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A Celebration of True Selflessness

On Saturday night nearly 700 people will gather at a party at the new Hilton Hotel in Irvine to celebrate the success of building Orangewood, the new home for dependent children. It’s too bad that all of Orange County’s more than 2 million residents can’t be there because the project was truly a community effort.

The story is well-known by now. But it’s worth repeating and remembering how the community responded to the need to replace the county’s aging and overcrowded home for battered, abused, abandoned and molested children.

The county didn’t have enough money to build a new home so county supervisors four years ago took the problem to the people--and the people responded. The effort was unique. Inspiring. Residents gave what they could. One young boy gave a nickel. It was all he could afford to help his young friends. One business leader, William Lyon and one foundation, the Harry G. Steele Foundation gave $1 million each. Money is still needed, but when the final tally was made last month, the original $7.5 million goal was met, with $8 out of every $10 donated coming from the private sector.

That success benefits the youngsters who now have the refuge of the emergency shelter. That was the goal. But it also benefits the community that can be justifiably proud and also confident in the knowledge that when faced with a real need it is up to the challenge.

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That’s something to celebrate.


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