Central Valley Holiday Party
On December 1, 2018, 239 burn survivors and loved ones came together for the annual Central Valley Holiday Party at the Clovis Rodeo Grounds. Our attendees were able to enjoy many fun activities like arts and crafts, cookie decorating, face painting, scavenger hunts and silly times at the Family Photo Booth. Our party would not have been the same without a special appearance from Smokey the bear and Santa himself! Thanks to the wonderful donations from our community partners, each adult burn survivor and teen received a Wienerschnitzel meal ticket along with a holiday cup. Additionally, a big thanks to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo for graciously providing each family with zoo tickets to enjoy during this season.
We are so grateful for everyone that was able to make it and for all of the volunteers that truly made this event run smoothly and fun for everyone there! It would not have been the same without the help of our 40+ volunteers that day! A special thank you to the Clovis Firefighters Association – Local 1695, the Clovis Fire Department, the Reedley Fire Department Explorer Post 57, the Reedley Firemen’s Association, the Fresno Fire Department Fire Academy, the Forest Fire Service and the Fresno City College Nursing Students for all your help making this holiday party a wonderful success.
Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Holiday Party
On December 8, 2018 the annual Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Holiday Party in San Jose, CA got off to a great start with arts and crafts, entertainment and lots of joy in the Santa Store! As families arrived, children were able to decorate cookies, make ornaments and play with foam art. One by one, kids were also able to go shopping in the Santa Store so that they could get gifts for their parents – a little way to say “I love you!” After enjoying some hot dogs and pizza, everyone was able to enjoy some live music entertainment until the big event… the arrival of Santa Claus!
A special thank you to Linda Carrier who, year after year, works tirelessly to make this holiday party so special for the San Jose Burn Community. We’d also like to thank Santa Clara County Firefighters and Santa Clara County Fire Department for volunteering and Bank of the West for their generous donations every yea
East Bay Holiday Party
On December 9, 2018, burn survivors and their family members gathered at the Frances Albrier Community Center in Berkeley for an afternoon of entertainment, food and fun! The East Bay Holiday Party began with the Prescott Circus Theatre entertaining guests and volunteers alike. As guests arrived, they were treated with arts and crafts that represented crafting through the decades. Soon thereafter, theme music boomed through the auditorium and Darth Vader appeared with more members of the Star Wars “Dark Side”. However, they were kind enough to pose for photos for anyone who asked.
The Berkeley Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 1227 provided a delicious barbeque lunch and the Berkeley firefighters also helped a special guest arrive… Santa Claus! Santa brought joy to everyone as guests were able to take a photo with him and then receive a toy. Thank you to all of the amazing volunteers and donors who made this special day possible!
Southern California Holiday Party
On December 16, 2018, we had our last holiday party of the season in Southern California. There were 29 Burn Survivors in attendance with a total of 171 guests, volunteers, performers, and AARBF staff. Activities included cookie and cupcake decorating, arts and crafts, dancing, balloon animals, pictures with Santa, a raffle, free computer distribution, pictures with Star Wars characters, and a coloring contest. Burn survivor and longtime AARBF volunteer Eunice Villa was presented with a plaque as a thank you for so many years of service to AARBF.
A big thank you to the City of San Gabriel Fire Department firefighters who came out to volunteer and the performers from the Frank Alex Folklorico Dance Company that provided the wonderful entertainment. All of the young burn survivors received a gift thanks to the generosity of the Los Angeles County Fire Department and their hard work collecting toy donations from the community.
A special thank you to Fabiola “Hamster” Velazquez who provided the delicious tacos and food for the event and to Firefighters Quest For Burn Survivors that provided additional gifts for all of the teen burn survivors who attended.
A Wildly Successful Night with the Clovis Firefighters!
On December 8, 2018 the Clovis Firefighters Association – Local 1695 hosted another wildly successful Clovis Firefighters Dinner and Dance at the Clovis Rodeo Grounds. It was a fantastic night filled with delicious BBQ, auctioning and dancing! The silent auction had nearly 100 items and the live auction had 12 items/experiences to bid on. All of the auction items were generously donated and an astounding $100,000 was raised in just one night! We are so thankful to have the Clovis Fire Department and the members of Clovis Firefighters Association supporting us. A special thank you to Chris “Rocks” and Heather Bridger for their hard work and dedication to make this event such a huge success. We would also like to thank the more than 250 local community members, firefighters, and Champ Camp counselors and alumni for coming out to celebrate this wonderful event with us.
