Philanthropy Award Honorees Include Newport Beach Locals

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Todd Pickup and Kevin Martin of Balboa Bay Resort & Club, which will be honored as Outstanding Corporation or Business, midsize, at the National Philanthropy Day Awards on Nov 14.
— Photo by Christopher Trela ©

Honorees have been announced for the 34th Annual National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon to be held on Nov 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at City National Grove of Anaheim.

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, officials wrote in a press release. More than 1,000 philanthropic individuals and businesses have been honored since its inception in 1986.

This year, of the nine different categories, Newport Beach individuals and businesses are being honored in five categories.

The Legacy Award will be presented to Sue and Ralph Stern of Newport Beach. The Sterns’ philanthropy interests are diverse, including cancer research, integrative health, Holocaust education, a community center in Uganda, a clown program for hospitalized children at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County, children’s causes, the performing arts, science and engineering, and promoting Jewish institutions and values.

Balboa Bay Resort & Club in Newport Beach will be honored as the year’s Outstanding Corporation or Business, midsize (51-499 employees). The Pickup and Martin families, owners of the resort and club, are enthusiastic and involved philanthropists who provide financial support to local nonprofits, create fundraising initiatives and inspire their employees to volunteer and help others.

“Balboa Bay Resort & Club inspires a culture of giving through charitable contributions by ownership, community involvement and employee supported programs,” Balboa Bay Resort Club GM Letitia Rice said in a prepared statement.

Earning the title of Outstanding Philanthropic Group is the Newport Beach-based Junior League of Orange County.

“Junior League of Orange County is thrilled to receive this award and to be recognized for our impact in the community,” JLOC President Jennifer Jackson said in a prepared statement.

The Junior League has 400 members who volunteer more than 25,000 hours annually. The group focuses on improving the lives of foster youth and victims of human trafficking through education, direct service, monetary donations, and legislative and community advocacy.

Dr. Adrienne Matros of Newport Coast will receive the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser award. Matros is a licensed clinical psychologist who volunteers on several nonprofit boards and committees focused on children and youth. She also regularly volunteers her time to each of the organizations she financially contributes to, she explained.

“Paying it forward is what life is all about,” Matros said in a prepared statement. “The greatest joy of volunteering is knowing that I have made a positive difference in someone’s life.”

Hannah Novakovich, 17, of Newport Beach will be presented with the Outstanding Youth award. Novakovich is a leader and volunteer at Pacifica Christian High School and through her church, Grace Fellowship Church in Costa Mesa. Her nonprofit work includes Families Forward, Samaritan’s Purse, Mercy House and Thomas House Family Shelter, where she taught young kids to sew headbands to sell in order to visit Discovery Cube.

One more honoree with a Newport Beach connection is Chef Bill Bracken of Bracken’s Kitchen in Garden Grove. Bracken is the former executive chef for the Four Seasons Hotel in Fashion Island, since renamed the Fashion Island Hotel. He also opened Dive Bar Restaurant in Newport Beach (now Mama’s on Coast Highway). He launched Bracken’s Kitchen in 2013 to cook high-quality food for those in need. Through food recovery, culinary training and a community feeding program, he is committed to recovering, repurposing and restoring both food and lives.

Tickets and sponsorships for the National Philanthropy Day luncheon are still available.

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