Honoree 2015 – Kathi Koll

Congrats to Kathi Koll for being honored as an outstanding community volunteer!

Name:  Kathi Koll

Nominating Organization:  So. Cal Hospice Foundation

Honoree Category:  Human & Community

Why Nominated:  
Kathi’s husband Don Koll suffered a massive stroke in 2007 that left him paralyzed from the neck down, unable to speak and forced to live on a respirator. For 6 and half years following his stroke, Kathi dedicated her life to caring for Don and learning how to live and enjoy life again despite the new limitations.

They managed to still go to the movies regularly, go for walks (Don in his wheel chair) along the water, have friends over and learn how to be intimate together.

Throughout it all, Kathi learned that happiness doesn’t just happen, it takes a lot of work. After Don passed away in 2011, Kathi has started to dedicate herself to helping those who are trying to resume joy-filled lives following a catastrophic health incident (either as a patient or caregiver).

In 2014, she launched Live Life After Stroke, a motivational speaking tour based in Southern California, to help inspire and educate people on how to enjoy their lives again following a stroke or other difficult health incident.

Since LLAS’ launch, she has helped touch the lives of more than 800 people across Southern California and is receiving incredible feedback from people as they are inspired by her willingness to address difficult topics (such as depression and intimacy) and her service-centered spirit. Kathi is an insipiration and guiding light to all who know her. She is using her experience to help others in a profound way. She is also a joy and an exceptional human being.

Please write a note of congratulations below!

Honoree 2015 – Tony Guilder

Congrats to Tony Guilder for being honored as an outstanding community volunteer!

Name:  Tony Guilder

Nominating Organization:  Strength in Support

Honoree Category:  Human & Community

Why Nominated:  Mr. Tony Guilder approached Strength in Support (SIS) in the spring of 2013 about bringing a golf workshop to our veteran clients. He arranged a partnership between SIS and Mission Viejo Country Club (MVCC). He arranged for Yonex to donate demo clubs for the veterans to use. He has recruited other volunteers from MVCC. He donated the funds for the workshop through his foundation that he created with his wife Tina. He has expanded the workshop to include a social workshop. He has reached out to others to expand the funding for the workshops at MVCC. You can find Tony on most Thursday mornings setting up for the SIS Golf Workshop at MVCC at 8am. He meets the vets and talks to them. They share the highs and lows of life. Then he takes the veterans out to the driving range and uses his past career as a golf pro to teach them perfect swing technique, which is vastly different than the position of firing a weapon. After the golf lesson he has them gather around for lunch. Tony understands that the friendship is as valuable to our veteran clients as the golf lessons. He is truly the heart, soul and pocket book of the SIS Golf Workshop and the SIS Social Philosophy Group, which has been nicknamed by attendees as “Nothing is off topic!” Thank you for allowing SIS to honor and nominate Tony Guilder, best friend to SIS and our local veterans and their families.

Please write a note of congratulations below!

Honoree Team 2015 – The Gary Center

Congrats to The Gary Center for being honored as an outstanding team of community volunteers!

Team Name:  The Gary Center

Team Members:  Ana Palafox, Charlotte Ross, Marian Schain, Ricardo Santana, and Guillermina Sahagun

Nominating Organization:  The Gary Center

Honoree Category:  Education

Why Nominated:  This team deserves to be honored due to diligence and long term volunteerism throughout the years with the Food Distribution Program and in Teaching ESL at The Gary Center. Their reliable work ethic and friendliness with the community is appreciated and with their support, The Gary Center continues our mission in providing services to the families in need and fostering a healthy and productive community.

Please write a note of congratulations below!

Honoree Team 2015 – Carl Warren Cares

Congrats to Carl Warren Cares for being honored as an outstanding team of community volunteers!

Carl Warren CaresTeam Name:  Carl Warren Cares

Team Members:  Roberta McLean, Stephanie Mercado, Katrina MacDonald, Joe Alvare, Jennifer Ruez, Rosemary White, Charlene Pontecion, Dixie Peralta, Karen Crowley, Don Soto, Jennifer Williamson

Nominating Organization:  Carl Warren & Company

Honoree Category:  Corporate

Why Nominated:  This group gathers employees from all around Orange County and elsewhere in California to donate a day of their time to different charities such as First Harvest, Habitat for the Humanity, Kids Konnected etc. They also raise funds and gifts for the Sheepfold and other groups serving abused women and children. At the holiday season, rather than give corporate presents to our customers, we selected several charities to which to make donations in lieu of presents. The team also sponsors a public risk managers golf fundraiser in full force.

