Welcome to the team, Erika!
Although May 11th was Erika “Kika” Corona-Mendoza’s first day as our new Central California Regional Manager, she has a long history with the organization! Erika first became involved with AARBF at the tender age of five when she first attended AARBF’s Champ Camp. She participated in a number of burn survivor events with the organization for nearly 20 years including becoming a Counselor in Training, a Champ Camp Counselor and a member of the AARBF’s Council of Advisors.
Erika has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Family Studies and Human Development from the University of Arizona and a Master’s of Science in Family and Human Development from Arizona State University. She has worked extensively with children and their families as a teacher, parent educator and clinician.
Through her involvement with AARBF and her experiences, Erika has developed a passion for working with burn survivors as well as their family members. She has the ability to empathize with the burn survivor community and truly embodies and believes in the mission and vision of the foundation. Erika hopes to empower other burn survivors through sharing her own story and life experiences, and she strives to use her skill set towards helping with burn prevention in hopes of significantly reducing burn injuries.
Welcome Erika, we are so excited to have you on board!!
Los Grizzlies Game on Cinco de Mayo
On Saturday, May 5th, 34 burn survivors and their families attended the Cinco de Mayo celebration and cheered Los Grizzlies on in their match against the Sacramento River Cats. We even got a visit from long time AARBF and Grizzlies supporters, the Fresno Fire Department! Everyone was treated to a fantastic fireworks show following the game to celebrate the holiday!
We’d like to extend a huge thank you to the Fresno Grizzlies for graciously providing all the tickets to ensure every burn survivor that wanted to go, could. We had so much fun at the game and we can’t wait for next year… GO GRIZZLIES!!
Moraga-Orinda is Serving Up Hot Dogs!
On Saturday, May 5th, the Moraga Orinda Firefighters prepared delicious hot dogs and BBQ tri-tip sandwiches for the community while people were encouraged to visit the many resource tables for valuable safety information, as well as a burn & fire prevention table manned by AARBF!
Children were given a stamp “passport” card and received stamps at each table they visited; if they visited all of them, they were entered in a toy raffle. What a wonderful way to get the families interested and involved!! All proceeds from the event will be donated to AARBF and we couldn’t be more thankful for the generosity and dedication of the Moraga-Orinda Professional Firefighter’s Association!!
Pancake Breakfasts Galore!
During the month of May, three Southern California Fire Department’s hosted their Annual Pancake Breakfasts and we were lucky enough to attend! Arcadia Fire Department hosted theirs on May 5th, Monrovia Fire Department hosted theirs on May 12th and San Marino Fire Department hosted theirs on May 19th! Thank you to these dedicated fire departments for continuing to provide a safe community event and for donating the proceeds of these events to AARBF!
A Gala Under the Stars
On Friday, May 18th, Daniel “Apollo” Chacon, Erika “Kika” Corona-Mendoza, and even Champy attended “Light Up the Night,” a beautiful fundraiser hosted by the Bakersfield Firefighters Burn Foundation to continue to send burn injured children to Champ Camp and World Burn Congress. The event took place in an outdoor setting full of lights that truly made it feel like we were under the stars! Our very own Lucy “Sprout” Herrera was recognized for her “Sunshine” personality and all of the hard work and dedication she has to the burn community and as a burn nurse with Community Regional Medical Center.
A Beautiful Day at the Park!
On Saturday, May 19th, we held Family Day at the Park, three regional burn survivor events taking place at Smith Park in Pico Rivera, Lake Merritt in Oakland and Gettysburg Park in Clovis. Burn survivors, their families, supporters and fire department personnel gathered to enjoy each other’s company and get to know new burn survivor children getting ready to go to Champ Camp for the first time! We hadlawn games, hula hoops, card games, arts and crafts, potato sack races, face painting and pictures with Star Wars characters!
