Local couple donates $5 million to Girls Inc.

A Newport Beach couple has pledged to give $5 million to Girls Inc. of Orange County, which would be the largest donation the charity has received.

Organizers thanked Sue and Ralph Stern at Girls Inc.'s annual Gratitude Luncheon on May 18.

Sue Stern is a longtime member of the Girls Inc. board. The national nonprofit has its Orange County center in Costa Mesa and hosts programs designed to help 4- to 18-year-old girls build confidence.

The donation is slated to go to the Eureka! program, which exposes girls to career paths in math, science and technology.

"Over the years, we have observed the direct impact Girls Inc. of Orange County has had on girls and young women," Sue Stern said in a prepared statement. "We love the Eureka summer program, which currently has the capacity of helping 70 girls per year. Our goal is to see at least 500 participants each year."

The $5 million will go toward adding staff and launching an additional site in Santa Ana.

"Girls Inc. of Orange County and all of the girls we serve are deeply grateful for the Sterns' bigheartedness," said Lucy Santana-Ornelas, executive director of the nonprofit's county chapter. "It gives us an opportunity to motivate and inspire even more girls through innovative programs and an upcoming new site."

— Alexandra Baird

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