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Wednesday, Apr 24, 2024


Let’s Be Frank About Hope

Frank Di Bella, Orange County philanthropist, owner, Frank Di Bella Accountancy Corp., and cancer survivor, brought together more than 300 community leaders, philanthropists, other survivors, and City of Hope supporters for the ninth annual Let’s Be Frank About Cancer gala on March 18 at the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach.

The event raised more than $530,000 to support research by oncologist Sumanta Pal, M.D., who treated Di Bella at City of Hope in Duarte and now at City of Hope Orange County.

Pal, co-director of the Kidney Cancer Program at City of Hope, focuses his work on understanding how cancers develop and metastasize, predicting cancer recurrence, and improving treatments with fewer side effects.

“I am so honored that so many people came to support Let’s Be Frank About Cancer,” Di Bella said. “Thanks to the help of these contributions from private individuals and local businesses, City of Hope and Pal can continue to provide the ultimate care, leading-edge research and most importantly, hope, to patients like me. And now, with City of Hope right here in Orange County, even more local lives will be impacted.”

The evening saluted Kelly Roberts, vice chairman and chief operating officer, Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, and Duane Roberts, owner, Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, with the Frank Di Bella Humanitarian Award, for their ongoing support in the fight against cancer.

Kelly and Duane Roberts were the evening’s Platinum Sponsors. Additional sponsors included Bella and Claudette Kraus; St. Augustine RV; and Musick, Peeler, Garrett LLP.
Since its inception in 2015, the black-tie gala has raised more than $9 million for City of Hope.

Beautiful Luncheon

The Beauty in Grace annual luncheon, hosted by MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center Foundation, was held at Club 19 at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach on March 14.

The luncheon raised more than $110,000 to benefit advanced breast MRI technology and equipment for the Sarah & Taylor Nederlander Breast Center in MemorialCare’s new Women’s Health Pavilion, currently under construction in Laguna Hills.

The group’s gift this year will be recognized with the naming of the Beauty in Grace Women’s Giving Circle MRI Lounge.

Marcia Manker, CEO, MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center, highlighted how Saddleback Medical Center is focusing on women’s health by building a 40,000-square-foot Women’s Health Pavilion.

Luncheon guests enjoyed appetizers, champagne and mocktails while mingling, and then were seated for a three-course lunch. A panel discussion, featuring Manker; Sally Johnson, breast cancer patient; Samantha Kubaska, M.D, breast radiologist, MemorialCare Breast Center; and Amy Bremner, M.D., medical director, breast surgical oncology, MemorialCare Breast Center, followed lunch. Panel discussion topics included how, in addition to a 3D mammogram, an MRI helps detect and plan treatment for breast cancer.

Taking Care of Business

More than 700 Orange County business and community leaders attended the Orange County Business Council’s (OCBC) annual dinner on March 2 at the Disneyland Hotel.

The evening marked the installation of Jodi Duva, vice president, Cox Communications, as incoming 2023 Chair while recognizing the contributions of Dave Bartlett, vice president, land entitlement and housing development, Brookfield Properties, as outgoing 2022 Board Chair.

The dinner also served as the installation event for the 2023 OCBC board of directors, which includes members from the housing, healthcare, tourism, hospitality, academia, transportation, engineering, construction, life sciences, energy, telecommunications, and banking industries.

Farmers & Merchants Bank was the dinner’s title sponsor, and Amazon its VIP reception sponsor.

The evening also recognized Orange County organizations investing in economic development.

Honorees of the Invest in OC Economic Development award included City of Hope Orange County for its new Lennar Foundation Cancer Center; Dana Point Harbor’s revitalization project; FivePoint for its Great Park Neighborhoods; ocV!BE, a mixed-use master-planned community and entertainment destination planned in Anaheim; Related California for its planned new development in Santa Ana featuring retail, residential and senior living and hotel rooms across from South Coast Plaza; and UCI Health for its new hospital under construction on the university’s campus in Irvine (see story, page 1).

Bits & Pieces

CalOptima Health has provided Families Forward with a grant of more than $275,000, which is part of $29.9 million in community grants from CalOptima Health to address homelessness in Orange County, to support Families Forward’s mission to provide access to housing and resources that create lasting stability.

Dr. Pooja Bhalla, co-chief executive, Illumination Foundation, was named a 2023 CA-46 Congressional Woman of the Year on April 22 during a ceremony held at the Sandhu Conference Center at Chapman University in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the 46th Congressional District.

Todd Staley, executive vice president, Pimco, was recently named to Community Action Partnership of Orange County’s (CAP OC) board of directors, bringing years of strong community experience and senior executive-level leadership, positivity, and strategic planning to further CAP OC’s mission of ending poverty.

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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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