Contributed by Keith Swayne, UCI MIND Leadership Council
It is humbling to be recognized as Philanthropist of the Year, particularly when I think about the many individuals who are working to make a difference in the world.
The OC National Philanthropy Day event brought together Orange County philanthropists and non-profit organizations to celebrate our shared vision of improving our community. This is what drives me. I wish to use my voice to connect people and organizations to achieve more and help others. I have strived to do this over the last five years with my involvement with UCI MIND.
Alzheimer’s disease is devasting and its impact on the afflicted and the family is overwhelming. The cost to society is immense and the outlook is for the situation to become dramatically worse over the next few decades. My wife, Judy, succumbed to Alzheimer’s in 2014, and I have committed myself to doing what I can to help find a cure and treatment. For me, UCI MIND offered that opportunity to support efforts that will have an impact.
I wish to say thank you to UCI MIND, Orange County Community Foundation and the other organizations who nominated me for this award.