Charities Honored at Classy Awards

Brian Bostrom

“Anyone who’s giving back, we want to recognize them,” Patrick Walsh with said.

Local charities rightfully took center stage at the U.S. Grant Saturday night as Stay and NBCSanDiego recognized people, charities and businesses that have gone above and beyond to give back to our community.

”The Classy Awards are an opportunity to recognize exemplary work in the non-profit industry,” said Scot Chisholm, CEO of, “We’re excited to establish this event here in San Diego and look forward to it’s growth in the future.”

And they had a lot of support.

“We’ve known them for years,” Vavi CEO Steve Stoloff said. “These guys do phenomenal work here in the community.” 


  • The Charity of the Year award was given to Hogar Infantil for their work providing an orphanage for abused and neglected children in Tijuana.
  • First runner-up for the award was Wildcoast.
  • Second runner-up was Invisible Children.

Here are the list of winners:

“It was just an amazing event where kids stayed out all night in solidarity,” Margie Dillenburg with Invisible Children said. “It was such dynamic event to plan.”

  • Most Substantial Impact by a Small Charity: Freedom Dogs
  • Most Significant Impact by a Business: Nika Water
  • Best Individual Fundraising Effort: Kim Goodeve who has been running the Oceanside chapter of Stand Up for Kids for years, as the Director of Center Operation.
  • Best Individual Volunteering Effort: Joe Bello who worked hundreds of hours as an event coordinator for “The Rescue”, an international Invisible Children event.

“For the past 4 years I’ve basically been involved with the grassroots organization from San Diego. Since high school, I’ve been really involved,” Joe Bello said. “Just being around other people who have the same ideas that you have and really seeing people who are really striving to change.”

Nominees were selected from online submissions to

“I’ve been working with the Stay Classy organization for the better park of the past two years, both on behalf of 91X and on my own behalf just because I think it’s a terrific organization,” Mat Diablo from 91X said. “Stay Classy has done such a great job on their own accord of throwing these philanthropic events in San Diego and getting the younger generation of people involved,” Diablo said.

After the nominees were announced, the public was invited to vote for their choice. By the night of the awards, Stay Classy had recorded more than 17,000 votes.

"The voting turnout for these awards has been amazing," said Pat Walsh, CMO of, " We've got some very close races, particularly for Charity of the Year."

The evening started with cocktails and music from Gregory Page and his quartet. Matt Diablo from 91X hosted the event and some midpoint entertainment was provided by the Lollipop Girls burlesque dance troupe.

“True to the spirit of and everything that they do, they tend to wrap their philanthropy up into a party,” Mat Diablo from 91X said. “I think what makes it different than your typical stuffy awards show is the fact that we have burlesque dancers. That’s not something I believe you would see at the academy awards.”

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