A special thank you to Oakland Firefighters Local 55 and Anthony “Ding Dong” Sanders for providing and cooking a delicious lunch for our East Bay Burn Survivors and to Zach Jenssen from Berkeley Fire who brought out Sparky the Burn Survivor Dog to join the other survivors in the festivities. Also, thank you to Burn Survivor Wendy Albrecht, who came in full mermaid regalia, to delight the kiddos as well as bring some top-notch face painting. A big thank you to the Golden Gate Garrison for coming out in full Star Wars costumes and joining in the fun!
Thank you those who helped make our Southern California event extra special. Especially Jameson for coordinating the 501st Star Wars characters, Eunice Villa for coordination table decorations and arts & crafts. Also, thank you to Jaime and Norma Rodriguez for coordinating the delivery of the tables, canopy and chairs! We can’t wait for next year, we feel like each year this event gets better and better!
Pancakes and Hogs
A huge thank you is in order to the Wind and Fire Motorcycle Club – Fresno Chapter for hosting their Annual Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, May 19th. Every year this group of amazing people host hundreds at Applebee’s Grill + Bar in Fresno for a delicious breakfast fundraiser in order to send kids to Champ Camp! Thank you for your passionate commitment to AARBF and burn survivors! We can’t wait to see you at Champ Camp on Chili Cook-off Day with all your beautiful bikes!
AARBF Hosts ``Behavioral Change with Burn Prevention`` Think Tank Meeting in Burbank, CA
As part of the FEMA Assistance to Firefighters grant awarded to the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation in 2017, on May 23-24, 2018, AARBF hosted a Think Tank meeting in Burbank, CA with subject matter experts from throughout the country. AARBF’s Executive Director and Assistant Director Jennifer Radics-Johnson and Daniel Chacon were in attendance along with Ed Comeau (Writer-Tech.com); Dr. Ellie Kazemi (California State University, Northridge); Dr. Andrew Ainsworth (California State University, Northridge); Greg Adams (Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office); Michael Durkin (Poudre Fire Authority0; Josh Fulbright (South Carolina State Fire Marshal’s Office); Marsha Giesler (Downers Grove Fire Department); Deanna Harrington (Arvada Fire Protection District); Rich Palmer (Ohio Division of State Fire Marshal) and Sunny Smaldino (Colorado Springs Fire Department).
The Think Tank meeting covered topics such as an overview of Behavioral Change; Nationwide Survey and Interview Results Report; Proposed Behavioral Change Tools and Pilot Program testing. We are so grateful for all of the subject matter experts who were in attendance and to the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA for their support of this very worthwhile project!
Grow Your 'Stache and Bows for Dough Have Begun!
Bows for Dough and Grow Your ‘Stache began on May 14th and we are so proud of all the amazing fundraising these folks have been doing! We wanted all our Champ Campers to see their favorite counselors sporting glorious mustaches and beautiful bows! Monitor all the teams progress and donate to your favorite team at Grow Your ‘Stache: www.growyourstache.org or Bows for Dough: www.bowsfordough.org.
We would like to show our Grow Your ‘Stache and Bows for Dough participants and donors how much we appreciate you! Please join us in the upstairs loft of Lagunitas Brewery, Petaluma, on Friday, 6/22, for a fun finale and celebration! This event is free to folks who were on a team raising money for AARBF and $15 for guests and donors. Purchase tickets online here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bows-for-dough-and-grow-your-stache-finale-tickets-46820527458. The cost will go up to $20 at the door so get your tickets online!! Food and non-alcoholic drinks are included with ticket purchase. There will be a raffle as well! Contact Stephanie “Pocahontas” Boydell, AARBF Development Manager, at 415-495-7223 x17 or email@example.com any questions!
Parade of Fire Trucks Runs All Over the North Bay!
We are so grateful to the Greater North Bay Area Fire Departments that participated in our 21st Annual North Bay Firefighters Burn Relay on Wednesday, May 23rd! It was an amazing day filled with wonderful firefighters whose dedication and passion for AARBF & Champ Camp is unmatched. We had nearly 40 fire departments, associations, foundations, and organizations attend this year with a total of 17 stops! This year we rang a bell for every $750 raised, which is what it takes to get a burn-injured child to Champ Camp, and boy was there a lot of bell ringing! ?
