One might say that non-profit involvement is a contact sport in Santa Clarita, meaning the field of volunteers is crowded with generosity, and there is a crossover of efforts among organizations of all kinds. That is why choosing a top philanthropist in this community is likely to be a difficult task.
Serving a 501(c)(3) is encouraged year round, but every spring one man and one woman are celebrated for the breadth of their volunteerism. Each year there are residents of Canyon Country nominated, and this year there are four individuals from this side of town. Previous winners of the Man of the Year and Woman of the Year honors will gather together to choose which of the nominees gain the two titles, and it will be announced at a gala on May 5 at the Valencia Hyatt Regency Hotel. The two winners each receive up to $1,000 to donate to the nonprofit(s) of their choice.
Alan Ferdman was nominated by the Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers, Inc. He has chaired the organization’s annual Rubber Ducky Festival for three years. The retired aerospace engineer is perhaps best known by locals as the chair of the Canyon Country Advisory Committee, or CCAC, for 17 years. He is active in numerous non-profit groups, including Bridge to Home and the Santa Clarita Senior Center, and is a member of local clubs such as Sunrise Rotary, Santa Clarita Elks and Mint Canyon Moose Lodge.
Alan and his wife, Pam, moved to Canyon Country in 1965, and raised two children.
“I am a big supporter of Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers because of the important role they provide for our uninsured and under-insured residents,” he said. “Nothing is more important than maintaining our health and the health of our family members.”
Tracy Hauser was nominated by the SCV Senior Center. A broker for Cobalt Realty, Tracy has tireless energy and has touched the lives of many through Santa Clarita non-profits. She is a big supporter of Single Mothers Outreach and helps with fundraising efforts for SCV Education Foundation and Bark for Life. She is known both in and out of the non-profit community for her ability to connect people to resources. Her personal experiences fuel the work she does with those in need, whether it is single mothers, a role she had in the past, or the senior population.
“The Senior Center provides for the well-being of the whole family, as well as the seniors,” Hauser says on her Tracy Team real estate webpage. “One of the critical services supported by fundraising events such as the Celebrity Waiter Dinner is the Home Delivered Meals program, which delivers hot, nutritious meals to homebound seniors five days a week.”
Diane Green was nominated by the SCV Disaster Coalition, which she and her husband founded with Carl and Jeri Goldman. Seeing the experience of victims after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Diane was moved to put some preparation in place on a local scale.
“We are so unprepared as a community,” said Green. “Certainly if we have a disaster here, we have to be prepared to help victims.” The Disaster Coalition is a non-profit you don’t hear about except in a crisis, such as the recent fires and flooding. “We stick with the families throughout the whole process,” Green said. “You can lean on us until you can stand on your own.”
Diane and Neal Green were in the car when she got a text message from Carl announcing her nomination for Woman of the Year. “I had to read it three times,” she said. “I was beyond honored — it really is a thrill.”
Janice Murray was nominated by Circle of Hope, Inc., where she has volunteered for more than six years. She serves on the executive board and has held roles as vice president, secretary, event chair, public relations ambassador, and headed up auction fundraising.
Circle of Hope is a charity dedicated to providing emotional, financial and educational support to those diagnosed with cancer in the Santa Clarita Valley. Working as host of “Non-Profit Spotlight” on KHTS AM-1220, Murray interfaces regularly with many of the charities she has been involved with as a volunteer.
Janice Murray was nominated right on the heels of her nomination for Zonta Club’s Service Award this year. “I can honestly say I was honored and very flattered to be nominated for Woman of the Year,” said Murray. “There are so many more deserving women in this town who I admire and look up to for their volunteerism, and I’m thrilled just to be thought of along with them!”
Friends and family of the nominees and members of the nominating organizations can purchase tickets online for $125 each at scvmw.org/awards-dinner-reservation-form/. Regular tables are $1,250 and include seating for 10. Premium tables, at $1,500 each, include seating for 10 with the sponsor’s name on the table, plus a full-page ad in the program book. Guests are encouraged to make reservations early, since seating is limited and will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
The committee also is taking reservations for congratulations advertisements in the program to show appreciation to the candidates. Ads are due by April 15, 2017 and may be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.