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Opinion

The Crowd: Anaheim Ducks break away for Orangewood

OWduck  126.JPG
Anaheim Ducks Chief Executive Tim Ryan stands with Ducks player Ryan Getzlaf, event chairwoman Kimberly Kirksey and Chris Simonsen. They attended an event that benefited the Orangewood Foundation.
(Ann Chatillon)

The Anaheim Ducks and 44 Women for Orangewood hosted the annual Anaheim Ducks Center Ice Party Nov. 8 at the Paséa Hotel & Spa, Huntington Beach. A long line of wine-tasting tables covered in orange linen were set up on the outdoor, ocean-view terrace of the hotel along with multiple food stations.

It was all part of the Go Orange for Orangewood Anaheim Ducks Center Ice Experience. The event, which also featured craft beer and cocktails, combined live music with live and silent auction items. Opportunity drawings punctuated an evening full of great prizes and Ducks’ memorabilia.

Ducks players, coaches, management, broadcasters and ownership joined in the festivities. Many of them dressed in accordance with the orange theme, mingling and mixing with sponsors, season ticket holders and fans. All proceeds from the event directly support the Orangewood Foundation. The party was presented by an auxiliary of the Orangewood Foundation, known as 44 Women for Orangewood.

The organization 44 Women of Orangewood was formed in 1999 by Ducks co-owner Susan Samueli, who brought together 44 of her closest female friends. The group has more than doubled, with many of its members among Orange County’s most philanthropic-minded and dedicated women devoted to Orangewood’s mission.

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That mission is to prepare, foster and mentor underserved community youth creating a path for them to reach their potential. Several Orangewood programs focus on current and former foster youth assisting with life skills that children and teens from stable families often learn from having parents. The programs encourage foster youth to strengthen their physical, emotional and “relational” health, which are often necessary first steps on the road to self-sufficiency.

Also important, these Orangewood programs are designed to help develop and achieve the children’s educational goals, from high school to college and graduate school.

Orangewood provides housing referrals and assistance, plus transitional housing through three “Rising Tide” sites. Its newest program, “The Lighthouse,” offers housing and other services to victims of sex trafficking.

During the holidays, the great value and purpose of the Orangewood Foundation’s work comes into focus. Samueli and the 44 Women make a lasting, life-changing contribution to the welfare of the O.C. family and beyond. They are just one significant part of the Orangewood Foundation supported by a wide cross section of O.C. philanthropic and dedicated local supporters and donors from all walks of life and O.C. society.

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Chaired by Kimberly Kirksey, the evening with the Ducks was sponsored by CRI So Cal. Inc. and the Samueli Foundation, along with Pacific Premiere Bank, among others. Ducks Head Coach Dallas Eakins welcomed Ducks Chief Executive Michael Shulman and a large contingent of players and staff, including Wendy Areiero and Laura McNary.

In the supportive crowd were donors Jaynine and Dave Warner, Dr. Jay Clavert, as well as Yvette and Kevin McCarthy, Jeanne Boyee, Mary Huber, Judi Nicholls joining some 400 guests. Supporting chair Kimberly Kirksey were loyal 44 Women members Jessie Marks, Mrunal Shsah, Pennie Walley, Erin Journigan, Tess Breen, Tiffany Brown, Linda Calderon and Fariba Fidone.

The 19-20 Roster of Ducks players all front and center for Orangewood included Cam Fowler, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Miller, Troy Terry and Hampus Lindholm, to name only a few.

To assist Orangewood programs supported by 44 Woman and the Anaheim Ducks, visit orangewoodfoundation.org/donate-general/

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