After tallying all the donations, and receiving a few extra, we were able to raise a total of $39,385!! What an amazing and successful year! We’d like to thank the following departments and organizations for their generous donations and participation in this year’s relay:
– Southern Marin Fire District
– Marin County Fire Department
– The SMFD Board of Directors
– The Marin Professional Firefighters Local 1775
– Mill Valley Fire Department and Mill Valley Professional Firefighters L1775
– Central Marin Fire Department
– Tiburon Fire Protection District
– Kentfield Fire Protection District
– Ross Valley Fire Department
– San Rafael Firefighters Association
– Marinwood Firefighters Association
– The Marin Fire Prevention Officers
– Novato Fire Protection District and Novato Fire Foundation
– Petaluma Firefighters Local 1415
– Rancho Adobe Fire District and the Rancho Adobe Firefighters
– City of Rohnert Park Police & Fire
– Bolinas Fire Protection District
– Gold Ridge and Hessel Firefighters Associations
– Sebastopol Fire Department
– Santa Rosa Firefighters Local 1401
– Rincon Valley Fire Protection District
– Windsor Fire Protection District
– Cloverdale Fire Department
– Lakeville Fire Department
– Graton Fire Department
– Forestry Crab Feed
– Geyserville Fire Department
– Sonoma Valley Professional Firefighters Local 3593
– Skywalker Ranch Fire Department
– Sonoma County Fire Chief’s Association with a total donation from Safety Pals, Sonoma County FPOs, and FITF
– H & S Fire Code Associates
– Healdsburg Fire Department
We also had multiple kind community members approach the relay and donate on the spot! We’d also like to say a special thank you to our volunteers that made this relay happen but especially Keith “Padres” Muelheim of the Windsor FD and Travis Fox of the Southern Marin FD for coordinating this relay. They make this relay run every year and we are so grateful for their dedication!
New Champ Camp Counselor Training
This year, new counselor training took place at Wonder Valley Ranch Resort & Conference Center, where Champ Camp is held, on May 12th and 13th. We had an amazing, goofy and energetic group of 15 new counselors! The training consisted of having the new recruits get a feel for what is to come when Champ Camp begins. There were a lot of materials (logistics) to go over as well as team building exercises that helped bring the group closer together and work as a team… like a paintball war!
We know these new counselors will bring so much joy to the campers this year and we can’t wait! Champ Camp began on June 9th and if you’d like daily updates and everything Champ Camp, please like/follow our Facebook Champ Camp page (@aarbfchampcamp)!
Top row: Giddy, LG, Luna, S’mores, Woody, Blossom, Poindexter, and Bubbles
Bottom row: Baloo, Hydra, Stinky, Nemo, Playdough and Bridges.
Scholarship Applications Due Soon!
The AARBF World Burn Congress Scholarship provides financial assistance, up to $1,000.00, to cover cost involved in participating in Phoenix Society’s World Burn Congress, a four-day international conference that brings together burn survivors, their families, caregivers, burn care professionals, and firefighters. Scholarship funds may be used for conference registration fees, travel, accommodations, and lodging. This year the conference will be held in Grand Rapids, MI: September 12-15, 2018 and scholarship applications can be found at: https://www.aarbf.org/Survivor-Services/World-Burn-Congress.htm.
The Ellwood & Louise Reed “Bridge to Life” Scholarship provides educational support to burn survivors of all ages and family members of burn survivors who have been involved with AARBF and need financial aid to pursue a post-high school education. The purpose of this scholarship is to “bridge” the gap between the existing programs AARBF provides for survivors and their ability to attain a higher education. This scholarship program provides financial assistance of as much as $2,000 to those survivors seeking education beyond high school, whether it is at a university or technical institution. Scholarship applications can be found at:https://www.aarbf.org/Survivor-Services/Bridge-to-Life-Scholarship.htm.
