|For Immediate Release
Contact: Jannelle Needham
Deputy Chief of Staff
Supervisor Doug Chaffee, 4th District
Supervisor Doug Chaffee Announces 5th Annual Fourth District Kindness Award Honorees
Buena Park, CA. (November 14, 2023) – Supervisor Doug Chaffee, Orange County Fourth District Supervisor announced the 5th Annual Fourth District Kindness Awards honorees during a ceremony held on Monday, November 13, 2023 at the Elher's Event Center. The emcee for the program was Dr. Jose Moreno, former Anaheim City Councilmember, District 3.
Following the Former Mayor Tom Tait’s initiative to encourage acts of kindness in the City of Anaheim, Supervisor Chaffee recognizes Kindness Award honorees from each City in the Fourth District who have made significant contributions to their communities through kindness. The Kindness Awards ceremony is hosted annually on November 13, which is internationally observed as World Kindness Day.
"It is especially important for us to acknowledge and appreciate kindness wherever we can find it," said Supervisor Chaffee. "Our Kindness Award honorees have risen to the challenge and have gone beyond that to ensure the needs of our communities are met."
The honorees for the 5th Annual Fourth District Kindness Awards are:
- City of Anaheim: Rosa Dominguez
- City of Brea: Gianna Mulkay
- City of Buena Park: Ellie Westenhaver
- City of Fullerton: Sandra White
- City of La Habra: Sara Ursenbach
- City of Placentia: Joe Rasic
- City of Stanton: Lorena Flores
Supervisor Chaffee also awarded Jo-Anne Matsuba, Chair of the Orange County Human Relations Commission, with the Honorary Kindness Award.
Rosa Dominguez first got involved with her community by joining her children's elementary school's Parent Teacher Association (PTA). She learned how important it is to be involved in their education and the community that surrounds them, and she continues to volunteer her time wherever she is needed, including food distributions, clean up events in the City of Anaheim, and other service projects. Through her use of social media, she shares vital information regarding resources and services to neighbors and community members.
Gianna Mulkay is the Executive Director of Foster Love's, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, dedicated to transforming the way youth navigate through the foster care system in America. Through her leadership, she has led groundbreaking initiatives like the Family Fellowship, the nation's largest scholarship program for transition age foster youth, which earned her recognition in Forbes Magazine and the LA Times.
Ellie Westenhaver has been a teacher for more than 15 years, teaching first graders at a Title 1 school in Bellflower. She is a passionate advocate for the disadvantage, volunteering at St. Vincent de Paul and the Assistance League, including chairing their signature event, Operation School Bell, providing new school clothing for needy children (in Fullerton, Buena Park, Brea, La Habra, and Placentia), including homeless high school students in Fullerton.
Sandra White has been an active volunteer with many organizations including Laguna Road PTA, OC Philharmonic Youth Music Programs, and the National Charity League’s Fullerton Chapter. As a part of the National Charity League she worked with the Meals on Wheels Program in Fullerton. From there, she was asked to join the Board of Directors for the Meals on Wheels of Fullerton.
Sara Ursenbach is children's mental health advocate, foster/adoptive parent, and First 5 OC Family Ambassador. Through her work, she has advocated for school readiness, equitable health care, and civic engagement. She works to strengthen her relationship with the community and further her efforts to create a solid foundation of support for all children.
Joe Rasic is a third-generation restaurateur, and has been a big supporter of Business and Community Development in Placentia. He served on the Board of Directors of the Placentia Chamber of Commerce and as President for two years. As a business owner, he helped countless organizations by holding fundraisers and supporting his local Rotary Clubs.
Lorena Flores has been active in making her community kinder and more civically engaged. Through her work, she has helped her community get more involved with local politics, connecting them with local representatives and teaching them how to navigate government services when they need help.
Jo-Anne Matsuba has been involved with several organizations in the over 30 years that she has lived in Orange County. She is currently the Chair of Groundswell, formerly known as the Orange County Human Relations Commission, which stands against hate and creates initiatives to promote peace in the community.
The honorees from the Fourth District cities were nominated by members of the community. The applications were independently scored by the following distinguished judges:
- The Honorable Tom Tait, former Mayor of Anaheim.
- Charles Barfield, the General Manager of the Orange County Employees Association (OCEA).
- Rosalina Davis, owner of Tlaquepaque restaurant.
- Christian Esteban, Project Manager of Store One.
- Lorena Moreno, Principal at Western High School.
After the judges scored the applications, the applicant with the highest score in each City in the Fourth District was selected as an honoree.
To learn more about our 5th Annual Fourth District Kindness Award honorees and their acts of exceptional kindness, please view their videos here.
To view all the photos from the ceremony, please click here.
The 6th Annual Fourth District Kindness Awards will be hosted on November 13, 2024.
Orange County Supervisor Doug Chaffee represents the Fourth District, which includes the Cities of Brea, Buena Park, Fullerton, La Habra, Placentia, Stanton, portions of Anaheim, and unincorporated communities.
Supervisor, Orange County Board of Supervisors