2009 Outstanding Honorees
John and Elizabeth Stahr, Corona del Mar
Over the past three decades, John and Elizabeth Stahr have tirelessly and generously provided leadership, service, and significant funding to many local arts, cultural, civic, and educational nonprofit organizations including: the Newport Beach Public Library, UC Irvine, Pacific Symphony, Pacific Chorale, Ballet Pacifica, South Coast Repertory, Philharmonic Society or Orange County, Arts Orange County, Orange County Museum of Art, American Field Service, Orange County Community Foundation, MIND Institute, Orange County Performing Arts Center, and the Girl Scout Council of Orange County. Their belief that private individuals must support important community resources is evidenced by their philanthropy and service, which have made an indelible mark on Orange County that will benefit residents many generations to come.
Submitted by: Girl Scout Council of Orange County, Pacific Symphony, City of Newport Beach Library Services, MIND Research Institute, UC Irvine and South Coast Repertory.
JUDGES SPECIAL AWARD - SPIRIT OF COMMUNITY
Ed Arnold, Fountain Valley
National Philanthropy Day 2009 is proud to honor Ed Arnold with the Special Judges Spirit of Community Award. Ed is the first person to ever be so honored by NPD in Orange County. Ed has cheerfully extended his personality and high profile to further the missions of countless philanthropic groups in Orange County and Southern California. A 55-year broadcast veteran of radio, television sports and news, and most currently co-host and managing editor of KOCE TV’s Real Orange, Ed is integral to the fabric of the local non-profit and social venues. Tens of thousands of dollars have been raised through Arnold’s generous giving of time as a volunteer master of ceremonies, auctioneer, and spokesman. He consistently provides the talent and cache of a true professional, always making the event, and not himself, the primary focus. He is a 41-year volunteer for the Special Olympics and helped found the Southern California Chapter in 1968. He is also a 45-year volunteer for his local Boys and Girls Clubs and chairman of the Huntington Beach-Fountain Valley club’s largest annual fundraiser. As a child, Ed went door-to-door collecting dimes for the March of Dimes. He recently retired from the March of Dimes board of directors after serving for 35 years. He has held leadership roles with California Jaycees, the Orange County Salvation Army, Orange County Multiple Sclerosis Society, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Rotary Club, and Crystal Cathedral.
Ed Arnold has positively shaped Orange County history by making his voice, warm style, and physical presence a smooth and trusted path to philanthropy. Orange County is deeply grateful to Ed for his selfless giving and service to so many.
Dick and Mary Allen
Motivated by a fundamental desire to make a difference, the Allens have contributed to local non-profit organizations with a shared focus on helping others. They have provided on-going support to Hoag Hospital, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Orange County Community Foundation, and recently made the lead gift to establish the Mary & Dick Allen Diabetes Center at Hoag.
At least 31 area organizations have benefitted from the Allens philanthropy including the Alzheimer’s Family Services Center, the Council on Aging, the MIND Institute, UC Irvine, and St. Mark Presbyterian Church. Their generosity supports the philanthropic fabric of Orange County and will live on in the many children, families, students, and seniors who benefit from the institutions the Allens have helped build and sustain.
Submitted by: Hoag Hospital Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Orange County Community, Foundation, Alzheimer’s Family Service Center, and UC Irvine.
OUTSTANDING CORPORATION OR BUSINESS (30 or more employees)
Anaheim Ducks / Honda Center, Anaheim
When you think of the Anaheim Ducks, you think both of its historic 2007 Stanley Cup win at Honda Center and its outstanding commitment to countless nonprofits. Dedication to the community permeates the team and arena from owners Henry and Susan Samueli, the staff, and all the Ducks players.
Charities have received grants, auction items, event tickets, leadership, and volunteer time. Evidence of their impact can be seen at the Discovery Science Center’s Science of Hockey, the Anaheim Ducks Wing at CHOC Children’s, Share Our Selves, Orangewood Children’s Foundation, and a multitude of nonprofits throughout Orange County. Their generosity goes far beyond what is expected of a professional sports team and arena. Thank you, Anaheim Ducks and Honda Center, for your giving spirit.
