Top Local Philanthropists Honored at Philanthropy Day Event

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Legacy Award honorees Ralph and Sue Stern of Newport Beach with 2018 Outstanding Philanthropists Ling and Charlie Zhang.
— Photo by Carla Rhea ©

Orange County’s top philanthropists, business leaders and individuals — including five from Newport Beach — were honored at an event recently.

The 34th Annual National Philanthropy Day Orange County Awards Luncheon was held Nov. 14. at City National Grove of Anaheim. About 820 guests attended.

According to information from 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.

Mistress of Ceremonies was PBS-So Cal’s Maria Hall-Brown and Ginny Ueberroth and Vicki Booth of the Ueberroth Family Foundation of Corona del Mar.

Outstanding Philanthropist Keith Swayne of Laguna Beach with Honorary Chairs, representing the Ueberroth Family Foundation, Ginny Ueberroth and Vicki Booth
— Photo by Tony Lattimore ©

Outstanding Philanthropist Keith Swayne of Laguna Beach, whose late wife Judy was honored at National Philanthropy Day 20 years ago as the founder of the Orange County Community Foundation, said in a press release that he is committed to “supporting organizations working to make Orange County inclusive and accepting, helping people overcome the obstacles that circumstances of life have placed in their way, and to help find a cure for Alzheimer’s and to be of help to those dealing with the disease” (his wife passed away from Alzheimer’s).

Sue and Ralph Stern of Newport Beach were Legacy Award honorees. Sue, who said she is drawn to children’s causes, said in a press release that “Girls Inc has found a special place in my heart. Starting at a young age, our programs teach girls to become strong, smart and bold, which empowers them to move on to higher education and to become productive members of their communities

Outstanding Youth Hannah Novakovich of Newport Beach was presented with $2,500 from AFP OC President Kristine Peters, to be designated to a charity of her choice. She chose Thomas House Family Shelter, where she initiated sewing classes for children. She was also presented with a $1,000 check from the AFP-OC Scholarship Fund for her continuing development and education.

Carole Pickup and Devon Martin, owners of Balboa Bay Resort and Balboa Bay Club, with the award for Outstanding Mid-Size Business
— Photo by Tony Lattimore ©

The remaining awards included the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser, Dr. Adrienne Matros of Newport Coast; Outstanding Philanthropic Group, Junior League of Orange County (based in Newport Beach), represented by President Jennifer Jackson; Outstanding Mid-Size Business; and Balboa Bay Resort and Balboa Bay Club, represented by owners Carole Pickup and Devon Martin.

All the honorees were presented with a beautifully crafted hand-blown glass heart sculpture, created by master glassblower John Barber of Laguna Beach.

The effort netted proceeds for the support of the ethical advancement of philanthropy in the community by the Orange County Chapter of AFP.

Program Co-Chair Catherine Spear, Outstanding Youth Hannah Novakovich of Newport Beach, AFP-OC President Kristine Peters
— Photo by Tony Lattimore ©

National Philanthropy Day Orange County honors those who have demonstrated philanthropy and enhanced their communities and the world. Each year, more than 230 Association of Fundraising Professionals’ chapters around the world honor the philanthropic efforts of individuals, businesses and groups. Its members collectively raise more than $100 billion every year, powering organizations and missions dedicated to remarkable charitable endeavors.

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