Over 150 Rock Stars Attended Champ Camp!
There were 159 burn injured children, including 11 Counselors in Training, from all over California and beyond traveled to participate in this year’s Champ Camp, which provides a free, safe and fun summer camp environment for children ages 5 to 17 facing one of life’s toughest and most painful challenges: severe burn injuries. More than 2,200 children have been through the program since its inception in 1985, with no cost to them thanks to our generous supporters throughout California.
Campers and Counselors came from all over California and the world to be a part of Champ Camp. We sincerely thank all of the Counselors who volunteer 10 days of their time to participate in Champ Camp. A huge thank you to the over 100 volunteers and supporters who helped to make Champ Camp a great success!
The People that Make Champ Camp Possible
We are so thankful to all of the donors that come together to make Champ Camp possible year after year. From the Pancake Breakfasts, to the Golf Tournaments and each of the fundraisers that happen all year long. As the children arrived, they were greeted with warm hugs and an awesome care package; all items donated by JanSport, Camelbak, San Francisco Fire Local 798, Oakland Firefighters Random Acts, Good News Bears, and many more! All of our programs and services are only made possible thanks to the generous support received throughout the year. We would also like to recognize the Counselors who supported Champ Camp through their participation in the Bows for Dough and Grow Your ‘Stache! Fundraisers.
Champ Camp hosts an Annual Chili Cook-Off Day where different fire departments and public service agencies are invited to come cook chili for the opportunity to win the coveted Champ Camp Chili Pot. A huge thank you to this year’s participating agencies; Community Regional Medical Center Burn Unit, Fresno FD, Clovis FD, Visalia FD, Hanford FD, CHP Central Division, Selma FD, Sanger FD, Kings County FD, CAL FIRE Fresno-Kings and Geyserville Volunteer Fire Department. Congratulations to Geyserville FD for being awarded the best booth decoration award and to Clovis FD for receiving the award for best tasting chili!
We also have a special visit from the motorcycle group, Wind and Fire every year at Camp! This year, Wind and Fire motorcyclists traveled from throughout California, Oregon and Arizona to visit us, as they have been doing for over 20 years. The members of Wind and Fire, many of whom are retired firefighters, came together again this year to make an amazing donation of more than $11,000 to support AARBF and Champ Camp!
In addition to all of the fun and excitement at Wonder Valley Ranch, campers take a trip to Wild Water Adventure Park in Clovis, CA and enjoy a day of waterslides, pools and various water activities. We would like to thank Wild Water Adventure Park for their continued partnership and Kona Ice for providing everyone a refreshing afternoon snack! We would also like to recognize Reedley Fire Department for their help with preparing and serving lunch and dinner.
Because of the “pleasantly warm” weather in the Central Valley during June, “Jamba Juice Friday” has become a big hit with campers and counselors thanks to Car Crazy Promotions and Carl Asaro who purchases all of the campers, counselors and program staff Jamba Juice! It has become a tradition and something everyone looks forward to, especially when it is so pleasantly warm out.
We would also like to thank the San Joaquin Valley Fine Wood Workers Association and the Home Depot of Selma who were at Camp for two days helping all of the kids build various wood projects! Additionally, the Buckaroo Unit had a wonderful time with Reptile Ron where they were able to learn about and hold different reptiles.
We have also come to rely on the support of Angel Flight that flies campers who live over 90 miles from pick-up and drop-off locations to and from camp in privately owned small aircrafts. Thanks to Angel Flight many burn-injured children are able to experience the magic of Champ Camp, despite where they are located.
Champ Camp would not be possible without the wonderful support of Wonder Valley Ranch! We are very grateful to have such a beautiful location to host camp and look forward to continuing our partnership for many years to come. Thank you to Wonder Valley Ranch and all of the staff who go above and beyond to support Champ Camp!
There are so many wonderful donors, supporters and volunteers who make Champ Camp a reality for more than 150 burn injured children annually. Thank you to everyone who supports Champ Camp- we could not do it without you!
Serving Up a Big Batch of Smokin' Hot Chili
The Foster City Fire Department’s Chili Booth had another very successful year. On June 2nd and June 3rd the Foster City CityFest took place and the Foster City Firefighters managed to sell out of all 60 gallons of chili they prepared for the event! That breaks down to close to 500 bowls of chili over the weekend. Approximately 4,000 community members attended the event over that weekend and all proceeds of the chili booth are donated to AARBF by Foster City Fire Department.
Central County Residents Flip for Pancakes
On Saturday, June 9, Central County Fire Department hosted their Annual Pancake Breakfast at which they were able to raise over $7,000, those proceeds going to AARBF and other local charities. Approximately 685 community members came out to the Burlingame Station to enjoy an amazing breakfast and support the fire department and we are so grateful for the Central County Firefighters continued support.
AARBF Executive Director Inspiring as a Leader
As part of its 40th Anniversary Celebration the Center for Nonprofit Management (CNM) published a list of 40 Inspiring Leaders that demonstrated effective leadership, measurable results, and inspiration in their organization or community. The CNM reached out to its nonprofit colleagues throughout Southern California to ask for nominations of inspiring leaders in executive, governance and emerging leadership positions. Our Executive Director, Jennifer Radics-Johnson, was selected as one of CNM’S Inspiring Leaders. AARBF thrives under Jennifer’s leadership and it is wonderful to see her recognized for her dedication and passion for burn prevention education and the burn community.
Since 2012, Jennifer has grown the organization from a staff of five with a budget of $696K and a year-end deficit of -$38K, to a full time staff of seven with a budget of $1.1M and a year-end surplus ranging from $15K-$147K. “I am honored to be named one of the Center for Nonprofit Management’s Inspiring Leaders, along with so many other strong and inspiring nonprofit leaders,” said Radics-Johnson. “This recognition is only made possible by the Board, staff, volunteers, burn survivors and families that I am privileged to work with and am inspired by each and every day. I deeply enjoy and thrive in the work that we do at the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation. I hope that this recognition brings more awareness to the vital programs and services that we provide the community, year round.”