Crystal Ball to Honor Ron and Nan Okum at 2017 Gala
For Ron Okum and his lovely wife Nan, giving back to the community and
making a difference in people’s lives is what life is all about.
The Okums will be the event honorees for the 28th Annual Crystal Ball black-tie
fund raiser to be held Saturday, October 28 at 6 p.m. in the Pasadena
Convention Center. Crystal Ball is one of the premier social events of
the year for the San Gabriel Valley and in recent years has typically
generated more than $500,000 in funding for the Methodist Hospital Foundation.
Ron has served on the Foundation Board since 2010 and co-chaired the event
three years ago with fellow board member Mickey Segal.
“I’ve known Ron and Nan for 15 years and they’re very
special people,” says Mickey. “Ron has been an amazing asset
for us. He is a creative thinker, leader and supporter, and he has actively
brought donors to the table to support to the Foundation when, often times,
we were previously unable to gain their support.”
While Ron has enjoyed a successful 50+ year career as an educator and in
the insurance business where he’s received numerous honors over
the years, Ron’s volunteer and philanthropic activities –
which include serving as president of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses
Association in 2001-2002 – are where he truly enjoys spending time.
“Nan and I are sincerely humbled to be recognized the by the Crystal
Ball organizing committee as this year’s honorees,” says Ron.
“When Mickey and I were co-chairs of the event a few years ago,
we set a record by raising $685,000 for the hospital. So our goal this
year is to top this number.”
In addition to his involvement with the Tournament of Roses, Ron also served
as president of the Pasadena Quarterbacks Club, the University Club of
Pasadena, the Pasadena Optimist Club, and the National Football Foundation
and Hall of Fame for scholar/athletes. He also was an American Heart Association
fellow and San Marino Huntington Library fellow and served on the San
Gabriel Country Club board of directors. Last fall, Ron was honored for
his tremendous community contributions and cancer survivorship at the
Hope Scores Gala sponsored by the American Cancer Society.
A native of Michigan, Ron received his Bachelor of Arts degree in physical
education and a Master of Arts degree in health science from California
State University, Los Angeles. He was honored as the university’s
Alumnus of the Year in 2003 and is past president of CSULA's Development
Board and Athletic Committee. He has also served on the university's
Presidential Advisory Board, Foundation Board, President's Associates
and Alumni Board of Directors.
Since he first became involved with Methodist Hospital in 2006, Ron has
given selflessly, joining numerous campaigns and boards and becoming involved
with many different activities, all designed to strengthen the hospital.
He joined the board to fill the vacancy left when his longtime friend
Bill Lofthouse passed away.
“Bill and Ron were very dear friends who had lunch together almost
every day,” says Board Member Tom Beck. “Bill had a tremendous
impact on the Foundation. When Bill passed away, I asked Ron if he would
be willing to take over Bill’s seat on the Foundation Board of Directors.
I knew Ron would be a wonderful addition and he certainly has been for
the past decade.”
Over time, Ron eventually became a member of the board's Finance and
Development committees, as well as a member of the Cardiac Council which
generated contributions to the new hospital Cardiac Cath Labs opened more
than two years ago. Eventually, Ron served as chairman of the Foundation
Board of Directors.
“I’ve been so proud to be part of the Foundation Board and
have seen so many wonderful new technologies and services arrive at the
hospital,” Ron says. “The hospital provides stroke care services
that are among the best in L.A. County, and the opening in recent years
of the Hollfelder Emergency Care Center, the new state-of-the-art Cardiac
Cath Labs, and the new Inpatient Rehabilitation Department are a true
gift to the community.”
Ron says the Foundation leadership has been instrumental with completing
all of these projects and works hard on fund raising throughout the region.
Both Ron and Nan are extremely pleased with the high-quality health care
services offered at Methodist Hospital. In fact, their two daughters were
born at the hospital back in the 1960s.
“The care provided back then and the care provided today is wonderful,”
says Nan. “It’s great to see how our hospital has grown over
Ron wholeheartedly agrees.
“We don’t have the funding prospects that other hospitals enjoy,
so we have to work harder to develop our contacts and donors,” Ron
says. “Nan and I are pleased with this recognition as Crystal Ball
honorees, but it’s more about how we can use our influence to benefit
the hospital. I hope we can help raise as much funding as possible to
make Methodist an even better place.”