For information on how to apply for either scholarship or to receive an application, please call Jan “Tabby” Share at 1-800-242-BURN or firstname.lastname@example.org. Jan will be holding office hours on Wednesdays from 2pm to 4pm to address any questions about this scholarship.
Deadline is Friday, June 29, 2018 for Woody and Louise Scholarship and July 2nd for the World Burn Congress Scholarship! Apply today!
Round Up Your Change for a Great Cause!
We now have an easy way you can make a big difference just by going about your day. Our new app lets you live your life and do good — at the same time!
The app is called My Donations to AARBF and you can find it in the Apple App Store by searching aarbf or by clicking here. It’ll be available for Android phones soon!
Every time you use a linked account we will automatically round up your purchase to the nearest dollar, and that spare change will be donated to help our important work. Here’s how it works: When you make a purchase, like $65.49 on groceries or $8.76 for lunch, we will round up to the nearest dollar and all those nickels, dimes and quarters will be donated to AARBF. And don’t worry, you can cancel at any time.
Please take a moment to download our app today, every little bit helps!
July Hot List!
Ongoing: El Cerrito Region Volunteer Opportunities
- Please contact Anne “Kimchi” Hildebrand at email@example.com or 415-495-7223 x19 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.
- We are doing a phone campaign to invite child burn survivors to Champ Camp, our week-long residential summer camp for burn-injured kids. We need volunteers to come to the office to make the phone calls to ensure that parents are aware that now is the time of year to turn in their registration forms!
- We need help organizing the toys from our annual Holiday Drive. We are settling into our new offices and need help putting them into storage/organizing them to be distributed throughout the year and next holiday season.
- Connections needed! We are looking for a new therapist for support group facilitation and for a food sponsor for the East Bay Support Group (1x/month).
- June 29: Woody & Louise Scholarship Applications due!, contact Jan “Tabby” Share at 1-800-242-BURN or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or to apply.
- July 2: World Burn Congress Scholarship Applications due!, contact Jan “Tabby” Share at 1-800-242-BURN or email@example.com with any questions or to apply.
- July 1: (1:30pm – 3:30pm), SoCal Survivors Support Group, contact Margarita “Cubby” Rodriguez, firstname.lastname@example.org or 818-848-0223 Ext. 16 with any questions.
- July 3: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Santa Clara Valley Medical Support Group, contact Anne “Kimchi” Hildebrand at email@example.com or 415-495-7223 with any questions.
- July 10: (6:30pm – 7:30pm), Central California Burn Survivor Support Group, contact Erika “Kika” Corona-Mendoza at firstname.lastname@example.org or 559-621-4016 with any questions.
- July 11: (6:30pm – 8:00pm), East Bay Burn Support Group, contact Anne “Kimchi” Hildebrand at email@example.com or 415-495-7223 with any questions.
- July 11: (6:30pm – 8:00pm), Santa Rosa Support Group, contact Anne “Kimchi” Hildebrand at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-495-7223 with any questions.
- July 20 – 22: Northern CA Outdoor Trip, contact Anne “Kimchi” Hildebrand at email@example.com or 415-495-7223 with any questions.
- July 21: Wine Country to the Rescue in Geyserville, contact Stephanie “Pocahontas” Boydell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-495-7223 Ext. 17 with any questions.
- July 21: Central County Firefighter’s Annual Ball in Burlingame, contact Stephanie “Pocahontas” Boydell at email@example.com or 415-495-7223 Ext. 17 with any questions.
- July 26: (11:30am – 1:00pm), Saint Francis Hospital Burn Support Group, contact Anne “Kimchi” Hildebrand at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-495-7223 with any questions.
- July 29: Alameda Firefighters Annual Pancake Breakfast, contact Stephanie “Pocahontas” Boydell at email@example.com or 415-495-7223 Ext. 17 with any questions.