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Donor Volunteer Spotlight
Thanks to the following outstanding donors and volunteers! Their tremendous gifts of time, money and expertise have made a signficant difference to Orangewood and the children and young adults we serve. Please read more about these wonderful individuals by clicking on their names below...
The late Jim McNamara
October 2013

Jim McNamara was born in 1924 in Hastings, Minnesota. He was the second of six boys and raised during the Depression era primarily by his mother. At the age of 16 he joined the Army. He served for 24 years, including in the Korean War, and eventually rose to the rank of Major. Jim married Oralee in 1947 and the couple went on to have five children. They lived in various states and in Europe while Jim was in the service.

In the early 1960s, Jim and his family moved to Garden Grove and he started a new career in banking and finance. He worked for Union Bank for several years and then The William Lyon Company for 14 years. He retired as a Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for the company.

Retirement didn’t last long for Jim as he became actively involved in charitable causes with Orangewood Children’s Foundation, City of Hope, Boy Scouts of America, and the Sisters of the Sacred Heart. During his almost 30 years of involvement with Orangewood, Jim wanted to help out however he could. He understood the value of higher education and the importance of our college scholarship program. At the same time he recognized how hard it was to raise money. He and Oralee were frequent event sponsors and major contributors to many of Orangewood programs. Jim was a great fundraiser too. He was so likeable and passionate about Orangewood it was hard for people to say no to him!

Jim and Oralee genuinely loved to meet Orangewood youth in person, even attending a student/donor reception held outdoors on a sweltering August afternoon last year! Among Orangewood staff Jim was known as a Santa of sorts…a happy, white-haired man going cubicle to cubicle handing out candy canes in mid-December and thanking each person for their hard work during the year.

Jim was the father of five children, grandfather of eight, and great-grandfather of 10. He was a friend and source of inspiration to countless others. He died in December at the age of 88. In an interview by high school students for a paper on honoring war veterans, Jim said, “I have a great, wonderful family and a great, rewarding life. I’m a very lucky guy.” All of us who had the privilege of knowing Jim consider ourselves the lucky ones!
Mary Lara
December 2012

This past October at our volunteer recognition reception we recognized Mary Lara as our 2012 Outstanding Volunteer of the Year. Mary started volunteering with Orangewood in 2009. Since then she has donated 238 hours of her time in a variety of areas. Mary helps with office projects and attends special events, and was a lead volunteer for our 2011 holiday gift drive. Around Orangewood’s offices Mary is a familiar face. She is well-known as a hard worker with a calm demeanor and ready smile. We are grateful to have her help and happy to give her this well-deserved honor. Thanks, Mary!

Congratulations to these other volunteers who were honored as well:
• Jeff Johnson
• Lynelle Mejia-Walsh
• Jeannette Preece
• Megan & Matt Vest


Ritz Restaurant & Garden
May 2012

The Ritz Restaurant and Garden has been a fixture in Orange County since the late 1970’s. In the beginning a small group of men formed the “Ritz Brothers” to support the restaurant and original owner Hans Prager. However Prager was a strong believer in giving back to the community so over time the group evolved into a “fraternity of community involved men”. Members pay annual “dues” of $150 not to the restaurant but to the charity of their choice from among a list selected by the restaurant. Today the group offers members special restaurant privileges and networking opportunities to approximately 600 members. The restaurant also has a similar group for women.

For over 11 years the Ritz Restaurant and Garden has generously donated gift certificates to various Orangewood fundraising events. In 2006, Orangewood received almost $10,000 from the Ritz Brothers. Thanks to the efforts of Alan Clifton, a Ritz Brother since 1998 and a long-time member of our PALS auxiliary board, Orangewood was once again selected as a charity recipient beginning in 2010. In the three years since, Orangewood has received over $74,000 from the Ritz Brothers. “Ritz Brothers is a really unique group,” said Carlos Leija, Orangewood’ Chief Development Officer. “The restaurant encourages its members to support local charities and their contributions are huge for us. Many of the members give far more than $150. We really appreciate their support, especially from managing partner Ray Jacobi and controller Laurie Virtue.”
Vikki Vargas
December 2011

Many know Vikki Vargas from her nearly three decades of reporting with NBC4. She joined the station in 1982 and is now Orange County Bureau Chief and the most senior reporter at the station. Along the way she has received many awards and honors.

