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Volume 5, Issue 76  |  September 22, 2020


Top philanthropists announced for 35th annual National Philanthropy Day Orange County

Orange County’s top philanthropists, business leaders and individuals will be honored at the 35th annual National Philanthropy Day Awards program and celebration, an interactive virtual event, on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, from 12-1 p.m.

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, with more than 1,000 honorees since its inception in 1986. Orange County Business Journal is the Presenting Sponsor, Public Media Group of Southern California is the Platinum Broadcast Media Sponsor and the Orange County Register is the Community Media Sponsor.

Special guest speaker for this year’s ceremony is Wyland, an internationally renowned artist/conservationist and philanthropist, and hosting the affair will be PMGSC’s Maria Hall-Brown. Sue and Ralph Stern, 2019 Legacy Award honorees, return this year as honorary chairs.

The 2020 National Philanthropy Day Orange County Outstanding Honorees include:

Top philanthropists Webster O Grady

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Nella Webster O’Grady

–Outstanding Philanthropist - Nella Webster O’Grady

Observing elderly customers victimized by poor financial decisions in the banking industry prompted Nella Webster O’Grady to join the trust industry, where she has since served in senior management positions. Throughout her career, she has given her time and talents to numerous nonprofit organizations, including Girl Scouts of Orange County, Orange County United Way, Mission Plasticos, WHW and Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business. Webster O’Grady resides in Newport Coast.

Top philanthropists Martin cropped

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Photo by Turville Photography

Ilona Martin

–Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser - Ilona Martin

Following a successful career in fashion manufacturing, Ilona Martin’s life changed direction after Hoag Hospital saved her life from ovarian cancer and volunteering became her passion. She has lent her time and fundraising acumen to Hoag Hospital (including making a charitable bequest to nursing scholarships), Laguna Playhouse and Laguna College of Art and Design, where she took her first art class in 1984. Martin remains an accomplished impressionist artist. From Newport Beach, you can view her work at Seaside Gallery & Goods.

Top philanthropists Ahn Wallace

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Katherine Ahn Wallace

–Outstanding Philanthropic Group - OCCares

Katherine Ahn Wallace’s mission, as OCCares founder and board chair, is to grow compassionate, philanthropic social entrepreneurs through Project Y, a high school club-based, student-driven youth social entrepreneurship program with curriculum supplanted by UC Irvine and Pepperdine University. OCCares hosts fundraisers for needy nonprofits and provides volunteer opportunities for students to fulfill service-learning credits at their schools. OCCares is based in Newport Beach.

Top philanthropists Tarsadia

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Karina Tarsadia

–Outstanding Youth - Karina Tarsadia

Sixteen-year-old Karina Tarsadia, a Sage Hill School sophomore, was inspired through service trips to Cambodia, India and Africa, to help others. In 2019, she created, with nonprofit partners, the Backpack Project, which provided 5,500 backpacks with school supplies, groceries, haircuts and food to low-income families. This fall, Tarsadia and her team are working directly with partners and schools to distribute 15,000 backpacks.

Top philanthropists Zagon

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Laurie Zagon

–Outstanding Founder - Laurie Zagon/Art & Creativity for Healing 

Laurie Zagon, M.F.A., artist, author and former professor of art, has for more than 40 years facilitated Art & Creativity for Healing workshops. Her method of Art4Healing® has helped tens of thousands of children and adults process stress, illness, grief and fear in hospitals and nonprofit organizations throughout Southern California and the U.S. Since 2000, in Orange County Zagon has trained more the 250 facilitators in her method and provided workshops for 85,000 children, teens and adults.

Additional awardees include: Outstanding Small Corporation or Business (1-50 employees) - Advance Beauty College; Outstanding Mid-Size Corporation or Business (51-499 employees) - FivePoint Holdings, LLC; and Outstanding Large Corporation or Business (500+ employees) – loanDepot.

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 more information about the event, visit www.npdoc.org.

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