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Outstanding Philanthropist
Victoria Collins

For Victoria Collins, Ph.D., CFP, empowering women has been the passion and theme behind her philanthropic efforts. Realizing that women needed financial knowledge and the confidence to put knowledge into action, over 15 years ago she founded “Invest in Yourself,” which later became WISE (Women Investing in Security and Education), an organization dedicated to the education of girls about financial literacy. Dr. Collins was also a founder of United Way’s Women’s Philanthropy Fund in 2002. Since initiating the annual Women’s Philanthropy Fund Breakfast in 2004, the group has raised more than $1.4M to help Orange County women and their families.

Nominated By: Girl Scouts of Orange County; Human Options; Orange County Community Foundation, Women Investing in Security and Education (WISE)
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Outstanding Philanthropic Group
Roosters Foundation of Orange County

Roosters Foundation is a nonprofit with a heart for the needs of disadvantaged children, having awarded 28 charities with $229,000 in 2013, to better the lives and improve the futures of at-risk children. In 2008, Roosters Foundation began supporting Friendly Center’s “Success for All” academic tutoring program. Roosters has given $72,000 to the program and committed $56,000 for the 2013-2014 year, for a total of $128,000, enabling the program to grow to serve 450 students annually and expand from two to six sites. Roosters’ food distribution and fundraising efforts in 2012 benefitted 65 nonprofits to support disadvantaged youth and children.

Nominated By: Devil Pups Youth Program for America; Friendly Center; Second Harvest Food Bank
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Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser
Mary Lynn Coffee

Mary Lynn Coffee has a passion for education and providing academic opportunities to those in need. As a THINK Together (Teaching, Helping, Inspiring, Nurturing Kids Together) Board of Directors member, Coffee has been an advocate of their mission to improve academic outcomes for children and youth in under-resourced communities. Coffee has helped THINK Together grow from serving 2,000 children in Orange County in 2003 to currently serving over 100,000 children and youth statewide each year. In Orange County alone, THINK Together provides learning and enrichment programs to over 30,000 underserved students, with free out-of-school time programs at 63 public schools.

Nominated By: THINK Together
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Outstanding Founder
Margie Wakeham

Margie Wakeham serves as Executive Director of Families Forward, engaging and inspiring thousands to get involved, resulting in donations of millions of dollars, products, services, and tens of thousands of volunteer hours to provide homeless or near homeless families with programs that support them as they regain, or maintain, self-sufficiency. Through her leadership efforts, Families Forward has grown from a small group of volunteers to a large organization providing vital safety-net services to 8,400 children and adults in 2012. The organization has served more than 20,000 Orange County families, children and their parents over the last 29 years.

Nominated By: Families Forward; Good Sheppard Lutheran Church; Orange County Community
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Outstanding Mid-Size Business 
Haskell & White LLP

Haskell & White LLP has made a significant and positive impact to many areas of need throughout Orange County. For the past 10 years, Haskell & White’s support of America On Track has helped the nonprofit to serve the most disadvantaged children and families throughout Orange County. Partner Patrick Ross currently serves as Chairman of the Board. A more than 20-year commitment to the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Ana, with over $225,000 raised for the Club, Managing Partner Wayne Pinnell is currently the Club’s Board President. Firm employees also support the Club, including volunteering for the annual Thanksgiving Dinner, serving over 1,200 meals to families.

Nominated By: America On Track, Arts Orange County, Boys & Girls Club of Santa Ana, Child Abuse Prevention Center, Discovery Science Center, Irvine Barclay Theatre, Laura’s House, Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Orange County Business Journal, South Coast Repertory, The Laguna Playhouse, The Wooden Floor
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Outstanding Large Business 
Edwards Lifesciences Corporation

Edwards Lifesciences has forged its own path as a philanthropic pioneer to support those in need. Edwards Lifesciences has partnered with Project Tomorrow, a national education nonprofit based in Irvine that supports innovative uses of science, math and technology resources, supporting its YouthTEACH2Learn Program and its Youth Leadership Summit for Math and Science. In 2012, the Edwards Lifesciences Fund’s charitable giving exceeded $4.5M worldwide and over $1M in Orange County, and Edwards employees coordinated volunteer efforts that assisted charities in Orange County through their “Strengthen Our Community” program, with 269 Edwards Orange County employees volunteering 1,099 hours to community activities.

Nominated By: Project Tomorrow
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Outstanding Youth
Natalie Cernius

Natalie Cernius’s brother with autism, Andrew, was her driving force in starting the Friday Night Club in 2011, a social club where high school students earn community service hours for spending quality, social time with teens who have autism and other special needs. Friday Night Club started with six children with autism and six of Cernius’s friends and now sees attendance regularly up to 80 participants per meeting, serving special needs elementary aged children, high school students and college students. Cernius created Friday Night Club in a Box to share the idea with other communities in need.

Nominated By: Creative Solutions for Hope; National Charity League Vista Irvine Chapter; Pacific Symphony Youth Ensembles; The Center for Autism and Related Disorders; United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County; parents of Charlie Allred; parents of Azal Ghotb; parents of Riley Horton; parents of Joshua Kartzinel; parents of Brooke Kershberg; parents of Faith Langhorn; parent of Robert Lee; mother of Victor Ismael Shaflee; parent of Kyle Toboni