We know Vikki from her years of passion and dedication to abused children, especially in helping them achieve their dreams of a college education. She has served on Orangewood’s Board of Directors for 15 years and on the Foundation’s marketing committee for six years. Since the inception of the Guardian Scholars program in 1998, Vikki has been a huge advocate for the program at CSUF. (Guardian Scholars is a partnership between Orangewood and local universities to provide on-campus support for foster youth pursuing higher education.) She has sat in on the interview process of the students, hosted student/donor gatherings in her home and emceed the annual graduation banquet. She takes the time and effort to know the students personally and is genuinely interested in their success. As of August of this year, Vikki and her husband Michael are the proud parents of their own college student.

In October, Vikki was awarded the 2011 General Lyon Crystal Vision Philanthropy Award at our annual Ambassador Luncheon. Congratulations Vikki!
Orange Coast College
Spring 2011

Orange Coast College has been a wonderful partner with Orangewood for many years. It has been the venue for many of our Independent Living Program events for teens including Belle of the Ball (self-esteem workshops and prom dress shopping), Independent City (half-day workshop in a “city” that replicates real-world decisions and activities), College Fair and the Three-On-Three basketball tournament.

Orange Coast College was also the first community college who signed on with our Guardian Scholars Program and it continues to have an active program today. Guardian Scholars is a program established by Orangewood that partners with colleges, universities and trade schools to provide various on-campus support services for foster youth pursuing higher education.

OCC’s partnership with Orangewood has been spearheaded by Doug Bennett (Orange Coast College Foundation Executive Director), Rene Kinn (Orange Coast College Foundation Assistant) and Steve Tamanaha (previously the Director of EOPS, now the Director of Athletes).

Says Orangewood Chief Programs Officer Bob Theemling, “OCC’s staff really has a heart for our kids and, being at a “community” college, they take the idea of supporting the community seriously. Plus simply by being on a college campus for our various ILP events, our foster care teens begin to imagine themselves as college students one day. It’s a subtle but important message to them.”
Dave Ritchie
November, 2010

Dave Ritchie has been Orangewood’s Chairman of the Board since 2005 and he has been an Orangewood Ambassador for over 12 years. While Dave has been extremely generous in his own giving, he leverages his professional and personal networks to encourage support from others as well. Over the years he has attended or sponsored every type of Orangewood event – from galas to golf tournaments and family festivals to rock concerts.
Dave’s decision making and leadership have made it possible for the foundation to grow in spite of reduced philanthropic giving. During Dave’s tenure our scholarship fund has increased by 64% and now awards almost $1 million to over 300 former foster youth who are fulfilling their dreams of college at 80 schools throughout the U.S. The Orangewood Resource Center has grown from a small room with a few computers to a true one-stop shop for foster teens making the transition to adulthood: providing life skills guidance, a permanent mailing address for over 60 youth, and bags of groceries and a hot meal for former foster youth struggling to get by.
As only the third Board Chairman in Orangewood’s history, Dave has skillfully led the foundation through highs and lows over the last six years. He recently was given the 2010 General William Lyon Crystal Vision Philanthropy Award at our November Ambassador Luncheon. Congratulations Dave!
Sandi Jackson
Summer 2010

Sandi Jackson was recently honored at the 2010 Orange Blossom Ball. She has been an inspiring and dedicated Orangewood donor and volunteer for over 10 years. Her involvement has extended to all parts of the foundation.

Sandi has been on the Orangewood Children’s Foundation Board of Directors since 2004. She has served on the Executive, Development, and Investment Committees. She has chaired Orangewood’s Major Gifts/Planned Giving Committee, Steering Committee for the Capital Campaign and is currently Co –Chair of the Steering Committee to develop the Orangewood Academy. Sandi has been a member of 44 Women for Children Auxiliary Board of Directors since 2001. Her current dream for Orangewood Children’s Foundation is the successful creation and founding of the residential High School Academy for foster youth.

