At a ceremony in Sacramento on Monday, Assemblyman Don Wagner (R-Irvine) honored a Newport Beach resident with his district's Woman of the Year award for her philanthropy in Orange County.
Melinda "Mindy" Stearns, an Emmy-nominated actress, began her career as an entertainment reporter for television programs including "Entertainment Tonight," KTLA's "Morning News" and "News At 10." In the past decade, she has shifted trajectory from the television industry, focusing her efforts and influence on improving her local community.
The Stearns Family Charitable Foundation, which she founded with her husband, Glenn Stearns, is the core of her philanthropic efforts. The foundation offers grants and other financial resources for children's charities.
The Assembly's Women of the Year program recognizes women throughout the state who give their time to the greater good of the community. Stearns, awarded specifically for her commitment to improve Orange County's education, arts and military veterans' communities, commended the efforts of all other recipients at the ceremony.
"It's truly an honor," Stearns said Wednesday. "I was humbled being in the room with so many accomplished women who are making a difference in their communities. Giving back to my community is an easy choice. I have been blessed with much in my life, and sharing those gifts feels natural and wonderful."
Wagner praised Stearns for finding time, amid her family commitments and busy career, to give back to her community.
"Mindy Stearns is more than deserving of this award," Wagner said in a prepared statement. "She's one of the reasons our 70th Assembly District is such a great place to live and raise a family. Her dedication to philanthropic work in Orange County is truly admirable. I want to thank her for those contributions and let everyone throughout California know what an impact she's made in Orange County."
The 70th District includes Irvine, Laguna Beach and Newport Beach.