Submitted by: Share Our Selves
OUTSTANDING CORPORATION OR BUSINESS (Fewer than 30 employees)
Los Altos Trophy, Cypress
Los Altos Trophy is owned by Cindy and Lee Gittleman and operated by their nephew Mark Norton. The company has demonstrated generosity and corporate volunteerism well beyond its size by embracing Goodwill’s mission of providing people with disabilities and other barriers the opportunity to achieve their highest levels of independence. The owners and employees’ passionate involvement has spanned six years through financial contributions, event sponsorships, and volunteerism. Goodwill of Orange County greatly appreciates the hard work and caring nature that is inherent in Los Altos Trophy’s company culture. It is a privilege to honor Los Altos Trophy as Outstanding Small Business for 2009. They serve as a role model of a small company with a significant philanthropic impact.
Submitted by: Goodwill of Orange County
OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER FUNDRAISER
Richard and Susan Bridgford, Newport Coast
Richard and Susan Bridgford have positively influenced nonprofit organizations in Orange County for over the past two decades. Their causes include the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, Mission Viejo High School, and their church, Our Lady Queen of Angels. They have served as donors, board members, event sponsors, and hosted events in their home including the PCRF annual holiday card boutique. The Bridgford’s family company, Bridgford Foods, gets involved as well, with Second Harvest Food Bank benefiting from food donations for the past 25 years. This dynamic couple is an outstanding example of volunteer fundraisers, bringing new funds, ideas, collaborations, and people to the organizations that they support.
Submitted by: Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation and Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County
Ralph S. Opacic, Ed.D.
More than twenty years ago, Ralph S. Opacic, Ed.D., had a dream that would later have an impact on the lives of thousands of talented young artists and Orange County. At a time when arts education was declining throughout Southern California and the country, Dr. Opacic set out to create Southern California’s only pre-professional, tuition-free arts high school. His challenges included no funding, no facilities, and limited support from the education community.
Today that school is the nationally acclaimed Orange County High School of the Arts with 200 faculty and enrolling 1,400 students annually. The creativity, passion, tenacity, and vision of Dr. Ralph Opacic will live on in the students whose artistic natures the school has nourished and the audiences enjoying their art.
Submitted by: Orange County High School of the Arts
OUTSTANDING PHILANTHROPIC GROUP
WomanSage is a national nonprofit member-driven community of women 45 years and older, united to support women in the second half of their lives. This nonprofit was founded in 2004 by Jane Glenn Haas in recognition of the unique needs of midlife women. The organization’s philanthropic efforts support women through: 1) WomanSage Cares: A five-day cruise via scholarships so care¬givers get needed respite and camaraderie; 2) WomanSage Transition Makeovers: Life transition faculty pro-viding intervention to maximize women’s earning potential and supplement or avoid social services.; and 3) Re-Invent Yourself! Workplace Solutions: Education and net¬working to help her excel at work and make work/life decisions.
WomanSage has made local and national impact filling a void in support and services for women.
Submitted by: WomanSage
OUTSTANDING YOUTH / YOUTH GROUP
Lion's Heart, Coto de Caza
Lion’s Heart is a community service organization for south Orange County teens that started in 2004. It came about because Spencer Corwin, then a 7th grader, was looking for a way to give back to the community. Spencer and his mother, Terry, started Lion’s Heart in Coto de Caza with just 20 boys. It has now grown to 21 groups with 335 boy and girl members who give at least 30 volunteer hours annually. Their mission is to serve the community in meaningful and fun ways. The teens’ have donated over 25,000 hours of volunteer service. Members elect their own officers, lead their own meetings and decide together on group projects. What a great example of service arising from teens desire to serve and have fun with friends.
Submitted by: The Bell Tower Foundation, Orange County Rescue Mission, Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, and Education for the Children Foundation