Sandi has been a leader in the philanthropic community for the last 35 years. In addition to Orangewood, her support as extended to Memorial Medical Center Foundation/ Memorial Health Services, American Cancer Society, Opera Pacific, Chapman University, Orange County Performing Arts Center, UCI and Angels of the Arts.
Frank Robitaille & Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation
Winter 2009

Frank Robitaille has been an advocate for foster youth for almost 20 years. In the early 1990’s he served on Orangewood’s board of directors. In 1994, he carried his passion for children into his insurance profession and co-founded Insuring The Children, a nonprofit organization created to raise awareness of child abuse and neglect and to support prevention and care programs. Insuring The Children is now a part of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation. The group has been donating to Orangewood Children’s Foundation since 1995 and given almost $200,000 for our programs.

Last month at the Ambassador Luncheon Frank was honored with the 2009 General Lyon Crystal Vision Award. The annual award is given to a worthy recipient who has given of their time and resources and who reflects the unending commitment to Orange County children that has been demonstrated by General William Lyon. In his remarks to the crowd Frank shared a little about the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation and its focus on children saying, “Insurance is about protecting our future. If we protect our children, we protect our future.” He concluded by challenging the audience: “Get your insurance agent involved in Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, or get another agent!”
Laura Peters
Year-End 2008

Laura Peters has been a member of our Ambassador Committee since 2003 and truly exemplifies the “ambassador” role. Since 2003 she has made significant cash donations for Orangewood college scholarships so that former foster youth can achieve their dreams of higher education. She is a frequent attendee at our fundraising events. In September she complete her first triathlon and sent letters to over 500 people requesting sponsorships that would be donated to Orangewood. Along with crossing the finish line in an impressive 3 hours 22 minutes, Laura raised $17,500 for Orangewood. After the death of a neighbor, Laura realized that death can happen at any time and that we all should have our affairs in order no matter what the age. She and husband Kent updated their trust to include Orangewood so that their support of the Foundation will continue on for decades.

“I really believe that the more you give, the more you receive,” says Laura. “At about the time I first learned about Orangewood, I had just read a book with the message to make your life bigger than yourself. I went on a tour of the Orangewood Children’s Home and thought, ‘I’ve got to get involved with this organization.’”

As an ambassador Laura leverages her money, time, hobbies and relationships all in support of Orangewood children and teens. We are lucky to have such a dynamic lady working on our behalf in the community. Thanks Laura!




McDermott Will & Emery
Year-End 2008

For over a year international law firm McDermott Will & Emery LLP has generously provided its expertise and legal council to Orangewood Children’s Foundation. The partnership is overseen by McDermott attorney Chris C. Scheithauer and Orangewood CEO Chris Simonsen. Legal guidance is provided by several lawyers in the firm on matters including human resources, debt refinancing and employee benefit plans. McDermott has also assisted in a citizenship issue with one of our former foster youth.

Chris Scheithauer explains how the law firm identified Orangewood: “McDermott Will & Emery recognizes the need to give back to the communities we are in and to assist those who are unable to afford legal services. Our firm-wide Kids First Initiative identifies local charities and children in various cities for pro bono services. As a result of the outstanding commitment by Orangewood Children's Foundation to the children of Orange County, McDermott identified Orangewood as an ideal charity for inclusion in our Kids First Initiative.”

“McDermott’s lawyers don’t talk in legal jargon; they break down the legal issues in plain English,” explains Jami Smith, Orangewood’s Human Resources Manager. “They are very responsive. And they understand the scope and culture of Orangewood and make legal recommendations that work for our organization.”

“Pro bono services sometimes don’t work because we end up being second priority to paying clients,” says Orangewood CEO Cal Winslow. “This is certainly not the case with McDermott. They have been a tremendous help to us. The value of their services is over $100,000 but instead of paying legal bills we put that money into our programs. We are very grateful for their services.”
Tim & Michele Ryan
Fall 2008

Tim and Michele Ryan are a dedicated couple – dedicated to their work, their community and each other. They were honored recently at the 11th Annual Ambassador Luncheon where they received the 2008 General William Lyon Crystal Vision Philanthropy award.

