April 2023 Burn Bulletin
Exciting Changes at AARBF
It is spring and exciting changes are in the air.
For over 50 years, AARBF has served California through fire prevention programs and burn survivor support. As we continue into our next 50 years, we are making changes to serve our community more effectively.
New office, new address. We have centralized our operations with a new office in downtown San Francisco.
Our commitment to having staff and programs across ALL of California remains our highest objective. Nothing has changed but our address!
Take a note of our new contact information:
Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation
44 Montgomery, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104
Our phone numbers are remaining the same, however the extension has been changed from two digits to three. To find your favorite staff member, simply add a zero to the extension you have always used.
New organization plan. We are excited to share with you a new way to interact with AARBF. To better reflect our mission, we have made some changes to our organization and staffing.
- Daniel Chacon, Executive Director
- Andrew Mersmann, Director of Programs and Services
- Jeanne Terwilliger, Director of Operations
- McKenzie Dern, Camps and Recreation Manager
- Scott Wertz, Burn Survivor Care Manager
Watch below to see more about Scott and McKenzie’s new roles.
AARBF is Hiring! Do you know anyone looking for a fulfilling career opportunity with AARBF? Click here to find more information.
Stay up-to-date with AARBF. If your contact information has changed, click here to let us know your preferred address, email, and phone.
Thank you for being part of the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Community!
Starting the Day with Clovis Kiwanis
On March 16th, McKenzie Dern had the pleasure of speaking at the Clovis Kiwanis weekly meeting. In December, the Kiwanis graciously manned our bar for the AARBF Dinner & Dance fundraiser. At this meeting, they donated the funds raised from the event and presented McKenzie with a check for $1,500! We are so thankful for their support and partnership.
Interviews Held for Champ Camp Counselors
Over two weekends in March, Champ Camp Director Rocks and McKenzie “Bubbles” Dern conducted new counselor interviews in northern and central California. First up was northern California where they were joined by Kamikaze, Scooter, S’mores and Apollo. They had eight individuals who along with interviews, participated in team building activities including a salsa making competition and charades. The next weekend, Rocks and McKenzie were joined by Willow and Hydra and had six individuals for interviews. Another round of salsa making was enjoyed as wells as a skit. Thank you for spending your weekends with us.
The Torrance Firefighters Spaghetti Dinner and Bake Sale Returns
The community of Torrance, California celebrated finally being back together (after a few years off due to COVID) for one of our favorite events, the Torrance Firefighters Association Spaghetti Dinner and Bake Sale on Saturday, March 25th. Hundreds of guests feasted on huge portions of delicious dinner, were entertained by the Torrance Fire Pipes & Drum corps, then sweetened the pot by purchasing amazing desserts at the bake sale, all to raise money for Champ Camp. This event is the longest-running support event for AARBF—this was the 49th year—and over 52,000 meals have been served over the years to support our cause. It has always been an honor to be partnered with this amazing group of firefighters and their families and the wildly supportive Torrance community, bonding to send kids to camp.
The IMPAC-Tool Debuted in March
For many years fire departments and burn organizations have been using a number of fire safety messages for their public outreach efforts. However, the question has arisen as to whether these messages have been evaluated for both accuracy and effectiveness.
In response to this question, we assembled a team of Subject Matter Experts to develop a methodology for evaluating any fire safety message that can be scaled and distributed throughout the fire and burn safety community and departments. This will allow anyone to do the same evaluative process on their own messaging for accuracy and effectiveness. Funding for this project has been awarded by FEMA through a two-year grant.
In March, AARBF introduced the IMPAC-Tool during a series of webinars. We will also be sharing more about the tool in the coming months at prevention conferences throughout the country. Click here to learn more about the IMPAC-Tool and view the webinar recordings.
