The annual 25 over 50 Awards Program salutes Ventura County’s accomplished and exceptional leaders who continue to leave an imprint on our thriving community through their achievements, leadership abilities, philanthropic efforts, and dedication to the betterment of Ventura County.
The following biographical information was published in the Ventura County Star on Sunday, October 19, 2014.
Marion Elizabeth Witte is sometimes also referred to as “the lady who buys out the entire house.” During the holidays, Marion often will purchase tickets for a local community production in order to offer underprivileged children the opportunity to enjoy live theater. Not only does this offer some entertainment for needy families in the community, but it also greatly benefits the local theater community. Marion is tirelessly focused on her commitment to making a difference in the lives of disadvantaged children and families, founding and managing the Angel Heart Foundation, whose vision is that “All Children Deserve a Safe and Just World.” She serves as the editor-in-chief of the foundation’s two sister websites – Next Generation Parenting and Brave New Leaders, which are devoted to encouraging positive parenting and empowering youth. Marion is training to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate and is developing a self-esteem program for the Boys & Girls Club of Ventura. She is also an active, trained volunteer for Junior Achievement and has volunteered for Girls, Inc. and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? I enjoy traveling and experiencing world cultures. My recent trips include journeys to Peru, Australia and New Zealand. Where and when were you happiest? When I am able to touch the life of a child and provide them with hope for the future. What book is sitting on your nightstand? “I Hope I Wake Up in the Morning.” Where is your favorite place to take visitors? Downtown Ventura, Serra Cross at Grant Park and McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream & Yogurt! What is your all-time favorite movie? “Fried Green Tomatoes” with Kathy Bates as Towanda – it’s on my license plate. What “group” did you hang out with in high school? An eclectic group of folks—the “nice” girls and the nerds. My favorite group was the “bad boys.” What chore do you absolutely hate doing? I don’t like scrubbing floors for some reason. What does Ventura County need? The same things as the world — more innovation and creative thinking. Which word or phrase do you most overuse? Wow! What was your worst Job? Hoeing sugar beets for eight hours a day in North Dakota in 100-degree temperatures at age 16. And earning $1 for each mile-long row completed. What Is your favorite invention? The toilet. What is your greatest fear? Not having a toilet. What are you most proud of accomplishing? I am proud of the wonderful woman my beloved daughter has grown to be. What is your biggest pet peeve? Narcissism. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? Speak a foreign language and ballroom dance (I know, it’s never too late). What did you do growing up that got you Into trouble? Pretty much everything — drinking, carousing, missing school, basic delinquency. If you could paint a picture of anything, what would you paint? The south island of New Zealand where “Lord of the Rings” was filmed. What is your most treasured possession? My lovely little rescue Shih Tzu, Jon Stewart Witte (aka Stewie). What do you most value in your friends? Being real. Being honest. Being loyal. What is your motto? It’s not the truth that will hurt you — it’s the lies.