Gilman Brewery Supports Wildfire Survivors and AARBF
On December 20, 2018 Gilman Brewery in Berkeley, CA held a release event for a beer that they specifically brewed to provide aid to Wildfire Survivors, the Resilence IPA. Every cent made from the sales of this specific brew will be donated to Camp Fire Survivors to help them try to rebuild. AARBF has also been assisting with the needs of the wildfire survivors and victims and Gilman Brewery chose to donate the funds made from their raffle at the event to AARBF! It was a very fun event and we are excited to start a new relationship with this awesome brewery and group of people.
2018 East Bay Firefighters’ Burn Relay
On November 8, 2018, Fire Trucks 4 Hire escorted AARBF staff members, Burn Survivor, Elisa Lozano, and her son, Eric all over the East Bay, starting in Moraga and ending in Livermore. We’d like thank the following firefighters for their participation and generous donations made to AARBF along our route: Moraga Orinda Firefighters, Albany Firefighters, Berkeley Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 1227 and the Berkeley Firefighters Random Acts, Oakland Firefighters, Local 55, Alameda Firefighters, Sprinkler Fitters UA Local 483, Hayward Firefighters, Local 1909, Alameda County Firefighters, Local 55, Livermore-Pleasanton Firefighters Foundation and Wicktonville Fire Department, Inc.
We were able to raise an amazing $38,319.75 and we are so grateful for the generosity and dedication of these firefighters to burn prevention education and the burn community!
AARBF Supports SafeKids Advocacy Day in at the State Capitol
On November 14, 2018, AARBF Executive Director Jennifer Radics-Johnson and AARBF Assistant Director Daniel Chacon traveled to California’s state capitol in Sacramento to support SafeKids Worldwide’s Advocacy Day. Jennifer and Daniel, along with Champ Camp mascot Champy, met with SafeKids coordinators as well as legislators from throughout California to discuss the safety needs for children. Along with SafeKids representatives, AARBF educated California state legislature about various prevention topics including a graduated driver’s license, greater safety measures for stop signs on school buses and fire and burn prevention education!
16th Annual Firkin Fest
On November 18, 2018 Triple Rock Brewing hosted their 16th Annual Firkin Fest event in Berkeley, CA. Dozens of Bay Area breweries participated and each brewery attempted to brew their most “Berkeley” style beer. Hundreds of people came out to taste the best beers the East Bay has to offer while supporting AARBF! This year’s event raised nearly $1,500 and we can’t express our gratitude to Triple Rock for continuing to support AARBF with this awesome event year after year.
AARBF Board and Council Members Host Year-End Retreat in Union City
The Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation Board of Directors and Council of Advisors met on November 16-18, 2018 for their second in-person meeting of the year in Union City, CA. The meeting began at AARBF’s Northern California office in El Cerrito, CA, where Board and Council members were able to tour AARBF’s newest office and kick off their meeting! The meeting continued at the Masonic Homes in Union City, CA where the Board and Council discussed wrapping up 2018 and looking into the future with AARBF’s strategic plan. With Board and Council members located throughout the state of California, and beyond, it is always a great opportunity to meet face-to-face, share a meal and brainstorm on ways to better serve the AARBF mission!
Paddling Around the Bay
On Saturday November 3, 2018, eight burn survivors and one guest were treated to an amazing day in the Bay! The weather was gorgeous as we collected at the marina in Sausalito, north of San Francisco. Sue Lesage, a volunteer for ETC (Environmental Travel Companions) was our trip lead and she also was the sponsor of our trip this year! She and two other volunteers gave everyone a kayaking lesson and then we set out on the water. After about an hour of paddling, we reached seaglass beach where we stopped to enjoy lunch, the views and each other’s company. On the paddle back, we had a kayak race and back on land, we worked as a team to clean up the kayaks, had a closing circle and went on our ways. We left the event with plenty of sand between our toes and a few pieces of seaglass in our pockets to remind us of the gorgeous day!
