Kickoff Event Honors Top Companies as Angels Baseball Chairman Dennis Kuhl Lauds United Way for Strong Game Plan
NEWPORT BEACH, CA – Orange County United Way and leading philanthropists in the business community rallied in support of the countywide effort to create a stronger, healthier community.
The event was United Way’s annual campaign kickoff breakfast held Thursday at the Fairmont Newport Beach, with underwriting support by Champion Sponsor AT&T and Advocate Sponsor Union Bank.
John McGrath, Corporate Vice President of Edwards LIfesciences, and Peter Zofrea, Partner with Ernst and Young, are co-chairs of the 2015-16 campaign.
Each recognizes the vital role that United Way and its partners play in charting a course for a stronger future for Orange County.
“We all have a stake in creating a healthy, prosperous community,” said McGrath. “We all win when a child receives a quality education, when workers have good jobs earning sustainable incomes, when families are in good health and when people have a stable place to call home.”
Zofrea added, “With the 10-year FACE 2024 community-wide action plan in place, United Way is playing a unique, vital role in mobilizing the County’s business, government, nonprofit and education resources by bringing them to the table to focus on strategies that will make a measurable difference in all our lives.”
FACE 2024, an acronym for Fund, Advocate, Collaborate and Educate, is the 10-year community-wide action plan launched by Orange County United Way in October 2013 following an 18-month stakeholder ascertainment process.
Working collaboratively with the local business community, non-profit organizations and government agencies, United Way’s goals for FACE 2024 are:
- Cutting the county’s high school dropout rate in half
- Reducing the percentage of financially unstable families county-wide by 25 percent
- Increasing the number of the our community’s healthy youth by one-third
- Cutting in half the number of homeless and housing-insecure children in Orange County
The Rally for Change comes on the heels of the release of this year’s Orange County Community Indicators Report, which pointed to some gains in the areas of high school student retention and childhood obesity. But there are growing economic challenges facing too many Orange County residents.
“While the high school dropout rate is decreasing and childhood obesity is slowly declining, the lack of affordable housing and low wage jobs are preventing far too many members of our community from succeeding,” warned Max Gardner, President and CEO of Orange County United Way.
Gardner then issued a call to action consistent with the Rally for Change theme, “We can collectively tackle these critical and interconnected issues when we work together to effect change in our community.”
During the event, United Way took the opportunity to recognize a number of local companies for their contributions to last year’s fundraising campaign. Automobile Club of Southern California (ACSC)was honored with the esteemed Dimensions in Giving Award for overall excellence in giving, raising more than $445,000 for Community Impact and recruiting hundreds of volunteer hours from employees. Galen Grillo, Vice President, Office of the CEO, ACSC was on hand to receive the award on behalf of the largest member of the AAA federation.
Additional awards presented included:
- Parker Aerospace – Outstanding Corporate Partner Award was given to the corporate partner with the greatest year-over-year giving increase.
- Johnson & Johnson – Corporate Community Excellence Award, for engaging the company’s staff in volunteer community service with United Way.
- Western Digital – Corporate Toqueville Society Award, for greatest number of employees who give a minimum of $10,000 annually to United Way (24).
- Fluor – Corporate Leaders Society Award, honoring the company with the greatest number of employees contributing $1,000 to $9,999 (141).
- Mazda North America Operations – Rising Corporate Star Award, honoring a corporate partner that has conducted employee giving for less than five years, consistently showing growth.
Also recognized at the event were the following “Top 10 Corporate Partners,” all raising more than $100,000 or more directed to United Way’s Community Impact Fund:
- Automobile Club of Southern California
- Edison International
- Edwards Lifesciences
- Pacific Life Insurance Company
- Wells Fargo
- Western Digital
The Keynote speaker at the Rally for Change was Dennis Kuhl, Chairman of Angels Baseball. Kuhl remarked that even if you have some star players on your team, you cannot win if you don’t have a long-term strategic plan.
Sponsors included Champion Sponsor AT&T and Advocate Sponsor Union Bank.
For more information about Orange County United Way, the 10-year FACE 2024 community action plan or how Orange County residents or businesses can help make an impact through a partnership with United Way, please visit www.unitedwayoc.org.
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Katherine Ransom, Vice President, Marketing and Communications
Orange County United Way 949.263.6176, firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT ORANGE COUNTY UNITED WAY:
Since 1924, Orange County United Way has been working to improve lives and strengthen our community by mobilizing the caring power of Orange County and focusing on the building blocks for a good quality of life: Education, Income, Health and Housing. By investing in Orange County children, families and individuals, we help them create pathways to self-sufficient lives. In short, we help people help themselves. Through our 10-year community-wide action plan, “FACE 2024” (an acronym for Fund, Advocate, Collaborate, Educate), we collaborate with local businesses, community organizations, governmental agencies and individuals to make a long-term measurable difference in the lives of local individuals and families. To learn more or to join our movement, visit www.unitedwayoc.org.