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Nice Guy of the Year

For 35 years, San Diego’s famed Nice Guys have helped people in need with “a hand up, not a hand-out.” They have no overhead, offices, or paid staff, and members (now numbering over 140) cover all expenses. Their charitable donations to date exceed $16 million, and their only reward is the gratification of helping those who need it.

Annually, they honor a “Nice Guy of the Year” (NGoY) for exceptionally distinguished actions and generosity. On Nov. 8, at the downtown Marriott Marquis, the honoree was T. Denny Sanford. His foundation has given charitable donations totaling $1 billion, favoring breast cancer research (his mother died of the disease when he was just 4), the search for a diabetes cure, and other health issues. His Sanford Harmony Program teaches young children to appreciate the opposite gender; the goal is to ultimately reduce the divorce rate and the abuse rate.

Kimberly Hunt and husband Billy Ray Smith emceed the event. The program included a proclamation of Denny Sanford Day in San Diego presented by Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

“Papa” Doug Manchester (2013’s NGoY) introduced Sanford and presented the award. Sanford himself spoke at some length of his affection for Manchester and for Malin Burnham, men who led him to appreciate San Diego. He called his son’s family and several business associates to the stage to share the limelight, ending by bringing up his “partner for life,” Elizabeth Dewberry.

Photos and report by Vincent Andrunas.


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