Newport Beach Philanthropists Honored

Submitted by Jess Block

Newport Beach Philanthropists Honored

National Philanthropy Day Orange County 2009


NEWPORT BEACH, CA – Four Newport Beach residents have been selected as Outstanding Honorees at this year’s National Philanthropy Day (NPD) Orange County celebration.

NPD Orange County has become the most prominent philanthropic recognition event in Orange County with more than a thousand individuals, businesses and support organizations honored since its inception in 1986.

The 24th Annual NPD Awards Luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009, at Anaheim Marriott Hotel, 700 West Convention Way, Anaheim.

About 100 communities throughout North America celebrate this day by honoring the individuals, businesses and groups that have enhanced their communities though their philanthropy.

Local charity groups and nonprofit organizations submitted more than 100 entries for Outstanding Honorees. A panel of 25 community leaders selected the Outstanding Honorees to represent their peers and receive the top awards in the annual and special categories.

The event is produced by the Orange County Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and presented by the Orange County Register.

For more information regarding the event contact:

Event co-chair Linda Jensen, at 949-573-1292 or

Media contact Jess Block NPDOC publicist, 909-706-8525 or

To register for NPDOC, visit the Web site at or call 714-997-3585.

National Philanthropy Day 2009 Outstanding Honorees


John and Elizabeth Stahr, Corona del Mar

For lifelong support of 31 Southern California nonprofits

John and Elizabeth Stahr have given their time, expertise and financial support to at least 31 Southern California nonprofits.

The Stahrs’ involvement with the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation was transformational in building a new, state-of-the-art Newport Beach Central Library. In the poor economic times of the early ’90s, the Stahrs co-chaired a capital campaign and galvanized the community to raise $2 million for the library’s construction.

The Stahrs’ major gifts to UC Irvine span 45 years and have supported 14 diverse academic and athletic programs. Mrs. Stahr was personally involved with the UCI International Friendship Circle, where she chaired and wrote the lesson plans for the program designed to teach English to 275 spouses of international faculty and business leaders.

For the Pacific Symphony Orchestra (PSO), the Stahrs are contributors, leaders, and ambassadors. During Mr. Stahr’s tenure as chair, the Symphony completed its first European tour and opened the new concert hall.

The Stahrs are key supporters of Girl Scouting in Orange County since 1972, when Mrs. Stahr became a member of the Girl Scouts of Orange County. Together, the Stahrs became major donors to a 1990s capital campaign for the Girl Scouts.

In addition to the Stahrs’ local involvement, Mr. Stahr has brought his leadership to the national level with his service on three national boards, including the National Defense University Foundation Board. Mrs. Stahr received “Woman of the Year” honors from the California state legislature in 1992.

The NPD Orange County 2009 Award for Lifetime Achievement celebrates the Stahrs’ outstanding financial contributions and leadership for more than 40 years in making our community a better place for all.

Submitted by: Girl Scout Council of Orange County, Pacific Symphony, City of Newport Beach Library Services, MIND Research Institute, UC Irvine and South Coast Repertory


Mary and Dick Allen, Newport Beach

For focusing on Orange County’s healthcare

For more than twenty-five years, Mary and Dick Allen have supported the Orange County community as civic and charitable leaders. Their efforts and generosity have supported older adults, improved early childhood education, expanded access to quality healthcare, and fortified the local non-profit sector.

Inspired by their granddaughter’s diabetes diagnosis, the Allens donated a leadership gift of $1 million to establish the Mary & Dick Allen Diabetes Center at Hoag Hospital. The Allens have been long-term donors and volunteer leaders at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, where in addition to spearheading a $24 million endowment for the Allen Diabetes Center, Mr Allen is a past chairman of Hoag’s board.

As part of Mr. Allen’s role on the Orange County Community Foundation’s Board of Governors, he has overseen more than $100 million in charitable assets and directed more than $20 million in annual grant awards.

Mrs. Allen offers leadership to the Alzheimer’s Family Services Center, the Orange County Council on Aging as chair of the board, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She is the past chair of Adult Day Services of Orange County, co-founder of Care Options and the former Human Services Director of OASIS Senior Center.

Submitted by: Hoag Hospital Foundation, Orange County Community Foundation, Alzheimer’s Family Service Center and UC Irvine


Los Altos Trophy, Cypress (owners live in Newport Beach)

For company-wide support of Goodwill

Cindy and Lee Gittleman, owners of Los Altos Trophy, have committed themselves and their company to supporting Goodwill of Orange County through financial contributions, event sponsorships and volunteer opportunities. In total, Los Altos Trophy has supported Goodwill with more than $30,000 in sponsorships and in-kind donations over the past five years. Mrs. Gittleman’s involvement with Goodwill spans many volunteer and board platforms, including serving on the board of directors, as a Goodwill Ambassador and on the resource development team and chairing the Walter Knott Award luncheon committee.

Submitted by: Goodwill of Orange County


Richard and Susan Bridgford, Newport Coast

For their commitment to pediatric cancer, ending hunger and education

Richard and Susan Bridgford have positively influenced at least five organizations for the last two decades. For the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF), they have demonstrated ambassadorship as donors, board members, event sponsors and hosts of an annual holiday “boutique,” introducing PCRS holiday cards designed by children with cancer. As 25-year supporters of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, Mr. Bridgford orchestrates gifts of food from the family company, Bridgford Foods, and Mrs. Brigford spearheads the Harvester Annual Fashion Show Luncheon, the signature event of the Second Harvest support group.

At Mission Viejo High School and St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, the Bridgfords have served on the board and contributed their time, talent and treasure benefitting academic and athletic programs. They encouraged a relationship between Mission Viejo High School athletes and the PCRF that led to donations for the organization and a lesson in empathy for children of fragile health for the robust young athletes.

Submitted by: Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, Mission Viejo High School and Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County.

Primary submitters are listed first