Tim is currently the President/CEO of Anaheim Arena Management and Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer of the Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club. Tim has led the club to record levels of success in virtually every area of business operations (including ticket sales and sponsorship sales) and aggressive community and fan development programs. Under Tim’s guidance, Honda Center has been home many world-class sporting and entertainment events. Tim has also spearheaded several initiatives from Ducks’ owners Susan and Henry Samueli, including charitable programs that support approximately 500 non-profit organizations annually.

Michele Ryan is retired from a 27 year career which included executive roles in financial services, strategic consulting and professional negotiation. She has served as a director on boards of private companies, not-for-profit associations and charitable foundations and agencies. Since 2002 Michele has served as Programs Chair on the board of directors of the Forum for Corporate Directors, an organization whose mission is to promote excellence in corporate governance and boardroom leadership.

Michele and Tim are passionate about the many charities they support. They select charitable organizations whose missions have a personal meaning to the couple and who they believe are making a real impact in the community. In addition to their support of Orangewood, they support Special Olympics Southern California, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, Childhelp, the J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center and the Ducks Care fund of the McCormick Foundation.
Stephanie Gehl
Spring 2008

Stephanie Gehl is a second-generation Orangewood board member. Her mother, Julia Argyros, was a founding board member and Stephanie joined in 1995. A year later she founded our first volunteer auxiliary, PALS (Providing Assistance, Love and Support), whose membership is comprised of young professionals and community activists. This group supports the work of the Foundation through a number of annual fundraising events and by providing on-going activities for the children at Orangewood Children’s Home, foster teens in our Independent Living Program and former foster youth in our Rising Tide transitional housing program.

More recently Stephanie has been instrumental in the success of the Athletes First Classic. The Athletes First Classic is a two-day event (a gala and golf tournament) organized by the Newport Beach sports marketing firm Athletes First. This year Stephanie co-chaired the event along with husband Jeff and good friend Shannon Tarnutzer. Their hard work resulted in more than $400,000 net money raised for Orangewood, $100,000 over last year’s net.

“We are very lucky to have the support of Stephanie,” said Foundation CEO Cal Winslow. “As an event chair or in any other capacity for Orangewood, she is energetic, focused and extremely effective. She truly believes in our cause of helping abused children and she isn’t afraid to reach out to her many Orange County contacts on our behalf. Despite being a busy wife, mother and businesswoman, she makes time for Orangewood and we are truly grateful.”

Perhaps Stephanie and her husband, Jeff, will provide Orangewood with a third generation board member!
David Wilson
Fall 2007

For over two decades David Wilson has been an incredible business and philanthropic presence in Orange County. He is the owner and president of the Wilson Automotive Group which is comprised of sixteen automobile dealerships employing over 2000 people. His involvement in Orangewood has spanned more than 20 years.

From 1986-1994, Dave and Toyota of Orange were the originators/sponsors of the ‘Round Orange Race, a 10K/5K run with nearly 4,000 participants annually that raised over $250,000 for Orangewood Children's Foundation. Another of his dealerships, Tustin Lexus, has been a long-time presenting sponsor of the Doug DeCinces Orangewood Golf Classic. Dave has served on Orangewood’s Board of Directors since 1988 and was a past honoree at the Orange Blossom Ball.

David’s philosophy has long been “When you reach the summit, the first thing you should do is turn around and offer a hand to the person behind you.” In keeping with this sentiment and in appreciation for David, his employees and friends established the David Wilson Endowment Fund to benefit Orangewood. This fund now totals over $500,000 and enables worthy former foster youth to obtain a post-secondary education they would not otherwise be able to afford. Currently a number of Orangewood young adults attend college and trade schools as a result of this endowment.

Of his involvement with Orangewood Dave says, “Child abuse isn’t a problem that can be solved with a one-time donation. Continuing involvement and dedication are the only ways in which we can relieve some of this suffering. There is no way to be involved with this organization without it enriching your life.”
James Bova, Karen Norbutas, Kristina Elliott & Misty Woodall
Fall 2006

Congratulations to the following four individuals who were recognized at our Annual Meeting & Dinner for their volunteer efforts for Orangewood:

James Bova – James has more than nine years of experience with Deloitte and 14 years as a management consultant. As a member of Deloitte’s Life Sciences Practice, he specializes in information technology planning, implementation and operations. James has personally contributed his knowledge of computer systems design and implementation to the FaCT (Families and Communities Together) program since 2005 by assisting staff in selecting a new program management and outcomes software vendor. Today, family resource centers throughout Orange County are able to capture their clients’ data and progress using secure, cutting edge technology, allowing each family to receive more effective and helpful services.

