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Orange County United Way Turns Women’s Philanthropy Fund Breakfast Virtual With A Live Q&A With Special Guest Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Orange County United Way Turns Women’s Philanthropy Fund Breakfast Virtual with a Live Q&A with Special Guest Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Registration now open for virtual event aimed at transforming lives of Orange County families and children in need

Irvine, CA (May 12, 2020) – Orange County United Way will host its annual Women’s Philanthropy Fund Breakfast virtually on May 20, from 9:00 – 9:45 a.m., with a live Q&A with NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Now more than ever, vital funds are needed to support Orange County families and children facing poverty and housing instability in challenged neighborhoods. It is essential that the programs continue helping the most vulnerable in our community in the wake of COVID-19.

The virtual breakfast is free to attend.

“For the past 17 years, many of Orange County’s most passionate and prominent leaders have helped us make a difference in the lives of at-risk families and children facing critical challenges. With the current pandemic, this population needs our help now more than ever,” said Susan B. Parks, president and CEO of Orange County United Way, and one of the Founding Members of the Women’s Philanthropy Fund. “We’re thrilled this year to welcome Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as our annual breakfast’s celebrity guest. He is admired for his passion about social issues. I have no doubt his participation will in turn ignite the passion and generosity of our virtual attendees as together we work to transform the lives of vulnerable local families and children.”

The format for this year’s breakfast will be live-streamed virtually, due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. “While the format is a departure from our usual in-person get-together, I’m confident that the level of enthusiasm and support will remain as high as ever,” Parks said.

As the event’s celebrity guest, Abdul-Jabbar will participate in a live Q&A. Abdul-Jabbar – a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame – is an influential and respected black man in America who has a national platform as a regular contributing columnist for newspapers and magazines around the world.  Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, a six-time NBA champion and the league’s only six-time MVP.

Currently, Abdul-Jabbar serves as the chairman of his Skyhook Foundation and brings educational STEM opportunities to underserved communities through innovative outdoor environmental learning.

This year’s breakfast will highlight the needs stemming from the pandemic, and how United Way’s Impact Hub is helping to ensure local families and children can continue to thrive.

Husband and wife, Don Yahn and Anne Michaelson-Yahn will serve as this year’s Breakfast co-chairs.

“Anne and I grew up in Orange County, and the current pandemic has really altered life for many families in our community. Now more than ever, we’re seeing people struggle in the areas of education, healthcare, income, and housing, and they need our help,” said Don Yahn, breakfast co-chair and executive director, Cushman & Wakefield. “When we chose to serve as the co-chairs, we did so as partners of the organization, and are committed to enriching and enhancing the lives of underserved families and children.”

Bank of America is the Presenting Sponsor of this year’s breakfast. The company is a longtime supporter of the Women’s Philanthropy Fund and United Way’s initiatives to create a brighter Orange County.

“As one of the most significant events of the year dedicated to benefitting children and their families, becoming co-chair for the Women’s Philanthropy Fund Breakfast was a natural choice for us. This experience is giving us an opportunity to help raise funds that will benefit local programs and services that empower families and children, and also has allowed us to truly connect with our community while giving back,” added Anne Michaelsen-Yahn, breakfast co-chair and principal of Anne Michaelsen Design, Inc.

Other sponsors of the 17th Annual Women’s Philanthropy Fund Breakfast include:


  • Seaview Investors, LLC

Investor Sponsors

  • Automobile Club of Southern California
  • American Career College
  • Crowell & Moring
  • Edison International
  • First American
  • Havaplan Financial
  • Nordstrom
  • Owl Foundation
  • Pacific Life Insurance Company
  • Artyn & Max Gardner
  • Masson-Shaffer Foundation

Interested parties can register for the event live stream and submit questions to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar here.  If you are not able to join for the event, you can still support Orange County United Way’s life-changing initiatives and programs, and make a donation.

To learn more about the Women’s Philanthropy Fund and Orange County United Way, visit or contact Jessica Vanderwell at


Today’s Orange County United Way is doing more for the Education, Health, Housing and Financial Stability of every person in Orange County. More than a fundraiser, we’re hands-on, delivering more than 50 Community Impact programs countywide. We focus on long-term solutions to the most critical interconnected challenges facing local children and families. United Way is doing more to make long-term measurable difference in the lives of children and families right here in Orange County. To learn more or do more with us, visit


Media Contact: Annie Noebel,, (949) 449-2527

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