Please write a note of congratulations below!

Honoree 2015 – Virginia DePaola

Congrats to Virginia DePaola for being honored as an outstanding community volunteer!

Name:  Virginia DePaola

Nominating Organization:  Wells Fargo Dealer Services

Honoree Category:  Human & Community

Why Nominated:  Virginia devotes over 400 hours each year to non local nonprofits. In 2014, Virginia holds several committee leader positions at Wells Fargo including; Orange County Volunteer Chapter Officer, Philanthropy Committee chair, Irvine Team Member Charitable Giving Coordinator. And all this is in addition to her full time analyst position in Wells Fargo Finance.

Virginia organized, ran and volunteered at approx. 85 events in 2014 for Special Olympics, Grandmas house of Hope, Nana’s Kids, CHOC, American Red Cross, Ronald McDonald House, Knights of Columbus, CASA-OC, Food Banks and Soup Kitchens just to name a few.

Virginia also is a board member for Grandma’s House of Hope and a council member for OneOC’s Corporate Volunteer Council of Orange County which is helping to bring Wells Fargo Volunteers to Nana’s Kids and Grandma’s House and many other volunteer events in Orange County.

Virginia has a generous spirit. Her tireless energy is inspiring to her team members and to the organizations who she works with. Please help me honor Virginia DePaola for all her hard work and generosity.”

Please write a note of congratulations below!

Honoree 2015 – Susan Dixon

Congrats to Susan Dixon for being honored as an outstanding community volunteer!

Name:  Susan Dixon

Nominating Organization:  STIFEL

Honoree Category:  Education

Why Nominated:  Susan Dixon has served as a business partner volunteer almost since inception of High School Inc. 7 years ago. She started by organizing other business partners to design the curriculum of the Global Business Academy (GBA). During her tenure as the business champion for GBA, she recruited other companies and professionals to get involved, in addition to working side by side with the students at Valley High School (where High School Inc. program was piloted)to implement the curriculum that she helped create. As a result of her leadership and strategic vision, GBA became (and continues to be) the model academy in High School Inc. Today, Susan has “”adopted”” another academy (New Media) to help provide structure and work with faculty to develop curriculum that is relevant to business. She has served in other roles within the program including providing leaderships to other business champions in the other academies. Susan’s tireless passion for helping young men and women learn and grow into successful students and people is the hallmark of how she conducts herself and pursues what is relevant to the program and the community.

In response to research conducted by OCBC of what is needed by local businesses to prosper and grow, High School Inc. was created to promote work force development in the local area. It is a private/public partnership between the Santa Ana Unified School District, Santa Ana Chamber, and the High School Inc. Foundation that prepares high school students to become both career and college ready. High School Inc. recently received the Golden Bell Award from the California Board of Schools as the best example of a program that bridges the skills gap in the state. For more information please go to www.highschoolinc.info or view this You Tube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oowKnCsH0Q.

Please write a note of congratulations below!

Honoree 2015 – Matthew Kaiyum

Congrats to Matthew Kaiyum for being honored as an outstanding community volunteer!

Name:  Matthew Kaiyum

Nominating Organization:  Serving Kids Hope/Dr. Riba’s Health Club

Honoree Category:  Health

Why Nominated:  Matthew, out of the graciousness of his heart and character, would come out of his way to help with our after school Fit-Club program that we run for kids in the community to educate them in nutrition, physical activity and how to live a healthy lifestyle. He turned from one of our best participants in the program to a dedicated volunteer that our kids now look up to. He found the time to give back by assisting us even though much of his time was also spent studying and working on other various projects for school.

Matthew was recently diagnosed with Leukemia and has been battling and fighting this vicious disease for the past months now. He has stayed amazingly strong both physically and mentally. As of now he still cannot be out in large groups and has to do all of his schooling and education at home. We have made an effort to now support him as well as his family, but being honored as an important and great volunteer could lift his spirits even more!

Please write a note of congratulations below!