2019 Annual Meeting & Society of Fellows Recognition Reception at First American Corporation
Thursday, December 12, 2019
Annual Meeting & Society of Fellows Recognition Reception
Master of Ceremonies the Honorable David O. Carter welcomed guests and introduced 2019 Project Youth OCBF President Steve Card. Steve discussed the 2019 launch of our Elevate Educate Empower Comprehensive Campaign--a three-year effort to raise $5 million in new funds and $9 million total with all of our annual funds included. He remarked how fortunate Project Youth OCBF is to have many dedicated volunteers and supporters to help us--most notably our campaign committee chairs, Jim & Linda Skorheim, Patrick & the Honorable Judith Ryan (Ret.), Allan & Cindy Stokke, and Honorary Chairs Ygal & Justice Sheila Prell Sonenshine (Ret.), all tremendously loyal and dedicated couples.
The event continued with Judge Carter and Steve presenting several awards, beginning with the inaugural Project Youth OCBF Volunteer Excellence Award honoring Ygal & Sheila Sonenshine, who were thanked for their belief in our mission and for their loyal and continual leadership and support.
Next on the program was the 26th Annual Sammy Award - Project Youth OCBF’s “Sammy” award, which is given each year to a recipient who has contributed to Project Youth in order to assist in best serving the youth and families of Orange County. The “Sammy” is dedicated in loving memory of Robert Samuel Barnes, who was a Project Youth OCBF longtime supporter and friend that contributed greatly to the organization. This year's "Sammy" award recipient, Eric V. Traut, joins a distinguished group of past recipients including: our very first recipient, Robert Samuel Barnes, Don Morrow, Judy Ryan, Ann Andres, John Herklotz, Jane Martin, Ygal and Sheila Sonenshine, Mike Pursell, Bill O’Hare, Michael Maguire, Cindy Stokke, Jim Skorheim, the Santa Ana Police Department, John Hurlbut, Mark Minyard, Carolyn McKitterick, Dennis Ghan, Kyle Kawakami, and last year’s recipient, Bill Grenner. Eric is a longtime supporter and past president of Project Youth, and current member of the Project Youth OCBF Board of Directors. He has diligently supported Project Youth as a volunteer and friend. Each year, he provides a Higher Education Mentoring Program student with a college scholarship, employees a Project SELF intern at his firm, and is always one of, if not the top, fundraiser of Project Youth OCBF’s OC Marathon effort. Eric was presented with the “Sammy” on behalf of Project Youth OCBF, to be congratulated by all on receiving this well-deserved, prestigious honor.
The final award recipient to be recognized, Maria Solis Martinez, was presented with the Outstanding Community Leadership Award. Maria has been a long-term supporter or the Higher Education Mentoring Program. She began by providing a college dorm kit to one of our graduates back in 2002. Each year she provides up to three college scholarships to Santa Ana high school students in our Higher Education Mentoring Program who have the desire to pursue higher education. We are extremely grateful Maria has chosen our Higher Education Mentoring Program to provide her generous college scholarships and we were very excited to honor her.