Orangewood Foundation Raises $469K at Ambassador Luncheon at Renaissance Hotel in Newport Beach

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Orangewood CEO Chris Simonsen and Honoree Lisa Evans

Orangewood Foundation, a nonprofit that serves nearly 2,000 foster and community youth annually, hosted its 25th annual Ambassador Luncheon on Friday, October 28 at the Renaissance Hotel in Newport Beach.

The event recognized Orangewood’s individual and collective accomplishments from the past year while honoring the foundation’s “Ambassadors,” the volunteers and donors who support the Foundation’s efforts.

This year, the event raised a total of $469,277 which will help the organization support community youth in Orange County.

“It is all in thanks to our generous donors and sponsors that we are able to provide such a high level of support to foster and community youth in Orange County,” said Orangewood Foundation CEO, Chris Simonsen. “This support changes the lives of hundreds of youths in our communities, by giving them resources, opportunities, and connections that pave the way for a successful future.”

This year, guests were able to experience an interactive new event format as the luncheon featured an “Innovation Station Tour” comprised of nine stations designed and built by Samueli Academy students.

Jessica Campos explaining an Innovation Station

Each station showcased a different innovative program created by Orangewood Foundation, providing information and background on the Guardian Scholars Program, Orangewood Children’s Home, Rising Tide Program, Advanced Studies Fund, Samueli Academy, The Lighthouse Project, Young Adult Court, General William Lyon Workforce Academy, and the Orangewood Grove highlighting the future of Orangewood.

The luncheon honored 25-year Orangewood staff member and Resource Center Supervisor, Lisa Evans, with the General William Lyon Crystal Vision Award, which recognizes worthy individuals who have given generously of their time and resources and who reflect the unending commitment to Orange County youth that was demonstrated by Founding Board Chairman, General William Lyon.

Longtime Orangewood supporter and steadfast kitchen volunteer, Kelly Bozza, was also honored, receiving the William G. Steiner Heart of Service Award which recognizes individuals who have an unwavering passion for helping young people, and that go above and beyond in supporting the organization.

The luncheon was made possible by several sponsors, including Holly and David Wilson, Angels Baseball Foundation, Anaheim Ducks Foundation, Farmers & Merchants Bank, Sandi and Doug Jackson, William Lyon, Jeff Roos, Bill and Pat Podlich, Christine and Robert Bartholomew, Samueli Foundation, the Ueberroth Family Foundation, Union Bank, The Livingston Family Foundation, Korbel Champagne, CommerceWest Bank, Titan Health & Security Technologies, Optima Tax Relief, Returning Home Foundation, CSU Fullerton, Barry & Toni McManus, Kirksey & Co., Chase Bank, Disneyland Resort, Cal Pac Sheet Metal, and Motive Companies.

To learn how you can become an Orangewood Ambassador, please visit or contact Kendra Puryear, Chief Development Officer, at [email protected].

Established in 1981, Orangewood Foundation is a privately funded 501(c)(3) nonprofit that serves nearly 2,000 foster and community youth annually. The organization is committed to helping youth prepare for independent adulthood, providing various programs and services that focus on health & wellness, housing, life skills & employment, and education.

Orangewood Foundation’s mission is to strive for equity for its yo uth by valuing and supporting the life that each individual envisions.

To learn more, please visit

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