Orange County “Hispanic Education Endowment Fund (HEEF)” Honors Leaders at 25th Anniversary Gala

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Newport Beach, CA — The Orange County Hispanic Education Endowment Fund (HEEF) held its 25th Annual Gala on Saturday, November 10, 2018, at the Hotel Irvine.  The event is the organization’s annual fundraiser to support its scholarship program for Hispanic youth in Orange County and to recognize exceptional individuals who positively impact the lives and education of Hispanic students.

The event featured a scholarship challenge by event emcee, Gaddi H. Vasquez, eighth United StatesAmbassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture, which raised $80,000 for next year’s scholarships.  Corporate sponsorships also raised $175,000.  President’s Circle Sponsors for 2018 included SVA ArchitectsEdison InternationalWells Fargo, and the University of California, Irvine.  The dinner celebration also honored the following individuals:

  • Apple of Gold for Excellence in Education:  Michael Matsuda, Superintendent at Anaheim Union High School District; and Vicki L. Ruiz, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor Emerita at University of California Irvine (retired)
  • HEEF Scholar Alumnus Award:  Martha Rivera, Family, and Community Engagement (FACE) Coordinator at Santa Ana Unified School District (2008 HEEF Scholarship Recipient)
  • Corporate Partner Award:  SoCalGas, one of the initial corporate sponsors to help establish the Hispanic Education Endowment Fund
  • Dr. Juan Francisco Lara Visionary Leadership AwardSara Lundquist, Ph.D., Strategy Consultant at Lumina Foundation and Former Vice President of Student Services at Santa Ana College

Shelley Hoss, president of the Orange County Community Foundation which stewards the HEEF endowment, says, “We are thrilled with all that HEEF has accomplished in 25 years to recognize extraordinary leaders and to meet the needs of so many promising and deserving Hispanic youth in our community.”

About the Orange County Hispanic Education Endowment Fund
The Hispanic Educational Endowment Fund was founded in 1994 by a group of business and community leaders in Orange County who saw the need to support deserving students to reach their education goals.  The focus of HEEF is to provide scholarships, mentoring, and support to Hispanic youth in Orange County, California.  Funds are dedicated to students in early learning and pre-college stages, and on scholarships for those that are college-bound. Since its inception, the organization has awarded more than $2.7 million to over 2,200 students. For more information, visit