Karen Norbutas – Karen’s relationship with Orangewood began almost two years ago when she was looking for a volunteer opportunity that would be a good fit for her skills and experience. She came across a listing for our Independent City event (an Independent Living Program mock city with various stations that replicate the activities and decisions foster youth will face upon emancipation). Thirty minutes into her first Independent City event, she was hooked! While there she heard about the Mentor Program and applied the first chance she got. Additionally, she also volunteers for many other special events at the Foundation.

Kristina Elliott – Kristina began volunteering at Orangewood Children’s Home almost 10 years ago. Feeling so fortunate to have a fun, loving and supportive family, she wanted to reach out to those children who were less fortunate and try to take them away from their challenges for at least a few hours. She began volunteering with our Orangewood PALS auxiliary about four years ago at their annual Fun Day and was impressed with the dedication of time, generosity and resources of so many caring volunteers. This was not enough for Kristina so she joined the PALS Board of Directors in March of 2005. Her current responsibilities include planning kids’ outings and assisting with Speaker Night parties and other activities at the Home.

Misty Woodall – Misty has been involved with the Foundation for almost two years as a mentor with the Bridges to Higher Education Program (a program that works to increase high school graduation rates and admission to college or trade schools among foster care teens). She also served on the Board of Directors for the Orangewood Jaycees for 2005, and received the OJC 2005 Jaycee of the Year award.
Marian Bergeson
Spring 2006

After seven years on our Board of Directors, Marian Bergeson is stepping down. Marian is a well-known presence in Orange County. Her political career spans almost 30 years with positions in the State Assembly, State Senate, Orange County Board of Supervisors and various appointed positions. In all of those jobs Marian has been a strong advocate for education and children’s issues. Since joining the board in 1999 she has applied the same leadership qualities and advocacy to Orangewood.

“Marian’s tremendous amount of wisdom and council over the years has been an invaluable addition to our board,” said Gene Howard. “With her extensive political background she has opened many doors for Orangewood. She has also been a regular presence for our youth at our annual Independent Living Program graduation ceremony and UCI Guardian Scholars receptions. She will certainly be missed.” Marian will continue to be involved with Orangewood however, as a member of the steering committee for our Orangewood Academy. Currently in the development phase, the Orangewood Academy will be a residential high school that will provide academic and extra-curricular activities, along with a stable living environment for Orange County foster teens.

Marian, thank you for your heartfelt dedication to Orangewood over the years!
Susan Samueli
Winter 2005

Susan Samueli has been described as a “one-person change agent in Orange County.” In the few short years since Susan became involved in Orange County philanthropy, she has made tremendous contributions of her time and money. She serves as both a hands-on activist and a major donor.

Susan first became involved with Orangewood in 1998. She offered her help as a volunteer and with the idea that the IPO of Broadcom stock (co-founded by her husband Henry) might allow for financial contributions as well. Her first tour of the Orangewood Children’s Home (the county’s emergency shelter for abused and neglected children) lasted longer than the usual. Susan was so taken with the young children in the toddler cottage that she had to hold each one!

Since then her involvement with the Foundation has been far-reaching. She has been a board member since 1999 and is on the board’s Executive and Development committees. She is a consistent attendee despite her many time commitments. In 1999, Susan founded the Foundation’s 44 Women for Children auxiliary. About founding 44 Women, Susan was quoted in an article as saying, “I have children and I can’t imagine someone abusing a child. Orangewood has opened my heart; I’m happy to help.”

Susan and her husband Henry helped start the Guardian Scholars program at UCI, funding the first scholarships. (The Guardian Scholars program provides college scholarships and extensive on-campus support for former foster youth pursuing college educations.) She is leading the Foundation’s efforts to develop ways to better serve Orange County children in foster care and help them become happy, self-sufficient adults.

