Seal Beach couple has put hearts into working for their community

Greg and Gina Phillips. Courtesy photo

The College Park East couple, have made a significant commitment to Seal Beach

When the starting gun fires for this year’s Run Seal Beach on Saturday, it will signal the arrival of one of the city’s most notable events. The run takes the effort of hundreds of volunteers and thousands of man hours.

Recently, that effort has been led by life-long Seal Beach residents Greg and Gina Phillips. Greg has served as President of the Run Seal Beach Committee for the past four years. However, for Phillips and his wife Gina, who is the acting Vendor Lead for the run, serving Seal Beach has become a way of life.

The couple was named Grand Marshals of the Seal Beach Christmas Parade last year and more recently was named Seal Beach Citizens of the Year, at the Cypress College Foundation’s Americana Awards.

“Greg and I feel that in all the organizations were involved in everyone has a collective task and a common goal … trying to better our community,” Gina said. “We work well as a team and enjoy the friendships from all of those we work with.”

Their multiple contributions to community events garnered them the two recent honors. In presenting the Americana Awards, the two were described as follows:

“Greg is a long-time community servant and a member of the Seal Beach Lions Club. For three years, he was a coordinator for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. His alma mater, as well as the entire Los Alamitos High School District, receives his support as he has been a sponsor of the Robotics Team, the Los Alamitos Education Foundation (LAEF) and the Science Technology Engineering, Art, Math (STEAM) program.

As a supporter of the Sunburst Youth Academy at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, Greg arranges for a drug and alcohol panel twice a year for each class. His goal is to educate 16-18-year-old kids about addiction issues.

Gina started her community involvement in 2012 as a volunteer with the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce. This grew into her being named as the Chamber’s Director of Operations. She also served on the Chamber’s board of directors for two terms, 2009-2010 and again from 2015-2016.

An active member of the Seal Beach Lions Club since 2010, Gina recently represented the club at the organization’s international convention. She has chaired numerous events and has received recognitions such as: President’s Medal of Courage and the President’s Award, and the Lions Project for Canine Companions Abdul Fellowship Award.

Gina served for a full year on the Orange County Grand Jury and was a key figure in the Mexican Mafia Indictments as part of Operation “Smokin Aces.” She is also an active member of the Republican Women’s Federation. An activity that is near and dear to her heart was her experience as an Honor Flight Guardian. She and other volunteers helped escort 96 WWII veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the memorials.”

“Greg and Gina Phillips are amazing community servants with a broad range of involvement. They are two of my favorite people to work with at Run Seal Beach, the Police Foundation and the Lions Club,” said Scott Newton, Lions Club member and Director of the SB Police Foundation. “They are comfortable just volunteering to help others but excel in leadership and have helped many organizations achieve great results.”

Together, the College Park East couple, have made a significant commitment to the Seal Beach Police Foundation. The foundation was formed in 2014 with the goal of supporting the SBPD with needed equipment and support. With the help of Greg (current foundation president) and Gina (foundation secretary), the foundation has been able to supply the department with “carrier vests” for the officers, night vision goggles, electronic road flares and even a barbeque for the station, just to name a few.

The foundation also provided the department’s Saleen Mustang patrol car, which is used for community events. Recently, it was used to take a group of children to school, as a prize for a fundraiser.

“My motivation comes from coming up with creative ideas to improve something or make something new. I feel lucky to be able to have those opportunities with my affiliations with the Lions Club, the Police Foundation and Run Seal Beach,” Gina said.

Run Seal Beach could be described as one of the more significant events the Phillips’ are involved in, as it provides a large impact on the community. Race day itself has become an event that the entire city can enjoy as runners, or spectators. The draw of people gives the city and economic boost and the race raises approximately $150,000 per year, that is distributed to non-profits and organizations in and around Seal Beach.

“It’s good to be able to give back to our community and hopefully make a difference in our community. I’m grateful for being a part of Run Seal Beach and also the Seal Beach Police Foundation,” Greg said.