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“Magic” In The Air At Orange County United Way’s 15th Annual Women’s Philanthropy Fund Breakfast

“Magic” in the Air at Orange County United Way’s 15th Annual Women’s Philanthropy Fund Breakfast

More than 920 guests attended the premier fundraising event with keynote speaker Earvin “Magic” Johnson

Irvine, CA, May 9, 2018— Orange County United Way hosted the 15th Annual Women’s Philanthropy Fund Breakfast on May 8 at Hotel Irvine raising more than $600,000 to support initiatives targeting the education, health, housing and income challenges facing women and children in Orange County.

More than 920 community leaders attended this year’s sold-out event, making it one of the most successful breakfast fundraisers in the county.

“It has been incredible to watch this event grow over the past 15 years,” said Susan B. Parks, President and CEO of Orange County United Way and one of the Founding Members of the Women’s Philanthropy Fund. “The annual Breakfast gives us the opportunity to celebrate the power of philanthropy and the women who are leading the charge to change the future for the next generation.”

Keynote speaker, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, inspired the crowd with his presentation on the importance of giving back to the community you live in and lifting up those in need around you. He focused on the importance of supporting, encouraging and investing in Orange County children, and giving them the opportunity to succeed not only in school, but also in life beyond the classroom. Johnson left the basketball court for the boardroom, and has successfully parlayed his skills and tenacity into the business world. Remaining true to his humble beginnings, he is unwaveringly dedicated to working with major corporations and partners to bring jobs and high-quality products and services to underserved communities.

“The Woman’s Philanthropy Fund Breakfast is a rare event that truly makes a sustained difference in the lives of thousands of families,” said Johnson. “Orange County United Way’s mission to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves aligns perfectly with my personal philanthropic mission to provide for underserved communities. It was a pleasure to share the room with so many individuals passionate about making a difference.”

A special part of the program introduced attendees to Jennifer Swan-Altieri, 3rd grade teacher at Paul Revere Elementary School in Anaheim, and three of her students. Each young learner shared how he or she has been personally impacted by the Women’s Philanthropy Fund’s investment in their school.

The Women’s Philanthropy Fund has strategically partnered with Paul Revere Elementary School for three years, investing in a place-based initiative that weaves together resources in a clearly defined “place” to collectively improve outcomes for children and families facing high poverty, unemployment and housing instability. The support from the Women’s Philanthropy Fund provides an on-campus food pantry, housing and financial empowerment center, classroom technology, reading materials, after-school programs and more.

As a result of the partnership, Mrs. Swan-Altieri’s shared that her current students have higher reading and comprehension levels than any year prior, many reading at or above a 4th grade level.

Over the past 15 years, the Women’s Philanthropy Fund has raised more than $35 million to support various women’s and children’s programs here in Orange County. As the organization’s most important event of the year, the funds raised allow United Way to implement programs with demonstrable impact for underserved populations.

Another unique part of this year’s Breakfast was the raffle of a three-carat, oval yellow sapphire ring donated by Lugano Diamonds. The ring includes nearly one-carat of round brilliant collection VS diamonds and is set in 18K white gold. Magic Johnson picked the winning ticket from a basket of 300 tickets.

Bank of America and Edison International served as Champion Sponsors of this year’s event. The companies are longtime supporters of the Women’s Philanthropy Fund and United Way’s initiatives.

“I’m thankful to be part of the influential and passionate group of women that makes up the Women’s Philanthropy Fund. Our hands-on involvement and relentless drive are positively impacting so many people and helping to make Orange County a great place to live for everyone,” said co-chair of the Breakfast, Paula Mattson, Vice President, Business Operations, Edison Energy, LLC.

“It’s been incredible to see the long-lasting social and economic change that has occurred in our own backyard thanks to the work of the Women’s Philanthropy Fund and United Way,” added Shirley Quackenbush, Managing Director, Merrill Lynch Private Banking & Investment Group, who also co-chaired the Breakfast.

Other sponsors of the Women’s Philanthropy Fund Breakfast included:

Visionary Sponsors

  • Owl Foundation
  • Seaview Investors

Investor Sponsors

  • Cinda & Steve Churm
  • Victoria & David Collins
  • Crowell & Moring
  • Donahue Schriber
  • Ernst & Young
  • Artyn & Max Gardner
  • Global G.L.O.W.
  • Sheriff Sandra Hutchens
  • Lugano Diamonds
  • Nordstrom
  • Steve Quackenbush & Friends
  • Scripsense
  • UPS
  • Wells Fargo

To learn more about the Women’s Philanthropy Fund, visit UnitedWayOC.orgor contact Sandy Morales at SandyM@UnitedWayOC.org.


Nicole Morrison
Cornerstone Communications 949.200.611o, nmorrison@cornerstonecomms.com


Today’s Orange County United Way fights for the Education, Health, Housing and Financial Stability of every person in Orange County. We focus on long-term solutions to the most critical interconnected challenges facing local children and families. Through our 10-year collaborative, community-wide action plan, “FACE 2024” (an acronym for Fund, Advocate, Collaborate, Educate), by 2024 we will cut the high school dropout rate in half, increase the number of healthy youth by one-third, cut the percentage of homeless and housing-insecure children in half and reduce the percentage of financially unstable families by 25%. By mobilizing local businesses, community organizations, governmental agencies and individuals, we make a long-term measurable difference in our community. UNITED4OC, we change the lives of adults and children right here in Orange County and create a brighter future for every one of us. To learn more or to join our fight, visit www.unitedwayoc.org.

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