Susan has chaired, been a committee member for or attended virtually all of the Foundation’s major fundraising events over the years. She skillfully balances her involvement with Orangewood and many other local charities with her busy life as a wife and mother to her three children!

At October’s Ambassador Lunch Susan was the natural choice for the 2005 General William Lyon Crystal Vision Award. The award is given to a worthy recipient who has given of his/her time and resources and who reflects the unending commitment to Orange County children that has been demonstrated by General Lyon, Orangewood’s founding Chairman.

Words cannot express how truly fortunate Orangewood Children’s Foundation is to have the support of such a caring, passionate and devoted woman. So a big “THANK YOU, SUSAN” will have to do.
Mike McCarthy & ditech.com
Fall 2005

In 2003 Mike McCarthy, General Manager at ditech.com, wanted to make the company’s philanthropic efforts more effective. “As an organization, we had been supporting a variety of different charities. I felt that ditech could make more of a difference in the community if we focused our efforts. We decided to select a charity that was doing great things for kids and Orangewood Children’s Foundation was an obvious choice for us.”

As a direct mortgage lender headquartered in Costa Mesa, ditech is known to be innovative and responsive. Mike, ditech Public Relations Manager Renee Borsack and the company overall bring these same qualities to the Foundation. Since August 2003, the company and its employees have raised almost $500,000 for the Foundation through various events including employee lunches and an annual charity golf tournament. In the second year of the tournament held in May, the company increased the first year’s net proceeds of $150,000 by 54%! Of the $232,000 raised, $200,000 will fund over 30 college scholarships for former Orange County foster youth. The balance of the money will be used to purchase indoor/outdoor movie equipment plus arcade games for children at the Home to enjoy for years to come. ditech’s donations from the golf tournaments have been among the largest single corporate gifts the Foundation has received.

ditech was the title sponsor of the 2004 and upcoming 2005 John R. Wooden Classic charity events. And as the sponsor of the golf ball drop contest at the April KLOS Mark & Brian Golf Tournament, ditech selected the Foundation to be the recipient of the proceeds of the $100 entry fee which totaled $59,000.

However, ditech’s commitment to Orangewood extends beyond financial support. It has excited and inspired the children at Orangewood Children’s Home with a visit from NASCAR Busch Series drivers Kyle Busch and Brian Vickers, both sponsored by ditech. The company initiated an internship program for former Orange County foster youth selected by the Foundation. More recently, ditech hired an Orangewood former foster youth after Mike heard the youth share his story at the Foundation’s annual meeting. And earlier this year Mike joined our Board of Directors.

Said Gene Howard, Orangewood’s Chief Executive Officer, “We have been amazed by the support ditech has shown to Orangewood and our kids. Their level of commitment has been incredible. They are a great example of the many ways a business or corporation can support a worthy cause.”
Bruce and Lynn Fetter
Spring 2005

Bruce and Lynn Fetter first became involved with Orangewood in 2002. And in just a few short years this dynamic couple has supported the foundation in a wide variety of ways by giving financially, with their time and with their business expertise and resources.

Bruce joined our Board of Directors three years ago. At the time he said, “As the needs of our children become less and less, we want to fill our time with something that was equally as productive and rewarding. Orangewood is a perfect fit for us.” Bruce is actively involved in board committees, serving on the Executive Committee, as chairman of the Development Committee and a member of the Finance Committee.

Lynn is a true woman of action…when she sees a need, she steps forward to provide a solution. She is currently co-chair of the 2005 Orange Blossom Ball and a patron-level member of our 44 Women for Children auxiliary, and was co-chair of last year’s “An Intimate Evening with Michael Bolton.” She has provided prom dresses for foster teens and prom accessories for the teen girls at Orangewood Children’s Home. When the foundation moved offices she even purchased pots, pans, dishes and stools for our staff kitchen! Her commitment to Orange County children extends beyond Orangewood, as she serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer. Even Bruce and Lynn’s son, Blair, joined in the cause. As a film student at USC he assisted in creating a video for the 2003 Orange Blossom Ball.

