Top Philanthropists Honored at 38th Annual National Philanthropy Day Orange County

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Event Co-Chair Kay Linen Clark, Honorary Chair and 2022 Legacy Award winner Gene Reed of Newport Beach, Legacy Award winner Leona Aronoff-Sadacca, Mid-Size Business winner Casanova/McCann President and CEO Ingrid Smart, Co-Chair Jessica Hamman

Orange County’s top philanthropists, business leaders and individuals were honored at the 38th Annual National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023, at City National Grove of Anaheim.

Produced by the Orange County Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, National Philanthropy Day, attended by 840 attendees this year, has become the most prominent philanthropic recognition event in Orange County, with more than 1,000 honorees since its inception.

Gena Reed, the 2022 Legacy Award honoree and a resident of Newport Beach, was this year’s Honorary Chair, and PBS SoCal’s Maria Hall Brown served as mistress of ceremonies.

Doug Freeman

National Philanthropy Day Founder Doug Freeman of Newport Beach was honored by showing a video of Freeman’s journey in creating the special day of thanks and explaining how he lobbied the U.S. Congress for five years to do so, which led President Reagan to establish National Philanthropy Day in November, 1986.

Artist John Barber was also honored with a video for personally creating the handblown glass heart that National Philanthropy Day honorees receive.

Event Co-Chairs Kay Linan Clark and Jessica Hamman were pleased with the estimated $80,000 raised for the support of the ethical advancement of philanthropy in the community by the Orange County Chapter of AFP.

Among the many honorees was the Wahoo’s Fish Tacos Foundation, which was named Outstanding Founder. The foundation was represented by its founders and brothers, Ed Lee, Mingo Lee and Wing Lam (a Newport Beach resident). They were introduced by former Legacy Award winners Charlie and Ling Zhang.

The Outstanding Founder award went to the Wahoo’s Fish Tacos Foundation, represented by brothers, from left, Wing Lam of Newport Beach, Mingo Lee and Ed Lee, far left. Ling & Charlie Zhang, in middle, former Legacy Award winners, introduced them.

Brothers Ed and Mingo Lee and Wing Lam co-founded Wahoo’s Fish Tacos in 1988, and it has become one of the most iconic fast-casual restaurant brands in Southern California and beyond (with a popular location in the Fashion Island food court).

Committed to giving back to the community, the brothers give individually and through the Wahoo’s Family Foundation. The roots of their giving lie in gratitude – a gratitude for the chance to make a meaningful impact in the community that has embraced them.

The Outstanding Philanthropist award was presented to the Tarsadia Foundation. The Small Business Award was presented to My Private Professor. The Legacy Award was presented to Leona Aronoff-Sadacca.

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser went to Ryan & Paige Getzlaf. OC Grantmakers was named Outstanding Philanthropic Group. Outstanding Youth award went to Ethan Yochum. Outstanding Corporation or Business, Mid-Size was Casanova//McCann

National Philanthropy Day Orange County honors those who have demonstrated philanthropy and enhanced their communities and the world. Each year, more than 130 Association of Fundraising Professionals chapters throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico 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.

For further information on the event, visit www.npdoc.org.

 

 

 

 

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