Want to Become a Champ Camp Counselor?
Champ Camp is a week-long, residential summer camp experience for child burn survivors ages 5-17, who have been treated at California hospitals or are current residents of California. Each year, approximately 130 children attend this week long summer camp at Wonder Valley in Sanger, California. Activities at the camp include fishing, horseback riding, crafts, canoeing, archery, water slides, camp fire, a dance, and team building activities. This year Champ Camp will be held June 8-15, 2019.
Camp provides a safe environment where burn survivors can play, learn, grow, gain self-esteem, and make new friends and would not be possible without more than 100 volunteers and counselors – many of whom are also burn unit nurses, burn doctors, adult burn survivors and firefighters. Male counselors and Spanish-speaking counselors are greatly needed!!!
Are you interested in becoming a Champ Camp counselor? Please fill out an application online now. The deadline is March 15, 2019.
December Hot List!
Northern California Volunteer Opportunities
Please contact Daniel “Apollo” Chacon at email@example.com or 415-495-7223 x18 if you have interest in any of the following:
- Each year, AARBF partners with the San Francisco Fire Department to educate thousands of kids in fire and burn prevention. This program also entails pre- and post- tests to track learning. We need help pairing students’ pre- and post- tests and scanning them so that they can be graded by a computer program and analyzed by a statistician.
- General office administrative tasks such as printing, filing, mailings, data entry, organization, etc.
Central California Volunteer Opportunities
Please contact Erika “Kika” Corona-Mendoza at firstname.lastname@example.org or 559-621-4016 if you have interest in volunteering for the following:
- We are always looking for volunteers to help spread burn prevention education in their local community at outreach events!
Southern California Volunteer Opportunities
Please contact Margarita “Cubby” Rodriguez at email@example.com or 818-848-0223 x16 if you have interest in any of the following:
- We are always looking for volunteers to help spread burn prevention education in their local community at outreach events!
- February 1: Alameda Firefighter’s Gala Fundraiser, contact Stephanie “Pocahontas” Boydell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-495-7223 x17 with any questions.
- February 3 – 7: National Burn Awareness Week, follow us on Facebook (@alisaannruchburnfoundation), Twitter & Instagram (@aarbf) for more information!
- February 3: (1:30pm – 3:30pm), SoCal Survivors Support Group, contact Margarita “Cubby” Rodriguez at email@example.com or 818-848-0223 Ext. 16 with any questions.
- February 5: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Santa Clara Valley Medical Support Group, contact Daniel “Apollo” Chacon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-495-7223 with any questions.
- February 6: (6:30pm – 8:00pm), East Bay Burn Support Group, contact Daniel “Apollo” Chacon at email@example.com or 415-495-7223 with any questions.
- February 7: Annual Central Valley Firefighters’ Burn Relay, contact Stephanie “Pocahontas” Boydell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-495-7223 x17 with any questions.
- February 12: (6:30pm – 7:30pm), Central California Burn Survivor Support Group, contact Erika “Kika” Corona-Mendoza at email@example.com or 559-621-4016 with any questions.
- February 13: (6:30pm – 8:00pm), Santa Rosa Support Group, contact Daniel “Apollo” Chacon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-495-7223 with any questions.
- February 16: Santa Clara Firefighter’s Foundation Annual Crab Feed, contact Stephanie “Pocahontas” Boydell at email@example.com or 415-495-7223 x17 with any questions.
- February 16 – 18: The Retreat at Camp Ocean Pines, contact Erika “Kika” Corona-Mendoza at firstname.lastname@example.org or 559-621-4016 with any questions.
- February 15 – 18: Young Adult Summit (YAS) at Camp Ocean Pines, contact Daniel “Apollo” Chacon at email@example.com or 415-495-7223 with any questions.
- February 28: (11:30am – 1:00pm), Saint Francis Hospital Burn Support Group, contact Daniel “Apollo” Chacon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-495-7223 with any questions.