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PHILANTHROPY

Goodwill To All

Goodwill of Orange County held its inaugural gala on Nov. 15 at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott in Dana Point.

The event, which marked the nonprofit organization’s 90th anniversary, raised more than $400,000.

The funds will benefit three key programs: Enduring Independence, a military veteran’s advocacy program that helps young veterans find employment and transition into civilian life; The Goodwill Fitness Center, a completely accessible fitness center designed for people living with physical disabilities or chronic illnesses; and Goodwill’s Assistive Technology Exchange Center, a program that aims to help children and adults living with disabilities reach maximum potential through specialized services and equipment.

More than 500 guests attended the sold-out gala, which featured entertainment by The Beach Boys and a special appearance by actor John Stamos.

Guests included the Bickerstaff Family Foundation, the underwriting event sponsor, along with title sponsor Technical Mechanical Support. Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Hot Ticket Racing also sponsored portions of the event.

Lighting Up Holiday Season

Kia Motors Inc. and Versace were among the top sponsors of the 41st annual Segerstrom Center for the Arts Candlelight Concert. More than 300 guests attended the Dec. 5 event, which raised nearly $1.9 million to support the center’s arts and education programs. Frank Sinatra Jr. and his 37-piece orchestra provided the entertainment. Past years’ concerts have featured artists such as Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons and Tony Bennett.

The concert was held at Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, which was transformed into an Art Deco ballroom. Center board member Shanaz Langson and her husband Jack, owner and president of Investment Building Group, served as co-chairs. Executive Vice President Judy O’Dea Morr, who’s been with the center for 30 years and has helped guide it to what it is today, was the evening’s special honoree. The center’s Founders Hall will be renamed the Judy Morr Theater.

Philanthropists On a Mission

This month, Bill Gross, cofounder of Pacific Investment Management Co. who’s now with Janus Capital Group, and his wife, Sue, donated more than $10 million to Mission Hospital Laguna Beach.

Mission Hospital, in recognition of the gift, has named the Laguna Beach Emergency Department in their honor. It’s now The Sue and Bill Gross Emergency Department at Mission Hospital Laguna Beach.

The money will be used by the hospital to purchase imaging technologies, expand facilities, and enhance emergency support services.

“Laguna Beach is our home and we wanted to help ensure that our community has access to emergency services locally,” said Sue Gross, president of the Gross Family Foundation. “We feel privileged to have an opportunity to partner with Mission Hospital Laguna Beach.”

The Grosses also donated $100,000 to the AIDS Services Foundation in December. The gift, which is designated for core operating expenses, marks the third consecutive year the couple has supported the organization.

A New View

Shelly Automotive Group, Wahoo’s Fish Taco, Radisson Newport Beach, Wells Fargo Bank, Rancho Santa Margarita Honda, and Ryder Transportation are among several Orange County-based companies or companies with a large presence here that sponsored the fifth annual Swing for Autism shotgun scrambles tournament Nov. 3 at the Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club.

The event netted more than $100,000, which benefited New Vista School in Laguna Hills. New Vista serves students with high-functioning autism in grades six through 12.

The money raised through the event will be used to promote academic achievement and to foster independence through academics, social skills, self-advocacy and community involvement.

Bits & Pieces

Bank of America Charitable Foundation gave $5,000 to Laura’s House, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention of domestic violence. … The Anaheim Hills store of Santa Ana-based Mother’s Market donated more than 2,500 muffins, oranges, bananas and other food items to the seventh annual Plymouth Rock N’ Run 5K/10K Thanksgiving Day turkey trot, which raised funds for spinal-cord-injury research. … Owners of Costa Mesa-based Burba Hotel Network, Jim Burba and Bob Hayes, will host their second annual “Free Day” for the public at the Laguna Beach Art Museum on Dec. 28 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is free admission to all exhibits.

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