As a couple, the Fetters consistently support our Peer Mentors by attending and providing gifts for the annual Peer Mentor summer beach party and holiday bowling party. Having been married for 27 years, their presence together at these events serves as a wonderful example for these young adults of two successful individuals in a successful marriage. Says CEO Gene Howard, “Bruce and Lynn bring us wonderful gifts in terms of their passion, commitment and genuine concern for our youth. They are the ideal volunteer couple. Our youth scored ‘big time’ when they decided to give their hearts to Orangewood."
Paul Makarechian
March 2005

Paul recently received the Golden Heart Award at the Athletes First Classic Gala benefiting Orangewood...

Mr. Paul P. Makarechian is Chief Executive Officer and Owner of Makar Properties, LLC. Makar Properties is a national diversified real estate development and holding company with approximately $800 million in assets representing over $3 billion of development.

In his current role with Makar Properties, Mr. Makarechian manages and oversees all of the company’s activities including existing income properties, overseeing land entitlement and financing activities for complex multi-use developments, and supervising the vertical development of industrial and resort properties, including the 400-room St. Regis Resort which opened in 2001. Makar Properties currently has operations in California, Colorado, Texas and Florida.

Mr. Makarechian is an active member and board member of various charitable, social and educational institutions. Specifically, he serves on the board of directors for the Young President’s Organization, California Coast Chapter; he is a founding board member and Chairman of Generation Next, a political action committee; and founding board member of Miocean, an Orange County-based non-profit environmental organization. He serves on the Board of Trustees for South Coast Repertory and on the Board of Governors for Chapman University. He also serves as a Real Estate Advisory board member for UCI’s Graduate School of Management and is an active member of the Urban Land Institute. In addition, he is a member of New Majority and is a reserve sheriff for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Over the years, Mr. Makarechian has been a strong supporter of Orangewood events and activities benefiting Orange County’s abused children.

John Hagestad
Winter 2004

John Hagestad’s involvement with Orangewood began in 1989 with a tour of the Orangewood Children’s Home. After three or four toddlers wrapped their arms around his and wife Merry’s legs, he says, “It was impossible not to become emotionally tied to the kids there.” Soon after, he joined Orangewood’s board of directors. In 1993 he took on the daunting task of following in the footsteps of General William Lyon as Chairman of the Board. Since then John has devoted considerable time, money and business expertise to the Foundation. He is one of the three Managing Partners of SARES•REGIS Group, one of the largest and most diversified real estate development companies on the West Coast. At the same time, he and Merry are the busy parents of three sons and one daughter, ages 5-13.

This spring John will turn over the Chairmanship to fellow board member Dave Ritchie but remain on the Board. Of his involvement with Orangewood, John says, “I think it is incumbent on people who have achieved some measure of success in their lives to give back. It’s compelling and emotionally satisfying to help children who have no control of their destiny. They didn’t choose the direction of their lives; it was handed to them. A relatively small amount of attention and love can help them tremendously.”

Says Gene Howard, Orangewood Executive Director and CEO, “Under John’s stewardship the Foundation has developed the most extensive array of support services to emancipating foster care youth in California and has become one of the leading providers of these services in the nation. He is a true leader, respected by all who know him. As CEO of the Foundation, I have had the honor and privilege of serving under his leadership. John has motivated all of us, board and staff alike, to strive to provide the best possible services to the abused children of Orange County.”
Shirley Pepys
Summer 2004

Shirley Pepys has been an inspiring and dedicated Orangewood donor and volunteer for over 15 years. Her involvement has been varied, extensive and from the heart, all while she balances her commitments to her family and successful businesses.

She has been on our Board of Directors since 1989. In the ‘80’s and ‘90’s, she provided infant bedding for the Orangewood Children’s Home from her highly successfully company Noel Joanna, Inc. (NoJo). In 1983, her passion for children became personal when she adopted foster son, Max. She is a member of the Executive Committee and chair of the Marketing, Special Events and Membership Committees. If she isn’t chairing a fundraising event, Shirley is guaranteed to be a sponsor or participant. She is also a member of our 44 Women for Children auxiliary, as well as the Ambassador giving program.

