(left to right) Patrick Evans of KESQ TV, who was Emcee of National Philanthropy Day® In The Desert Awards Luncheon, Brian Daly, Event Chair, Harold Matzner, Presenting Sponsor & Honorary Chair, Judi Olivas, President of the Assoc. of Fundraising Professionals and an Honoree, Gary Hall of Wells Fargo who was an Awards Sponsor.

By Madeline Zuckerman / Photos by Dimitri Halkidis

A sold-out crowd of over 750 guests were on hand to celebrate six distinguished Honorees at the prestigious 13TH Annual National Philanthropy Day® In The Desert Awards Luncheon, held at the Hyatt Hotel in Indian Wells.  Harold Matzner, notable Coachella Valley philanthropist and owner of Spencer’s Restaurant, returned for his 7th consecutive year as the Presenting Sponsor and Honorary Chair of the Awards Luncheon.   KESQ’s Patrick Evans, Meteorologist and Host of “Eye On The Desert,” served as Emcee.

“The Coachella Valley is filled with remarkable philanthropists, each making profound differences in the lives of many people, stated Brian Daly, Event Chair. “It has been said that Philanthropy is good will in action.  If anyone would need proof of this, all they need to do is look around this room today,” he continued.

(left to right) Terence Dwyer, new CEO of McCallum Theatre,
with Honoree Sally Berger, Harold Matzner, Betty Wolf,
and Tom Head.

Celebrating its 59th year, National Philanthropy Day® is a special day set aside for the purpose of recognizing the great contribution philanthropy makes in our society, and to honor individuals, businesses, and support organizations that are active in the philanthropic community.  Here in the Coachella Valley, it is a day when we pay tribute to our own – outstanding local philanthropists who give so generously of their time, talents, skills, and financial support, making our community a much better place for us all.

“National Philanthropy Day® In The Desert is revered as the premier celebration of the Valley’s philanthropic community,” stated Judi Olivas, President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals CA, Desert Communities Chapter.  “This year’s Honorees exemplify the passionate spirit of the daily contributions made by these philanthropists.  They have been recognized by their peers and community leaders for truly changing the Coachella Valley with their giving hearts,” Olivas continued.

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This year’s celebrated Honorees included:

OUTSTANDING PHILANTHROPISTS – James & Carol Egan

OUTSTANDING FUNDRAISING VOLUNTEER – Sally Berger

OUTSTANDING PHILANTHROPIC FOUNDATION, CORPORATION, OR CIVIC SERVICE ORGANIZATION – Regional Access Project Foundation

OUTSTANDING NONPROFIT FOUNDER – Jo Rosen, Parkinson’s Resource Organization

OUTSTANDING YOUTH IN PHILANTHROPY – Boys & Girls Club of Palm Springs – Keystone Club Members

OUTSTANDING FUNDRAISING PROFESSIONAL – Judi Olivas

In a surprise announcement, the Association of Fundraising Professionals presented Honorees Boys & Girls Club of Palm Springs – Keystone Club Members with a Scholarship check in the amount of $1,000.

“We have the good fortune to be living in not only one of the most beautiful and climate-friendly communities in America, but also in one of the most generous,” stated Harold Matzner, Presenting Sponsor & Honorary Chair of this year’s Awards Luncheon.  “I count it a great honor to be part of the National Philanthropy Day® In The Desert Awards Luncheon, and to be able to congratulate all of the recipients,” he continued.  

Leading Underwriters for this year’s Awards Luncheon included Harold Matzner, along with Award Sponsors the H.N. & Frances C. Berger Foundation, JoAnn McGrath and Wells Fargo.

Exclusive Media Sponsors included:  DESERT SUN MEDIA GROUP & LOCALiQ, PALM SPRINGS LIFE, KESQ NEWS CHANNEL 3, and ALPHA  MEDIA- PALM SPRINGS.

Seen in the overflow crowd were Harold Matzner & Shellie Reade, Gary Hall, Tamara Hedges, Barbara & Stewart Boxer, Peggy Cravens, Jean Carrus, Sandy Woodson, Ogniana Masser, Eve Fromberg-Edelstein, Helene Galen, Jamie Kabler, Diane & Hal Gershowitz, Jill & Barry Golden, Nancy Stone, Aubrey & Lori Serfling, Laura Fritz, Michael & Stephanie Landes, Donna MacMillan, Louis & Ann Grachos, Steve & Yvonne Maloney, Lenny Eber & Diane Rubin, Roberta & Clay Klein, Tom Snyder, Jan Lupia, Richard Balocco, Nate Otto, Rob Anzalone, Dr. Joel Kinnamon, Bill Chunowitz, Mark Anton, Liz Chambers, Darlene & Steve Beneto, Sally & Miles Berger, Terence Dwyer, Richard & Sarah Clapp, and Peter Sturgeon.

Please SAVE THE DATE of Friday, November 13, 2020 for next year’s 14th Annual National Philanthropy Day® In The Desert!

For more information on the Association of Fundraising Professionals CA, Desert Communities Chapter please call 760-449-1971 or visit www.afpcadesert.org

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