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Orange County United Way’s Tocqueville Society Contributed $2.9M Over Past Year, And Raised Additional $275,000 At Inaugural “Taking Flight” Fundraiser

Orange County United Way’s Tocqueville Society Contributed $2.9M Over Past Year, and Raised Additional $275,000 at Inaugural “Taking Flight” Fundraiser

Special Evening Presented by Orange County United Way’s Alexis de Tocqueville Society Honored Generous Leaders and Donors from the Past and Present

Irvine, CA (November 29, 2021) – Orange County United Way’s Tocqueville Society hosted the inaugural “Taking Flight” fall fundraiser on Friday, November 12 at the Lyon Air Museum, which celebrated an extraordinary group of philanthropists who have created lasting change and tackled our community’s most crucial issues.

The Alexis de Tocqueville Society has contributed more than $2.9M over the past year to support Orange County United Way’s mission of improving lives in Orange County — helping students succeed, struggling families gain financial security and homeless neighbors find a place to call home. By introducing even more devoted community leaders to United Way’s work, and expanding the network of philanthropic champions, an additional $275,000 was raised during the inaugural fundraiser. More than 150 people attended the event.

“We hosted our inaugural fall event to honor and thank our amazing donors from the past and the present. The recognition is well deserved as these generous philanthropists have supported our community and made a tremendous difference in helping to improve lives in Orange County. We are looking forward to having this inspiring and special evening annually for years to come,” said Susan B. Parks, President and CEO of Orange County United Way.

The evening started with publicly recognizing members of the Orange County United Way Million Dollar Roundtable, who are also Tocqueville Society members and have each donated one million dollars or more over the years to support Orange County United Way and the Orange County community. Members present included Kenneth and JoAnn Lickel, Melinda Masson from the Masson-Shaffer Family Foundation, and Nancy and Mike Meyer.

Nancy and Mike Meyer were also recognized as the 2021 Legacy Medal Honorees. Nancy is a founding member of the Women’s Philanthropy Fund Breakfast and Mike served as the Tocqueville Society Chair from 1997 to 1999.   Both have served on the United Way Board of Directors. Their legacy of philanthropy runs deep, as their daughter Jacqueline is also now involved with Orange County United Way.

Sandy and Larry Armstrong were named the 2021 Taking Action Medal Honorees for their tireless efforts to help end homelessness in Orange County. As the United to End Homelessness Leadership Council Chair, Larry has championed this critical effort, and under his leadership, more than 525 formerly homeless individuals have found a place to call home, including 117 veterans.

The final recognition of the evening went to Win Rhodes. She was named the 2021 Inspiration Medal Honoree for her generous gift to United to End Homelessness’ WelcomeHomeOC program to help former foster youth experiencing homelessness find a place to call home.

“We’re grateful to all of our honorees for their dedication to philanthropy and our Orange County community. They are all truly inspiring,” added Parks.

Karla and Darryl Button served as the event co-chairs. Darryl is the current CEO-Elect and Chief Financial Officer of Pacific Life Insurance Company.

Sponsors of the “Taking Flight” event included:

Gold Sponsors:

  • Pacific Life Insurance Company
  • Ware Malcomb
  • Nancy and Mike Meyer

Silver Sponsors:

  • California State University, Fullerton
  • Schroeder Management Company, Inc.
  • Tom Rogers and Sally Anderson
  • Troutman Pepper

For more information about Orange County United Way or to make a donation to support their mission-critical work, please visit: https://www.unitedwayoc.org.


Today’s Orange County United Way is committed to leading the fight for equity by removing barriers, closing gaps, and leveling the playing field for everyone who lives here. More than a fundraiser, we’re hands-on, delivering more than 50 programs countywide to improve lives in our community. Every day we are doing more for the Education, Health, Housing and Financial Stability of people in Orange County. We are working to ensure our students succeed, our struggling families find financial security, and our homeless neighbors find a place to call home. To learn more or discover how you can help, visit www.unitedwayoc.org.

Orange County United Way is a standalone, independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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Media Contact: Annie Noebel, anoebel@cornerstonecomms.com, (949) 525-7024

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