The qualities that made Shirley so successful in business – vision, passion and innovation – are brought to her work with Orangewood. “Shirley is one of those people every agency wishes they had,” exclaims Orangewood Chief Executive Officer, Gene Howard. “She is passionate about our mission and cares deeply about the welfare of our children. She has the uncanny ability to evaluate our services, materials and message with a fresh perspective. We are very lucky to have Shirley.”

Shirley has passed on her passion for Orangewood’s mission to her own children. Daughter Tiffany Pepys Hoey has been active in PALS, an auxiliary for young professionals, for years and currently sits on the PALS board. Renee Pepys Lowe is a member of 44 Women for Children and, along with husband Stan, is an Ambassador, a frequent event sponsor and an in-kind donor of printing services from Stan’s business, The Dot Printer.

Shirley, for all the incredible work you do for the children and young adults we serve, we say a big “thank you!”
Keri Dugan
Spring 2004

Keri Dugan has been accurately described as a real “Energizer bunny”! She has been a long time supporter of Orangewood’s PALS auxiliary, dedicating hundreds of hours of time to spread the word about PALS and Orangewood Children’s Foundation. For the past three years Keri’s efforts as PALS Director of Social Events have helped raise over $100,000 for Orangewood’s children. She has been the driving force behind such notable PALS events as “Jungle Boogie” and “Mardi Gras.”

Says former PALS board chairman, Richard Dutch: “Keri is a loyal, passionate, committed and caring individual that wants the best for Orangewood's children. I affectionately call Keri the ‘Energizer bunny’ since she never stops until the task is completed.” Of her involvement, Keri says, “PALS is such a great group to be involved with. I really enjoy working with such a fun and motivated group of peers. Everyone brings such creative ideas and energy to the table. We have a lot of fun, but we also get things done. I have met many exceptional people and made cherished friendships while working with PALS.”

When not raising money for Orangewood, Keri and her husband Tom raise three beautiful young children of their own. Thanks Keri for your leadership and unfailing energy!
General William Lyon
Winter 2003

General William Lyon was the driving force behind the unique and successful public-private partnership to raise over $8 million to build Orangewood Children’s Home. As founding board chairman, his personal challenge gift of $1 million set an example for the new 16-member Board of Directors, countless community organizations and thousands of individual donors. As a result of his vision and courage, a community need that was not being met was addressed in a way that has served as a model to other charitable organizations and public agencies.

General Lyon continues his commitment to our community’s most vulnerable children.Under his leadership, the Foundation expanded its mission to address broader issues including child abuse prevention, foster parent recruitment, administering a Children’s Trust Fund, and advocacy for public policies that will benefit children who are at risk of abuse and neglect. General Lyon continues to serve as a member of our Board of Directors.

At the October 2003 Ambassador’s Luncheon, Orangewood unveiled the inaugural General William Lyon Crystal Vision Philanthropy Award. The annual award is given to a worthy recipient who has given of their time and resources and who reflects the unending commitment to Orange County children that has been demonstrated by General Lyon. The 2003 award was presented to Tom Dobyns, also a board member, in recognition for his efforts in establishing and expanding the Ambassador giving program.
Ron Davis
Fall 2003

Ron Davis is living proof that one person can make a difference. Ron has created a life-changing program for Orange County foster youth through the creation of the Guardian Scholars program, the only one of its kind in the nation. What began with an appreciation of the impact education had on his life and his desire to help a few needy high school students attend his alma mater, California State University, Fullerton, has now expanded to nine partner institutions and 83 students. The Guardian Scholars program provides support in critical areas including scholarships and other financial aid, academic advisement, housing, job assistance, tutoring and mentoring.

Despite recently relocating to Colorado, Ron, retired chairman of the Perrier Group and now chairman of Davis Capital LLC, continues to devote his time, talent and treasure to the Guardian Scholars program and the students themselves. Of the program he says, “Our goal is to make dreams come true, change family patterns, and create self-reliance.” One of our Guardian Scholars recently said, “The Guardian Scholars program is a godsend. Knowing that the donors have hearts for kids like us, it makes up for so much. It’s incentive not to let them down. I’m overflowing with thankfulness.” We’ll add to that sentiment – thanks Ron!

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