Michelle Wulfestieg, Southern California Hospice Foundation
Southern California Hospice Foundation’s mission is to deliver resources to caregivers, families, and patients who are confronting the final stages of life through advocacy, education, and a respect for all faiths. The Foundation does community outreach to familiarize communities with the resources available to them. Programs include Angels on Wheels, providing transportation for those at home under hospice care, and Children’s Supportive Care Services, partnering physicians, nurses, social workers, and chaplains to provide services for children and their families. The Foundation would not be what it is without its Executive Director Michelle Wulfestieg. She has a passion for making an impact on quality end-of-life care and works diligently to fulfill wishes for terminally ill patients. She developed and implemented the program, Hours in Lieu of Flowers, to give low-income families part-time caregivers for patients who remain at home for the dying process. Michelle worked with Showtime to develop a documentary series, “Time of Death,” about the end-of-life process and its impact on patients and families. Michelle and Southern California Hospice Foundation bring hope and comfort to those in need, making them true angels on earth.
Ruthe Rosen, Let it Be Foundation
The Let it Be Foundation brings comfort, hope, and joy to families throughout Southern California by helping families with children facing serious and terminal illnesses. Their aid comesthrough medical accessories, sibling care, household maintenance, meals, or grief support. The foundation has a Youth Leadership Program with the goal to bring awareness to life-threatening pediatric illnesses. This team of youth leaders hasreceived “Volunteer Group of the Year.” The Let it Be Foundation would not be what it is without the founder, Ruthe Rosen. Ruthe and her husband, Michael, were inspired to begin the Foundation when they lost their daughter, Karla, to brain cancer. They turned their grief into service, providing hope and support where it is most needed. Ruthe’s work has been recognized and her honors include, City of Chino Hills Community Heroes, Chino Champion Newspaper Citizen of the Year, Soroptimist “Making a Difference for Women”, MLB & People Magazine’s “All Stars Among Us.” She also wrote a book Never Give Up on how to find hope and purpose in adversity. Ruthe and the Let it Be Foundation go above and beyond to bring support to families and children in need.
Long Beach Basket Brigade
The Long Beach Basket Brigade brings the community together to take action and help the less fortunate during Thanksgiving. The team works to provide baskets of food and household items at Thanksgiving time. The baskets are specially designed for local are families in need. The Basket Brigade brings together individuals of all ages and backgrounds to volunteer their time, energy, and money. Volunteers deliver baskets anonymously on the Saturday prior to Thanksgiving. This dynamic team partners with food organizations, churches, schools, shelters, and charities to identify those in need and address their needs. All who volunteer to assist in fundraising, food gathering, basket production, and basket delivery feels the spirit of teamwork and giving. This team operates under the belief that one small act of generosity on the part of one caring person can transform the lives of hundreds. Accepting on behalf of Basket Brigade is Brandon Millan.
Krystal Emery, Pet Prescription Team
The Pet Prescription Team helps pet owners to train family pets to become therapy animals. This full-service organization provides training classes to prepare dogs for certification, Therapy Certification, and AKC, CGC testing for assisted therapy visitations. The therapeutic use of pets provides a constant source of comfort, helps patients feel safe and accepted, and brings out a nurturing instinct. A visit from a therapy animal can be a great relief to someone who is facing a serious medical condition or who lives in a facility. Founder Krystal Emery saw a need for therapy dog training and took it on, beginning a program of Healing Hearts Through Pets. This organization has other programs to assist: The Faith Dog Project provides a “Faith Dog” stuffed animal to young cancer patients that receive a therapy dog visit; The Special Needs Project uses therapy dogs, paired with volunteers, to help children with special needs to build self-confidence and to develop important skills such as motor skills, communication skills, the ability to complete a task, the proper way to touch, and word association; “No Place Like Home” project creates a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere in less fortunate resident/patient rooms in long-term facilities by redecorating for elderly and sick youth. The Pet Prescription Team has gone above and beyond to assist many families, patients, and children throughout Southern California.
