Nonprofit News

12th Annual National Philanthropy Day® In The Desert Hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Recognizes Six Exemplary Honorees Who Are “Changing The World With A Giving Heart”

                   By Madeline Zuckerman

 On Wednesday, November 7, 2018, the Association of Fundraising Professionals CA (AFP), Desert Communities Chapter, will host its 12th Annual National Philanthropy Day® In The Desert at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage, California.  Each year, this day of recognition honors philanthropists, businesses and organizations who generously support our community.   The AFP, Desert Communities Chapter, believes that philanthropy benefits not only our communities, but enriches and empowers the entire global community.

Changing The World With A Giving Heart” will take place in the Grand Ballroom of Agua Caliente, commencing at          11:00 a.m. with a reception, followed by the awards luncheon, and concluding by 1:30 p.m.

Harold Matzner, notable Valley Philanthropist and Owner of Spencer’s Restaurant, will be this year’s National Philanthropy Day® In The Desert Presenting Sponsor and Honorary Chair.   Patrick Evans of CBS Local 2, who is one of the six distinguished 2018 honorees, will serve as Emcee for the Awards Luncheon.

“This is a day when we pay tribute and celebrate those who give so generously of their time, talents, skills, and financial resources,” stated Sarah G. Clapp, President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals CA, Desert Communities Chapter.

This year’s distinguished honorees are role models who embody the meaning of philanthropy:


Jill and Barry Golden have demonstrated exceptional generosity in this community.    They are two passionate, caring people who have transformed many lives.  Since moving to the Coachella Valley in 2003, the Goldens have immersed themselves in their community, supporting numerous organizations, through both philanthropic support and volunteerism.    Their generous financial support of more than 20 organizations totals an astonishing $ 7.1 million.  Jill is a driving force for change, especially for the under-served in our Valley.   The Goldens’ extraordinary generosity led them to donate a significant gift to support the Loma Linda University Children’s Health Pediatric Outpatient Pavilion.  Jill and Barry Golden’s generosity flows from hearts that recognize so much more can be achieved working with and inspiring others than working alone.


Patrick Evans is a familiar face, not only due to his on-air celebrity as Chief Meteorologist at CBS Local 2 News, but also because he is one of the most popular emcees at fundraising events in the Valley.  Patrick generously donates his time and talent to a wide range of community organizations, including for the past ten years Guide Dogs of the Desert and YMCA of the Desert.  His nightly show “EYE ON THE DESERT” is a popular forum for promoting fundraising events and raising the visibility of nonprofits.  In 2014, the City of Palm Springs recognized Patrick’s generous contributions by awarding him the 366th star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.  The depth of Patrick’s commitment to nonprofit organizations in this region is unparalleled.


Walter Clark is an unassuming philanthropist who keeps a low profile about his many personal contributions to organizations. His firm, The Walter Clark Legal Group, is a respected law firm with a deep commitment to serving the community. Walter’s personal involvement with numerous charities has inspired his entire firm to have a profound impact on the region.  His firm’s highly successful Charity of the Month program has helped raise awareness, along with financial and volunteer support, for dozens of nonprofits.  In addition to supporting several causes through the firm’s website and direct donations, The Walter Clark Legal Group sponsors events, and continues to use various media platforms and its video production studio to shine a light on organizations that might otherwise struggle to be visible.


Roberta Klein founded Read With Me in 2004, with a mission of “assisting children from low-income households, with limited English speaking environments, to develop their full potential of learning to read, comprehend, and speak English, while understanding people truly care about them as individuals.”  What began at one location, Mecca Elementary School, with about 50 to 100 volunteers, has grown to more than 700 volunteers serving twelve schools in the Coachella Valley and two in Washoe County, Nevada.  By utilizing one of our country’s most under-recognized assets, retired educated adults, this organization is helping our most under-developed future asset, disadvantaged young children, to achieve a love of reading and the joy of learning to last a lifetime.


With the support of The Community Foundation and the local community, the Coachella Valley Youth Grantmakers was created in 2014 to empower youth to address issues important to them by participating in grant making.  High school students are recommended by their school counselors, must carry at least a 2.8 GPA, are service-minded, exhibit leadership potential, make a participation commitment through their senior year, and are proud to represent the youth in their community.  These students become agents of change, develop leadership skills, and experience practical along hands-on service.  No other program in our two-county region offers this experience for our youth.   To date, over 15 local organizations have received grants from the Coachella Valley Youth Grantmakers.


Guided by a higher power, humanitarians reach out to help other people, putting the welfare of others first.  Tim Evans is such a man.  Tim became Founding Chaplain of Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital in 1990.  Tim has served as a Christian Pastor and Chaplain for 35 years. He founded The Unforgettables Foundation 20 years ago, which provides at-risk families funds to give their child a timely and dignified funeral.  The Unforgettables Foundation has donated $4 million, assisting over 1,000 Coachella Valley families, and over 6,000 families in Riverside, Orange, and San Bernardino Counties with financial assistance. Poignantly, Tim proposed creating the Desert Communities Chapter of AFP, convened the first chapter meeting and served as first Chapter President and Chair of its first National Philanthropy Day® Awards Luncheon.

Harold Matzner commented “Every year, National Philanthropy Day® In The Desert honorees inspire and move me with their devotion to the causes they support!  Collectively, their generous gifts of time, talent, and financial support have served the entire Coachella Valley and made it a better place for all of us to live.”

Leading Underwriters for this year’s National Philanthropy Day® In The Desert include Presenting Sponsor and Honorary Chair Harold Matzner and Award Sponsors H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation, and Wells Fargo.  Luncheon Sponsors include Bank of America, College of the Desert, Peggy Cravens, Desert Care Network, Helene Galen and Jamie Kabler, Loma Linda University Health, The Coeta and Donald Barker Foundation, Union Bank and Madeline Zuckerman Marketing & Public Relations, Inc.   Table Sponsors include Boys & Girls Clubs of Coachella Valley, California State University San Bernardino, Palm Desert Campus, The Community Foundation, Desert Arc, Eisenhower Health, Family YMCA of the Desert/Sally Simonds, First Foundation Bank, Hot Purple Energy, The Living Desert, Morgan Stanley, Olive Crest, Ophelia Project, Pacific Premier Bank, Palm Springs Animal Shelter, Pathfinder Ranch/Fromberg Edelstein Fromberg Law, Regional Access Project Foundation, UCR, and The Unforgettables Foundation.

Desert Sun Media Group is this year’s Presenting Newspaper Sponsor.  Additional Media Sponsors include PALM SPRINGS LIFE, ALPHA MEDIA, KESQ Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 First Alert Weather Team, and DESERT CHARITIES NEWS.

Early bird tickets are on sale online for $75 per person.  After October 15th, individual registration will be $125 per person, space permitting.  Tables of ten can also be purchased for          $1,200.  For Registration and event information please visit or contact Event Co-chair Judi Olivas at 760-989-4211 or at

Founded in 1960, the Association of Fundraising Professionals is the professional association of individuals and organizations that generate philanthropic support for a wide variety of charitable institutions, advancing philanthropy through its 33,000 members in 243 chapters throughout the world.  The AFP Desert Communities Chapter currently boasts a membership of 100 fundraising professionals within the Coachella Valley.

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