national philanthropy day

Philanthropy Honorees Have Their Day in the Desert

Staff Report Current Digital, Social Scene

national philanthropy day
Aubrey Serfling of Eisenhower Health, Betty Wolf, Honoree Sally Berger, Harold Matzner, Honorary Chair & Presenting Sponsor of National Philanthropy Day® In The Desert, and Michael Landes of Eisenhower Health.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals California, Desert Communities Chapter, celebrated six exemplary honorees at their sold out 13th Annual National Philanthropy Day in the Desert Awards Luncheon at the Hyatt Hotel in Indian Wells.

The event was attended by a record breaking crowd of 750 guests, the largest turnout in the history of this local chapter. Harold Matzner, notable Coachella Valley philanthropist and owner of Spencer’s Restaurant, returned for his seventh consecutive year as the Presenting Sponsor and honorary chair. KESQ TV’s Patrick Evans served again as emcee.

“The Coachella Valley is filled with remarkable philanthropists, making profound differences in the lives of many people,” said 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.”

Founded in 1960, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) is the professional association of individuals and organizations which generate philanthropic support for a wide variety of charitable institutions, advancing philanthropy forward through its 31,600 members in 243 chapters throughout the world. AFP works to foster philanthropy through advocacy, research, education, and professional certification programs, while promoting high ethical standards in the fundraising profession.  The AFP Desert Communities Chapter currently boasts a membership of more than 100 fundraising professionals within the Coachella Valley.

During the 13 years the AFP has hosted National Philanthropy Day In The Desert, 76 outstanding individuals, foundations, and corporations have been honored at this annual Awards Luncheon. This year’s honorees included:

Outstanding Philanthropists – James and 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 Member, and Outstanding fundraising professional – Judi Olivas.

Judy Vossler, Award Selection Committee chair, headed up the Blue Ribbon committee, which included Mark Anton, Walter Clark, Jill Golden, Gary Hall, Susie Harvey,Terri Ketover, Kelly Levy, and Sandy Woodson.

The NPD Awards Committee, co-chaired by Angela Allen and Gailya Brown, included Mitch Blumberg, Matthew Campos, Matt Durkan, Bob McKechnie, Eileen Packer, Scott Robinson, and Renee Sabol.  Members of the Gold Ribbon Committee included Terri Bona, Sarah Clapp, Louise Cummings, Tim Evans, Jan Hawkins, Paula Kennedy, and Scott Schroeder.

“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,” said Matzner.  “I count it a great honor to be part of National Philanthropy Day’s awards, and to be able to congratulate all of the recipients.”

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

Luncheon Sponsors included Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Bank of America, College of the Desert Foundation, Peggy Cravens, Desert Oasis Healthcare, Eisenhower Health Foundation, Helene Galen, Loma Linda University Children’s Health – Indio, Donna MacMillan, McCallum Theatre, RAP Foundation, Arlene Schnitzer, Union Bank, and Madeline Zuckerman Marketing & Public Relations, Inc.

Table Sponsors included American Red Cross – Coachella Valley & Morongo Basin, Bighorn Golf Club, Boys & Girls Clubs of Coachella Valley, Boys & Girls Club of Palm Springs, California State University San Bernardino, Palm  Desert Campus, Cathedral City Senior Center, City of Indian Wells, The Community Foundation, Desert Arc, Desert Cancer Foundation, Desert Care Network, James & Carol Egan, Family YMCA of the Desert, First Foundation Bank, Friends of the Palm Springs Animal Shelter, Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau, The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens, Lotus Garden Center/Robert Walker & Ernest Phinney, Mama’s House, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Palm Springs Pathfinders, Parkinson’s Resource Organization, Pathfinder Ranch/Fromberg Edelstein Fromberg, Read With Me, Diane & Harry Rinker, University of California Riverside, Palm Desert Center,  and The Unforgettables Foundation.

Exclusive Media Sponsors for this year’s Awards Luncheon included: Presenting Newspaper & Digital Media Sponsor – Desert Sun Media Group and Local iQ; Exclusive Magazine Media Sponsor – Palm Springs Life; Exclusive TV Media Sponsor – KESQ News Channel 3, and Exclusive Radio Media Sponsor – Alpha Media Palm Springs.

The 14th Annual National Philanthropy Day In The Desert is Nov. 13, 2020. For more information on the AFP Desert Communities Chapter, call 760-449-1971 or visit