Coast honors leaders who inspire and strengthen Orange County
Eric Morgan
Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The original article was published by
Orange County Register.

Nearly 50 community-minded individuals, businesses and nonprofit institutions were honored at the Coast Community Awards Monday night for their contributions to the Orange County community and local economy.

The reception, held at AnQi Bistro at South Coast Plaza, was the second of such events hosted by Coast Magazine. Twelve individuals and organizations received awards among 48 finalists, and each represent some of Orange County’s most community-minded organizations and inspiring philanthropists.

Register Magazines Publisher Jeff Ditmire served as Master of Ceremonies, and Coast Editor-in-Chief Justine Amodeo and Executive Editor Kedric Francis welcomed guests prior to distribution of the awards.

Freedom Communications’ CEO and co-owner Aaron Kushner, Freedom President and co-owner Eric Spitz, VP of Targeted Publications and Special Sections Steve Churm, and SVP of Revenue and Press-Enterprise Publisher Mike Burns joined Ditmire and Amodeo in giving out the awards.

Top executives from ArtsOC, PBS SoCal, Wahoo’s Fish Taco, Orange County United Way and OneOC were also among those who presented Coast Community Awards to honorees.

Kushner and Spitz were among the four finalists honored by Coast in the Business category for creating the Golden Envelope program, which helps Orange County nonprofits promote their missions through advertising in the Register.

“The evening was a wonderful opportunity to gather and celebrate the contributions of Orange County’s most generous community service and philanthropic luminaries,” Ditmire said. “Coast Magazine honored a vast array of contributors: from grass-roots environmental and arts education initiatives to some of the largest philanthropic donations made by any individual in the United States. Orange County is home to people of all walks of life who, together, make this a better place for all.”

The 2014 Coast Community Awards honorees are as follows:

•“Coaster” Lifetime Achievement Award: Henry Segerstrom
•Arts Organization: Clair Trevor School for the Arts at UC Irvine
•Business: Pacific Life
•City Project: City of Newport Beach City Civic Center and Park Project
•Couple: Wylie and Bette Aitken
•Educational Institution: Soka University Performing Arts Center
•Environmental Project: The Ecology Center “The Watershed”
•Gala: OCEANA SeaChange Summer Party
•Health Organization: CHOC Hospital
•Individual: Susan Samueli
•Nonprofit: Free Wheelchair Mission
•Philanthropist: Geoffrey and Nancy Stack
•Volunteers: Izzy’s Corner at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County

Each honoree took home a one-of-a-kind award Coast commissioned from internationally renowned sculptor Chris Schulz and a gift from Bloomingdale’s. All 48 finalists received the Henry T. Segerstrom book, courtesy of Assouline.

Coast Magazine will summarize the evening in its March issue. Anne Valdespino will also summarize the Coast Community Awards within Eye On OC – a Tuesday through Thursday feature that showcases local galas and influential people – on Feb. 12 on the back page of the Register’s Food section. View photos here.

Orange County School of the Arts paid tribute to Segerstrom with a performance of the song “Believe” by Fantasia Barirno, and performed during dinner.

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