June 8, 2023

In the desert for over 30 years, Harold Matzner has been an entrepreneur, humanitarian, and philanthropist. Aside from owning the popular Spencer’s Restaurant in Palm Springs and running a branding, advertising and marketing firm in NY/NJ, Harold founded the targeted “shared mail” concept andthe Visit website revitalising the Palm Springs International Film Festival. The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans inducted Harold as one of its members as a member in 2017, the year in which he turned 80, in the courtroom of the United States Supreme Court.

He was featured in the November and December editions of Palm Springs Life with a two-part front-page story. A special 24-standard page birthday section was also published in The Desert Sun. The General Patton Memorial Museum dedicated the Matzner Tank Pavilion and three World War II-era operating tanks to him in November 2017. In the same month, the McCallum Theatre honoured him for serving as Chairman for ten years and being the first person to donate $5 million or more to the theatre.

harold matzner

In addition, he rescued and restored the world-renowned Palm Springs Tennis Club and turned its lunchroom into Spencer’s, which is now one of the city’s hottest restaurants. The restaurant is named after Spencer’s 110-pound Siberian husky. His responsibilities include serving as Chairman of the McCallum Theatre for 11 years, as Chairman of the Palm Springs International Film Festival for 14 years, and Executive Vice Chairman of the Palm Springs Art Museum for many years.

A member of the Eisenhower Medical Center board of trustees and a chair of several charity fundraising events each year, he is also involved in the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center board of trustees. As a supporter of charities, he has received many awards. In addition to serving as Honorary Chair of the local National Philanthropy Day event for the past six years, he has been honoured by the Association of Fundraising Professionals as the “Philanthropist of the Year”.

Gilda’s Club, McCallum Muses, and the City of Palm Springs recognized him as “Man of the Year.” Several awards have been given to him, including the Milanovich Community Service Award, the Angel View Children’s Foundation Award, the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce Award, the Virginia Waring “Lifetime Achievement Award”, the Richard M. Milanovich Humanitarian Award, which is bestowed by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Desert Samaritan’s Humanitarian Award, and Coachella Valley Symphony in May. Several non-profits on the east coast and here have benefited from Mr Matzner’s generosity. His donations to area non-profits have totalled more than $70 million since 2000, making him one of the Valley’s largest philanthropists.

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