Ambassador Luncheon a Home Run for Abused Children

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By Lynn Selich | Society Editor

Photos by Ann Chatillon


Almost 500 guests gathered to support the recent 13th Annual Orangewood Ambassador Luncheon, which is held for current and prospective Orangewood Ambassadors – donors who give $1,000 or more annually to the Foundation.

The program netted more than $300,000 for Orangewood’s programs for abused children and at-risk families throughout Orange County.

The event featured guest speaker, Major League Baseball hall-of-famer Rod Carew, and honored former board chairman Dave Ritchie for his longtime support of the Foundation.

In attendance were the other two former Orangewood chairmen – Gen. William Lyon (founding chairman, 1981-1993) and John Hagestad (1993-2005) – and current chairman Bruce Fetter.

Keynote speaker Rod Carew shared his story of abuse in his native country, Panama, at the hands of his father, his move to the United States at a teenager, and his successful professional baseball career which culminated in his induction into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991.

His speech was followed by a Q&A session with his friend and Orangewood Emeritus board member Doug DeCinces. Carew and DeCinces played together on the California Angels from 1982-1985. Other baseball-related guests included Angel’s owner Arte Moreno and wife Carole, and retired pitcher Jim Abbott.

The most inspiring part of the luncheon came when former foster youth Jorge Cardenas spoke. Though his young life was filled with immense challenges, with the help of scholarships from Orangewood Children’s Foundation, Cardenas is now a senior at Cal. State Fullerton.

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