Join Us for Homecoming at Champ Camp
In March, AARBF opened the camper application for the 2023 Champ Camp. This year’s theme is “Homecoming” and if you want to know what that theme entails, then you will have to complete your child’s camper application before May 22nd. Champ Camp will be held June 10th-17th, at Wonder Valley.
Register today at http://app.campdoc.com/register/aarbf, select “Register for a New Session” then select “Camper 2023.”
For questions regarding the Champ Camp, please contact McKenzie “Bubbles” Dern at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AARBF Supports Survivors Attending Phoenix World Burn Congress
Did you hear the news? Registration is now open for the Phoenix World Burn Congress 2023 (WBC). This year’s event will be on October 4th-7th at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. To learn more about this event and to register, please visit: https://phoenix-society.org/phoenix-wbc
AARBF offers a Phoenix World Burn Congress Scholarship which provides financial assistance to cover costs for registration to participate in the WBC. To learn more and apply, please visit: https://forms.gle/bW8Cb4ewsBxwBc9w6
Educational Scholarships Available from AARBF
Are you a burn survivor, or family member of a survivor, planning to enroll in a trade school, junior college, or university in the 2023/2024 academic year? If so, now is the time to start thinking about the AARBF “Bridge to Life” Scholarship offered by the Woody and Louise Reed family to support burn survivors and their family members pursuing higher education.
More information, including eligibility requirements, and a scholarship application is available at: https://forms.gle/HCaBGdzJeqz3qvxu8. For any further questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
Support Your Fresno Urban Run Team
The competition between Hanford Fire Department (Scott Mellon) and students from the Fresno City College (FCC) Fire Academy is heating up. They are in the middle of their annual fundraising competition, culminating with the Fresno Urban Run on May 6th. First, they compete against each other raising funds and then on race day, they race against each other (as well as many other teams) at the Fresno Urban Run.
Are you for Team Hanford or Team FCC? Support your team and help raise funds for AARBF at: https://p2p.onecause.com/fresnourbanrun2023, and cheer your team to victory!
Please check with your regional office for more information on upcoming volunteer opportunities.
For Northern California, please contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-495-7223 Ext. 19
For Central California, please contact McKenzie “Bubbles” Dern at email@example.com or 559-286-0710 Ext. 15
For Southern California, please contact Margarita “Cubby” Rodriguez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 818-848-0223 Ext. 16
April 15: AARBF 52nd Anniversary
April 16-22: Volunteer Appreciation Week
April 16: Carl Asaro Memorial Auto Show in San Mateo
April 22: Colma Firemen’s Social Club’s Chicken and Polenta Dinner, 4:00pm – 8:00pm at the Colma Fire Station
April 29: Champy-on Fundraiser Kicks Off
May 2: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Santa Clara Valley Medical Support Group, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at email@example.com or 415-495-7223 Ext. 190 to register and receive further information.
May 4: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Caregiver Online Support Group, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-495-7223 Ext. 190 to register and receive further information.
May 7: (1:30pm – 3:30pm), SoCal Survivors Support Group, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at email@example.com or 415-495-7223 Ext. 190 to register and receive further information.
May 9: (6:30pm – 8:00pm), Fresno Community Regional Medical Center Support Group, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-495-7223 Ext. 190 to register and receive further information.
May 10: (6:30pm – 8:00pm), East Bay Burn Support Group, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at email@example.com or 415-495-7223 Ext. 190 to register and receive further information.
May 11: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Burn Care Professionals Online Support Group contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-495-7223 Ext. 190 to register and receive further information.
May 16: (6:00pm – 7:30pm), Spanish-Speaking Online Burn Survivor Support Group, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at email@example.com or 415-495-7223 Ext. 190 to register and receive further information.
May 18: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Statewide Online Support Group, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-495-7223 Ext. 190 to register and receive further information.
May 25: (11:30am – 1:00pm), Saint Francis Support Group, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at email@example.com or 415-495-7223 Ext. 190 to register and receive further information.
If you missed any of our past Burn Bulletins, please check out our archives.