AARBF Hosts Annual Holiday Party in the Central Valley
On Saturday, December 4, 2021, AARBF hosted an in-person holiday party in Clovis, CA. We had 10 families in attendance on what turned out to be a very beautiful sunny day – perfect for an outdoor activity! We spent the afternoon making crafts, eating pizza, decorating cookies and taking pictures with Santa. Each family who joined us got to go home with a brand-new toy for the holiday! We even had some lucky winners go home with a new bicycle.
This event would not have been possible without our amazing volunteers who were up bright and early helping AARBF’s Central Regional Manager, McKenzie Dern and Assistant Director, Daniel Chacon get everything set up and ready for our guests. Thank you to Pretzel, Flamingo, Redvine, Elise, Gerald, and Chris. Also, a big thank you to Fresno Fire for bringing the fire engine!
North Pole Fun Comes to Northern California
On Saturday, December 11, 2021, we welcomed 18 families, which included 25 burn survivors, to the 26th annual Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Holiday Party.
With the help of Linda Carrier and our wonderful volunteers, we were able to create a slice of the North Pole with an outdoor event in San Jose. The party started with arts and crafts, but we could quickly see our families and volunteers were simply excited to be together this Holiday Season! One by one, kids were 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 pizza, it was time for the big event, the arrival of Santa Claus! Santa Claus was able to bring a sleigh-load of toys for all of the kids. Everyone enjoyed seeing him. Although this party came with some changes, for the health and safety of our guests, it was one of the most special of all time.
AARBF appreciates the wonderful volunteers, donors and supporters who helped make this party a success. In addition to the amazing volunteer team that assisted us on Saturday, we also had many Bank of the West branches and employees collect toys! The day would not have been complete without our special volunteer, Jim Knopf, who helped bring joy to the children.
The Annual Dinner & Dance in Clovis Raises Over $90,000 for AARBF
On Saturday, December 11, 2021, AARBF was joined by amazing community members, family and friends who came together to support our foundation! We were able to host our 11th annual AARBF Dinner & Dance as an in-person event. In ONE night, we raised over $90,000 for the foundation and Champ Camp!
We are very thankful for the small crew of fabulous people who helped us pull off this event. This night would not have been possible without our committee members: Pete, Kelly, Dave, Megan, Pradnya, Elise, and Rana, who went above and beyond to put this event together. For the night of the event, our volunteer team expanded to include cadets from the Fresno City Community College Fire Academy who assisted with serving, setting up, and always being ready to help with any task given to them. For the heavy lifting, we were happy to have the help of the Clovis North Boys Baseball Team!
We greatly appreciate the generosity of our event sponsors, guests and volunteers for making this a night to remember. We hope to see everyone again next year!
Holiday Fun in Southern California
On Sunday, December 12, 2021, AARBF welcomed 77 guests, including 28 burn survivors, at the Southern California Holiday Party in Monterey Park. This outdoor event featured arts and crafts, time spent with family and friends and our special guest, Santa Claus!
This event would not have been possible without our awesome volunteers! Rajah and Hamster provided all of the food and drinks – including homemade tamales! Lynne and Nils baked up several dozen sugar cookies and provided all of the supplies for the cookie decorating and Snoopy brought cakes for dessert. Everyone left with a fully belly!
It would not have been a party without toys for all of the little ones. Thanks to LA County Fire, every child went home with a new toy provided through Spark of Love. We appreciate all of our volunteers, donors and supporters for making this a fun and memorable day in Southern CA!
Changes Announced for AARBF’s Monthly Expression Series
The monthly Expression Series schedule has been modified for 2022. Sessions will still be held on the 4th Thursday of the month at 7:00 PM via Zoom, but will now include Movement Expression along with Writing, Art and Music!
Join us this month for our first Movement Expression featuring yoga! Movement Expression is designed to help you focus on your physical well-being. By keeping your mind and body in tune with each other, you will feel stronger and can more readily express your feelings and emotions in a positive manner. This session is designed for beginners, but can still be enjoyed by the intermediate and advanced. For those who need it, modifications for poses will be identified by the instructor.
