Philanthropist Varla & Curt Knauss donate $1 million to Hoag.
It happened on an ordinary day. For Varla and Curt Knauss, a routine trip to a Newport Beach car wash led to a simple smile and a brief chat that changed both of their lives forever. In pre-cell phone days, Curt was making a few calls on a landline in the carwash while waiting for his car. Varla, who had thrown on sweats to do this quick errand, was not expecting to start a conversation that would last for 25 years and counting.
“I looked up from the phone to see this beautiful smile,” Curt remembers. “We started talking and didn’t stop until they called us to get our cars!” Determined, Curt got her phone number and they began hanging out. Soon they became serious and, after a two-year courtship, Varla took matters into her own hands
Curt made the right decision in accepting because, this year, the couple is celebrating 25 years of marriage and being best friends who truly enjoy doing everything together. “We’re a great match,” laughs Varla. “Ironically, he loves shopping, and I’m the sports fanatic.”
A Team in Life, Business and Giving Back
The Knauss’ marriage and their business blend seamlessly. Their shared sense of humor and passion to help people make wise decisions with their money keep their vibrant partnership thriving. Curt, a leading investment advisor, owns a financial services business in Newport Beach. After three years of marriage, Varla, a C.P.A., joined the business providing tax planning. The two concur that the move has enhanced their marriage as well as their service to clients.
“I’m an advisor to families and small business owners. My job is to protect and deliver predictable income, compound wealth, and help create lasting legacies,” Curt shares. “Varla handles the tax management issues. That’s what we do.”
Tough early life experiences taught both Varla and Curt that exercising frugality is a wise course of action for protecting and maximizing financial resources. “We both left home with nothing at 17,” Varla muses. “We’ve been blessed with the opportunity to share with the community what we have worked so hard to earn.”
Understanding the need to provide Orange County with the latest advances in healthcare, the couple saw Hoag as an excellent choice for investing in the community. They donated $1 million to Hoag, of which a portion went to the Hoag Neurosciences Institute (HNI). In recognition of their generosity, a newly redecorated private meeting space at Hoag Hospital Newport Beach has been named the Varla & Curtis Knauss Family Lounge.
Through their support, Varla and Curt became members of the Hoag Hospital Foundation Benefactor Program. When Varla’s mother needed medical attention, they experienced firsthand the gracious services provided by Hoag Hospital Foundation benefactor liaisons. As her mother’s caregiver, Varla gained peace of mind from the high level of compassion her mother received at Hoag in addition to the leading-edge medical care.
Varla and Curt are not shy when it comes to touting the value and wisdom of supporting Hoag to their friends. “Hoag has embraced us like family,” says Curt. “If I get sick, this is where I want to go, period. And that’s because I know that I’m going to get the best treatment available. I want to make sure it stays that way.”
Varla agrees, “We’re investing in our future; and I think that our friends, when they learn a little bit more about this, will want to do the same thing. We are proud to be involved with Hoag and its top notch staff and medical professionals.”