Tony Soriano, Surfrider Foundation Huntington/Seal Beach Chapter
The Huntington/Seal Beach Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation is a dedicated group of volunteers focused on the protection and enjoyment of the oceans, waves, and beaches. Over 30 years time they have served over 1 million in their efforts and have more than 12,000 annual participants in their events. Their environmental education, with a service learning focus, includes field trips, classroom lectures, projects, and marine curriculum for K-12 students. Other projects include an Ocean Friendly Gardens program to reduce urban runoff, the Blue Water Task Force, an advocacy program, and Rise Above Plastics to push for reduction in the amount of plastics being used. The Ocean Protection Program encompasses several important areas including Marine Protected Areas, Offshore Drilling opposition, Spill Prevention Response Volunteer Beach Clean Up Team, Renewable Ocean Energy, and Marine Spatial Planning to ensure our oceans are used sustainably by all industries. Accepting on behalf of Surfrider is Tony Soriano. His leadership and drive have helped the Huntington/Seal Beach Chapter to be a focused, action-packed group of volunteers and to become the training ground for other chapters of Surfrider.
Women in Networking & Men that WIN
The goal of Women in Networking is to educate and inspire women of all ages to become successful entrepreneurs and to promote community involvement. As a team, they have formed many partnerships and taken on many fundraisers to provide for local charities, organizations, and students. They also deliver meals, support adults and children facing health challenges, clean up beaches, and help veterans with basic needs. Their events have benefitted organizations such as Veterans Affordable Housing, the Healthy Family Movement, Totally Kids Healthcare, Ronald McDonald House, Surfrider Foundation, the Let it Be Foundation, and many more. As a group they have served thousands here on the coast and internationally. Four outstanding chapters of dynamic women and one chapter of exceptional men are being honored for their service. Each chapter has chosen a representative who embodies the spirit of service WIN is dedicated to.
Beatrice De Salles
Beatrice De Salles is an internationally acclaimed relationship journalist and writer, freelancer editor, published author, sought-after translator & interpreter. Fluent in six languages, she is an accredited member of both the Association of Translation Companies (ATC) and American Translators Association (ATA). Her work as a translator and interpreter has assisted many to relocate and to find work. Beatrice’s goal is to empower the world’s poor and to make a difference on a global scale, which includes work with the Women Leaders Foundation, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. She volunteers her time at Gilda’s Club, UCP (United Cerebral Palsy), The Morgan Project, SELPA (Special Education Local Plan Area), CVASA (CV Autism Society of Americas), The Rescue Mission, TACA (Talk About Curing Autism), Kris Camp, The Help Group, California Psychcare, Baseball Buddies, Children Play Production & Old Town Artisan Studio, Soroptimist International of Palm Desert, Soul Pampering, Women Leaders Forum, Catholic Charities, Ophelia Project, and Healthy Family Foundations. She is also a voice for children with special needs. Beatrice is a true humanitarian and works tirelessly to improve the world.
Rabbi Zalman Marcus, Chabad Jewish Center of Mission Viejo
Rabbi Zalman Marcus, and his wife Bassie, founded the Chabad Jewish Center of Mission Viejo as a small grass roots organization. It has grown into a community based nonprofit whose efforts are rooted in traditional Jewish values and that reaches thousands. The center provides outreach and education to the elderly, children and their parents, and those in need. The Center includes the CJC Hebrew School, Hebrew High, Summer Camps, Teen programs, Adult education, Women’s programs, Substance Abuse Prevention, crisis intervention and counseling, senior visitation, a scholarship fund, and support groups. The Center also hosts a Mommy and Me program for young children and parents, a youth club, a teen club, a Friendship Circle for children with special needs, and social and extracurricular programs. The Rabbi and the Center strive to reach out to others with acts of goodness and kindness. The Rabbi’s love for humanity, spirit of service, and optimism have led him to launch outreach programs and social services to help those in need, regardless of background or belief. The Rabbi is known as an inspiring teacher and lecturer and a genuine leader. He is an example of service and giving to his community.
Michelle Wulfestieg, Southern California Hospice Foundation