with Oltmans Construction, a full-service general contracting firm, broke ground on the expansion in early 2020. The construction company was the driving force behind the renovations, mobilizing their subcontractors to donate their services to this project as well. The in-kind materials, services and labor was roughly $1.8 million. In addition, Oltmans also donated $400,000 cash to the project.
Howard’s Southern California donated full kitchen suites, washing machines, dryers and televisions for each unity in the community.
The expansion will provide an additional 45 beds for homeless veterans and their families reaching a total of 71 beds in Orange County.