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SANTA ANA, CA, November 15, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire today announced the largest gift in agency history, a home in Laguna Beach valued at $8.5 million donated by the estate of late Newport Beach businessman William D. Ray. The grant deed with remainder interest recorded Oct. 27 with First American Title.
Ray, who chaired the parent company of the Balboa Bay Club before his death in 1991, was born in South Dakota and grew up in an orphanage after his mother was killed in a gun accident when he was 2 years old. Following high school, he joined the U.S. Army and became a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division.
"What a wonderful thing it would have been for him to have had a Big Brother at some time in his lonely life," said Ray's widow, Beverly Ray Parkhurst. "Luckily, his sergeant saw something in the young recruit and urged him to go to college. What a blessing that Army man was to Bill Ray's life, the first who ever saw him as something more than another mouth to feed. I honor William D. Ray through Big Brothers Big Sisters with something that meant so much to both of us: his first real home and my greatest treasure, the house of our dreams. I hope it will serve the highest purpose, one Bill would have been part of, making a young man's life much better and more meaningful."
Ranked third in the nation for number of children served, the local Big Brothers Big Sisters agency provides more than 3,300 youth facing adversity with professionally supported, one-to-one youth mentoring relationships. The property donation will help secure the nonprofit's financial security as its program expands year over year.
"There are thousands of youth in our community who, like William Ray, face incredible challenges and are too quickly written off by society," said Melissa Beck, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire. "We are so thankful for this generous gift and will honor William's memory with our ever-growing commitment to provide mentors to more of these children who desperately need a role model to help them realize their full potential."
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire
Big Brothers Big Sisters believes that with the support of a caring mentor, every child has the ability to achieve his or her full potential. It is the nation's largest donor- and volunteer-supported mentoring organization, serving a quarter-million children annually. Based in Santa Ana, Calif., the Orange County agency was incorporated in 1958 and works as a local extension of the national effort to make professionally supported, one-to-one matches between mentors ("Bigs") and children ("Littles") facing adversity. Together with the Inland Empire agency, which opened its doors in 2013, the local organization annually serves more than 3,300 children through programs that improve the odds of youth performing better in school and avoiding violence and illegal activities. For more information visit ocbigs.org or follow Big Brothers Big Sisters on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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