Click here to register for this month’s session. The Expression Series is open to all members of our burn community, including survivors, family members, volunteers and supporters.
AARBF is Now Accepting Applications for the Young Adult Summit and The Adult Retreat
In December, AARBF opened the application process to join us over the Presidents’ Day weekend, February 18-21, 2022, for the Young Adult Summit (YAS) and The Adult Retreat. Both weekend camps are held at Camp Ocean Pines in Cambria, California.
YAS was created to meet unique challenges associated with growing up with burns. All teens must navigate high school, adopting a sense of independence and changing roles. YAS is for young adults, ages 16 to 20, who deal with these issues in addition to their healing. Workshops and exercises engage teens in life skills lessons, team building, and networking. Each burn survivor gains tools, new knowledge and an opportunity to continue the friendships created at Champ Camp.
Click here to register and for additional information to help with your planning.
The Adult Retreat provides a survivor-driven program allowing the opportunity for approximately 20 adult burn survivors to learn about their healing process and their journey as a burn survivor. This program is for adult burn survivors 21+ and is an intensive weekend, developed by burn survivors for burn survivors. It will include workshops, support groups and promotes healing, self-discovery and socialization.
Click here to register for The Adult Retreat and for additional information you need to be ready for the weekend!
Your Amazon Order Can Benefit AARBF
Are you an Amazon shopper? If so, please use their giving back program called AmazonSmile! It is no cost to you, but by shopping through AmazonSmile, your eligible purchases can earn 0.5% towards the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation. AmazonSmile has the same prices, vast selection and online convenience you are already enjoying with the added bonus of supporting AARBF! It can be used with both personal and business accounts.
Remember – you must use the AmazonSmile link when placing your orders for AARBF to benefit. Sign up today at https://smile.amazon.com/.
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
January 17: ALL AARBF OFFICES ARE CLOSED
January 18: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Spanish-Speaking Online Burn Survivor Support Group, contact Margarita “Cubby” Rodriguez at email@example.com or 818-848-0223 Ext. 16 to receive log-in information.
February 1: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Santa Clara Valley Medical Online Support Group, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-495-7223 Ext. 19 to receive log-in information.
February 3: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Caregiver Support Group – Online Video Support, contact Daniel “Apollo” Chacon at 415-495-7223 Ext. 18 or email@example.com to receive log-in information.
February 6: (1:30pm – 3:30pm), SoCal Survivors Online Support Group, contact Margarita “Cubby” Rodriguez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 818-848-0223 Ext. 16 to receive log-in information.
February 6-12: Burn Awareness Week
February 8: (6:00pm – 7:30pm), Fresno Community Regional Medical Center Online Support Group, contact McKenzie “Bubbles” Dern at email@example.com or 559-286-0710 Ext. 15 to receive log-in information.
February 9: (6:30pm – 8:00pm), North/East Bay Burn Online Support Group, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-495-7223 Ext. 19 to receive log-in information.
February 10: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Burn Care Professionals Support Group, contact Daniel “Apollo” Chacon at 415-495-7223 Ext. 18 or email@example.com to receive log-in information.
February 15: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Spanish-Speaking Online Burn Survivor Support Group, contact Margarita “Cubby” Rodriguez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 818-848-0223 Ext. 16 to receive log-in information.
February 17: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Statewide Support Group – Online, contact Daniel “Apollo” Chacon at 415-495-7223 Ext. 18 or email@example.com to receive log-in information.
February 18-21: Young Adult Summit, click here to learn more.
February 18-21: The Adult Retreat, click here to learn more.
February 21: ALL AARBF OFFICES ARE CLOSED
February 24: (11:30am – 1:00pm), Saint Francis Online Support Group, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-495-7223 Ext. 19 to receive log-in information.
February 24: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Art Expression, contact Daniel “Apollo” Chacon at 415-495-7223 Ext. 18 or email@example.com.
If you missed any of our past Burn Bulletins, please check out our archives.