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Joining me at OneOC's 38th Annual "Spirit of Volunteerism" Awards Luncheon were One OC's CEO Dan McQuaid and Diane Killeen, Manager of Disney's VoluntEARS and Cast Initiatives

Joining me at OneOC’s 38th Annual “Spirit of Volunteerism” Awards Luncheon at Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim were OneOC’s CEO Dan McQuaid and Diane Killeen, Manager of Disneyland Resort’s VoluntEARS and Cast Initiatives

It was a packed ballroom with 1,046 guests at the Disneyland Hotel for OneOC’s 38th Annual “Spirit of Volunteerism” Awards Luncheon. The program zipped along in its two-hour time frame and honored 376 unsung volunteer heroes, including presenting the Giving is Living Award to the exemplary corporate-nonprofit partnership between Habitat for Humanity and The Home Depot.

I particularly enjoyed the music of the six-piece, all-volunteer Smart Jazz Execs Band, who entertained during the reception, and, once inside the ballroom, Montage, a song and dance troupe from Orange County School of the Arts, kicked off the proceedings performing to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “I’ll Be There.” OneOC Board of Directors Chair Arnie Pinkston welcomed everyone, noting the “Volunteers Lift Us Up” theme for the occasion and stating that in the past year OneOC had connected nearly 28,000 volunteers in 1.2 million hours of service, providing a $30.1 million value to our community. That’s impressive!

An animated film followed, which showed the value of doing good and the unexpected consequences relating to volunteerism. OneOC’s President/CEO Dan McQuaid, who was portrayed in the delightful film as an old man with glasses and walking stick, came onstage following the film to claim in a humorous way, “I don’t why they cast me as the grumpy old man!” McQuaid introduced the event’s major sponsors: Title Sponsor, Orange County Register; Dynamic Spirit Sponsors: Cox Communications (who also provided the centerpieces – colorful jawbreakers and cake pops in glass cylinders), Disneyland Resort, Wells Fargo, Western Digital; Generous Spirit Sponsors: Walmart, Fluidmaster; Giving Spirit Sponsor: PIMCO Foundation. McQuaid lauded the Register’s partnership in providing coverage of how nonprofits and volunteers brighten our world and noted that the paper would be featuring a 16-page insert in an upcoming issue of all of the Spirit of Volunteerism honorees. McQuaid asked Steve Churm, Vice President of the Orange County Register and Freedom Communications, and the event co-chair, to speak about building community.

Churm said the Register, with expanding to Long Beach, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, as well as a newly launched Los Angeles Register, “is building and binding wonderful communities of people, institutions and ideas across Southern California.” He said the paper’s Golden Envelope program, which distributes checks to seven-day subscribers worth up to $100 in advertising to nonprofits of their choice, has gifted more than $12 million in advertising space to Orange County nonprofits in year one of the program. “That’s how we are building communities at the Register,” he concluded.

Churm’s co-chair Sharon Smith, who is a member of OneOC’s board and Vice President of Human Resources for Cox Communications, asked the event committee to stand and be acknowledged and announced that all the honorees were to entered into a drawing to win the Ultimate Disneyland Resort Getaway Package – a night at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, a special dining package and four two-day Disney Park Hopper Passes.

Tim Strauch, OneOC’s COO, announced a new program launched by OneOC called the Service Enterprise Program, which, in partnership with California Volunteers, offers a program for nonprofits to realize greater effectiveness by leveraging the time and talent of volunteers. The 12 nonprofits who completed the program were asked to stand.

The awards were presented to honorees in specified categories, as each honoree’s photo flashed on the screen, and they were asked to stand and be recognized. The categories and presenters were: Arts (presented by Disneyland Resort’s Diane Killeen, Manager of Disney VoluntEARS and Cast Initiatives), Law Enforcement (Angela Antonio, Bank of America’s Sr. VP/Consumer Market Manager and Co-Chair of Orange County Network), Human and Community Service (Mitch Redden, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage’s Regional Sales Manager), Education (Rose Krupp, Director of Western Digital’s Foundation and Community Relations), Health (Amanda FowlerEdwards Lifesciences’s Executive Director of Global Corporate Giving), Animals and Environment (John Wohlfiel, Fluidmaster’s VP of Human Resources, Corporate Volunteers (Amber Skalsky, PIMCO Foundation’s Program Manager).

OneOC’s Giving is Living Award was presented by the 2013 honoree Mark Lowry, Director of Orange County Food Bank. He stated that the judging committee, comprised of past recipients, OneOC board members and community leaders, selected Habitat for Humanity and The Home Depot because of their outstanding, combined efforts to house veterans in the Orange County Community. “The Home Depot Foundation’s mission to ensure every veteran a safe place to call home complements Habitat of Humanity’s goal to serve veterans and their families throughout both new home construction and home repairs,” Lowry stated. The “Veterans Build” collaborative effort culminated in the repair of 30 veterans’ homes. Accepting the award was Home Depot’s Sherry Caraway and Habitat for Humanity’s President Sharon Ellis.

Disney Ambassador Sachiko White came onstage with Russell, Disney’s Junior Wilderness Explorer, to draw the winning ticket for the Disneyland Resort Getaway Package. Lucky Krissy Humensky of Corinthian Colleges was the lucky winner!! The event netted $166,207 for OneOC’s volunteer, training, consulting, and business services in helping Orange County nonprofits.

Selected photos courtesy of OneOC