National Philanthropy Day will celebrate the Mellors, longtime supporters of Laguna Playhouse 

Residents Suzanne and James Mellor’s passion for giving back to the arts community will be celebrated as Outstanding Philanthropists on Thu, Nov 16, at the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Orange County National Philanthropy Day (NPD) luncheon. 

NDP is a special day set aside for the purpose of recognizing the great contribution philanthropy makes to our society – and to honor individuals, businesses, and support organizations that are active in the philanthropic community.  

The “Outstanding Philanthropists” award is the highest award that will be presented at this year’s NPD luncheon, and it will be bestowed on Suzanne and James.

 Laguna Playhouse served as the lead nominator of the Mellors along with letters of support from Laguna College of Art and Design, Pacific Marine Mammal Center, National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, and peer Laguna philanthropists, Laura and Louis Rohl.

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Submitted photo

James and Suzanne Mellor

“We are thankful to the Association of Fundraising Professionals for acknowledging the commitment to philanthropy and the arts by both Suzanne and James,” said Ellen Richard, Laguna Playhouse Executive Director.  “Not only do they donate financially, but they volunteer their time and provide leadership to our board and many other organizations throughout the entire country.”

For more than twenty years the Mellors have supported almost every arts related charity in Laguna Beach and many more throughout Orange County.  They don’t just support the arts though, they strive to create opportunity for others to experience and enjoy the arts.

Recently, as honorees of the Laguna Playhouse May 2017 annual gala, and in an effort to inspire more youth to attend the theatre,the Mellors created The Mellor Fund to provide free tickets to young audiences ages 21 and under.  

Mellor Fund provides free Playhouse tickets for youth

Through a large contribution from the Mellor family along with additional support from their friends, the fund raised nearly $100,000 and will allow thousands of youth to enjoy theatre.

Lifelong proponents of the arts and humanities, the Mellors first moved to Laguna Beach in 1981. Though they remain philanthropically connected to D.C., Jim being on the board of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellors have catapulted themselves into promoting and enriching the arts scene in Laguna Beach and Orange County.

Besides the Playhouse board, James Mellor currently serves as immediate Past-Chairman of the Board of the Laguna College of Art and Design. Suzanne Mellor serves on the boards of Laguna College of Art and Design and Laguna Art Museum, is an appointee to the city’s Arts Commission, and is an “Angel” at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. 

“One of the most rewarding part of development work is having the opportunity to help honor and tell the story of such great and deserving philanthropists such as Suzanne and James,” said Doug Vogel, Director of Development at Laguna Playhouse.