Charity Spotlight: Newporters Among Honorees for 30th National Philanthropy Day OC

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Sandy Segerstrom Daniels
Sandy Segerstrom Daniels

“Thank You.”

That phrase will be heard repeatedly at the 30th annual National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon to be held on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, at Hotel Irvine.

Among those who will be thanked for their generous spirits and philanthropic endeavors: Sandy Segerstrom Daniels of Newport Coast, one of eight local philanthropists and community leaders set to be honored.

National Philanthropy Day Founder Doug Freeman, chairman of the board of directors for Newport Beach-based Literacy Project Foundation and Director of Trust Services and Consulting for First Foundation Bank, Irvine, will also be honored for his part in establishing the special day of celebrating philanthropy in cities across the country the third week in November.

Produced by the Orange County Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, National Philanthropy Day has become the most prominent philanthropic recognition event in Orange County, with more than 1,000 honorees since its inception in 1986.

The 2015 National Philanthropy Day Orange County Outstanding Honorees include:

Legacy Award: Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, Newport Coast. Daniels is passionate about supporting children’s causes, in particular the Festival of Children and Festival of Children Foundation, for which she is founder.

Outstanding Philanthropist: Donnie Crevier, Laguna Beach. Crevier’s community outreach extends across the board,

Doug Freeman
Doug Freeman

but particularly to his beloved Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach. Outstanding Philanthropic Group: FedEx Cares, Santa Ana. FedEx is committed to building strong local communities through the involvement of its employee-supported FedEx Cares program.

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser: James F. Amato, Garden Grove. Amato gives his time as a volunteer and as a fundraiser to help keep nonprofits financially sound.

Outstanding Founder: Rusty Kennedy, Santa Ana. Kennedy’s mission through Orange County Human Relations, for which he is founder, has been to eliminate prejudice, intolerance and discrimination.

Outstanding Small Corporation or Business (1-50 employees): HKA, Inc. Marketing Communications, Tustin. HKA Founder and President Hilary Kaye has established a community-minded and philanthropic business that supports its many nonprofit clients, including Newport’s Crystal Cove Alliance.

Outstanding Mid-Sized Corporation or Business (51-499 employees): KIA Motors America, Irvine. KIA’s Volunteer Impact Program provides its team members with paid time off to volunteer with KIA’s charity partners in Orange County and across the nation.

Outstanding Large Corporation or Business (500+ employees): Word & Brown Companies, Orange. Founders John Word and Rusty Brown are committed to giving back and supporting nonprofits in the community that help the less fortunate.

Outstanding Youth: Anika Ortiz, Orange. Eleven-year-old Anika Ortiz launched Anika’s Pink Closet at the Mariposa Women & Family Center to raise funds for the center’s domestic violence program.

About National Philanthropy Day: National Philanthropy Day Orange County honors those who have demonstrated philanthropy and enhanced their communities and the world. Each year, more than 100 Association of Fundraising Professionals chapters throughout the US and Canada honor the philanthropic efforts of individuals, businesses and groups. Net proceeds from the event support the ethical advancement of philanthropy in the community by the Orange County Chapter of AFP.

National Philanthropy Day was conceived and organized in the 1980s by Orange County resident Doug Freeman, who has been a longtime supporter (and board member) of a variety of nonprofit organizations in Orange County .

After an east coast speaking engagement where Freeman thanked donors of an organization, he thought that “we do not do enough as a community and a nation to stand up on behalf of or donors.”

He began a campaign to establish a national day or recognition by writing to President Ronald Reagan’s chief of staff and others in Washington. That launched a five year campaign to get a bill passed in congress to have a date dedicated to honoring and celebrating American philanthropy, which Freeman said “is a unique part of our culture.”

Finally, in 1986, President Reagan signed a proclamation officially recognizing Nov. 15, 1986 as National Philanthropy Day.

Since then, thousands of honorees have been recognized across North America. Orange County philanthropists honored have included Donald Bren, Marion Knott, Henry and Susan Samueli, Henry Segerstrom, and General William and Willa Dean Lyon.

For further information on the event, visit

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