Community Foundation Honors Unsung Heroes of Los Angeles

Oct 13, 2011, 19:50 ET from California Community Foundation

The Eisner Foundation Co-sponsors Awards to Three Individuals for Extraordinary Charity and Six Outstanding Nonprofits; Military Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan Receive Special Tribute

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- California Community Foundation (CCF) presented the 2011 Unsung Heroes of Los Angeles Awards to three individuals for extraordinary and inspiring charity towards others, and six nonprofit organizations for outstanding service in major areas of concentration for the community foundation serving all of Los Angeles County.

Co-sponsored by The Eisner Foundation, with media partner KPCC 89.3, the awards program held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on October 12 included a special tribute to U.S. military veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and to David and Monica Gelbaum for their extraordinary compassion and generosity towards veterans through a donor fund at CCF.

2011 Unsung Heroes of Los Angeles Awards have gone to the following individuals:

  • Andrew Bogen: For dedicating himself to creating an outstanding educational opportunity at New Village Charter High School for young women who are lost in the regular system by reason of their difficult life circumstances, including foster care and probation, teen pregnancy and motherhood, poverty and homelessness.
  • Zach Selby: For his commitment to feeding the poor and hungry by picking fresh fruit growing on trees in his own neighborhood and distributing it free through local nonprofits and, in the process, enlisting his family and friends to form "Fruit For All," a community effort that has picked and donated nearly 35,000 pounds of fresh fruit.
  • "Coach" Mara Leigh Taylor: For devoting herself to coaching incarcerated individuals on better decision-making skills to help inmates succeed and stay out of prison after being released.

The nonprofit honorees received awards named in honor of the late Los Angeles philanthropist, Joan Palevsky, which include:

  • Advancement Project's Healthy City:  Joan Palevsky Award in Civic Engagement
  • L.A. Goal:  Joan Palevsky Award in the Arts
  • Para Los Ninos:  Joan Palevsky Award in Education
  • Skid Row Housing Trust:  Joan Palevsky Award in Housing & Neighborhoods
  • UMMA Community Clinic:  Joan Palevsky Award in Health Care
  • Watts Labor Community Action Committee:  Joan Palevsky Award in Human Development

A special tribute was made to David and Monica Gelbaum, who established the Iraq Afghanistan Deployment Impact Fund (IADIF) at CCF that, since 2006, has made more than $243 million in grants to nonprofit organizations throughout the nation to meet the needs of men, women and families affected by deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Veterans and staff of two local nonprofits that have received IADIF grants, New Directions in West L.A. and Operation MEND at UCLA, attended the awards ceremony also.  

Additional information on the Unsung Heroes of Los Angeles Awards, award recipients and award show highlights, including live performances by the New Directions Choir and the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Los Angeles, are available at  

California Community Foundation (CCF) is a public, charitable organization serving Los Angeles County in multiple capacities since 1915.  It encourages philanthropy and serves as a steward of charitable funds and legacies.  It makes grants to nonprofits and collaborates in addressing the critical needs of vulnerable populations such as adults with developmental disabilities and youth formerly in foster care.  It actively engages in community problem solving with business, civic, government and other organizations.  For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook at

Founded in 1996 by Michael and Jane Eisner and their family, The Eisner Foundation exists to provide access and opportunity for children and the aging in Los Angeles County. The Foundation gives philanthropic support and counsel to exceptionally-run non-profit organizations working to create lasting positive changes in the lives of at-risk and disadvantaged seniors and children in the community.  By making grants of over $7 million annually, the goal of The Eisner Foundation is simply to help Los Angeles be a place that protects and nurtures the region's most vulnerable citizens. To learn more about The Eisner Foundation, visit

Contact: Barbara Lee, Media Specialist
Phone:  (213) 413-4130 ext 258

SOURCE California Community Foundation