A Fun Day at the Park!
On May 4, 2019 all three of our regions hosted our annual Day at the Park event to help young burn survivors prepare for Champ Camp. With approximately a month to go until camp, this event helps new survivors, and their families, meet other survivors who will be at, or have attended, Champ Camp and get to know the AARBF family better! We would like to thank all of our volunteers for their dedication to this and our many other events throughout the year.
Our Central California event was held at Gettysburg Park in Clovis, CA. A total of 40 people attended which included volunteers, survivors, family and friends. We are so grateful to the Clovis Fire Department crew, including Chris “Rocks” Bridger, who came out and helped us with set up, grilling and sharing their fire engine for the kiddos to check out. The crew also played a vital role in filling up the 420 water balloons for an epic water balloon battle that was over within minutes! The guests enjoyed a relaxing time at the park playing corn hole, soccer, ladder ball, UNO and much more. A special thank you to our new counselor and City of Merced Fire Department Firefighter, Tyler “Bixby” Baxter and his girlfriend for arriving early and playing a major role during set up and clean up. Another big thank you to CAL FIRE firefighter and survivor, Peter “Chop Suey” Reynaga as well for volunteering for this event.
Our Southern California event was held at a park in Montebello, CA with 35 burn survivors, family members, volunteers and AARBF staff in attendance. We had a wonderful time with activities that included lawn games, stacking cup game, Jenga, a bean bag toss, potato sack races, and a special visit and pictures with Prince Charming, Cinderella, Captain America, Spiderman and characters by Avengers Initiative. We also enjoyed the playground as well as, a water balloon war and bubbles for the little ones. A big thank you to Fabiola “Hamster” Velazquez for providing lunch and to Rudy “Turtle” Sarabia for cooking the hot dogs.
Last but certainly not least, our Northern California Day at the Park event was held at Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland and the afternoon was filled with games, sports and some relaxing, outdoor yoga. Thank you to all the burn survivors, family and supporters who came out and a special thank you Santa Clara Valley Medical Center who lent us the yoga mats. We appreciate Gibran McDonald, burn survivor and yoga teacher, who led us in our relaxing class. Overall everyone had a relaxing and fun time in the perfect weather, while socializing with other survivors and family members in the area.
We Lit Up The Night with Bakersfield Firefighters Burn Foundation
On May 10, 2019, AARBF’s Jennifer “Jem” Radics-Johnson, Daniel “Apollo” Chacon and Erika “Kika” Corona-Mendoza attended the Bakersfield Firefighters Burn Foundation’s Lite Up the Nite event at the Bakersfield Museum of Art. The Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation was proud to be a table sponsor for this year’s event. It was a great night where Lori Heart, organizer for the “Send a Kid to Camp Luncheon” event at Outback Steakhouse, as well as Dr. Peter Grossman and burn survivor Francisco Padilla were honored. There was a silent auction, live auction, great food, music and dancing. We had a great time hanging out with our good friends, Trever “T-Man” and Shari “Do-Re-Mi” Martinusen. We are so proud of our many years of partnership and collaboration with the Bakersfield Firefighters Burn Foundation and look forward to many more years of partnership and fun to come!
Running for our Cause
On May 5, 2019, nearly 50 firefighters and fire academy students came out to the Fresno Urban Run and ran a total of three miles through downtown Fresno in their full turnouts and gear! It was a grueling race and we are so impressed with their commitment and dedication, not only to their personal fitness but to our cause.
We had three teams participating and the College of the Sequoias (COS) Fire Academy Class 21-37 was the clear winners, raising an astounding $6,080!! Second place went to Hanford Fire Department Firefighter, Scott “Poindexter” Mellon, who raised $1,075 and 3rd place went to the FCC Fire Academy Class 51 that raised $875. A total of $8,030 was raised by all three teams for AARBF.
We could not be more grateful to all who participated and raised money. We are especially thankful to Poindexter; he not only had the idea and ran with it but presented to each fire academy and provided a gorgeous plaque for the winners! Poindexter’s goal was to raise enough to send one burn injured child to this year’s Champ Camp and with the student’s help, they will be sending 10 Central Valley burn survivors!
Cen-Cal Heroes Classic Softball Tournament
On May 11, 2019 we were honored to be a part of the Fresno Firefighters and Fresno Police Officer’s Cen-Cal Heroes Classic Softball Tournament! Burn survivor and Champ Camp Counselor-in-Training (CIT), Adriana “Moana” Olvera, threw out the first pitch and the Fresno City Firefighters generously donated a portion of the proceeds from the event to AARBF. The day was filled with great competition and awesome food, provided by Tree of Life Fresno and Kona Ice of Fresno. Everyone also enjoyed cold brews courtesy of Tioga Sequoia Brewing Company in the beer garden. We are grateful to have been a part of this fantastic event and we can’t wait for next year!
Fire Service Day
On May 11, 2019, the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation participated in Fire Service Day at LA City Fire Department Station 88 in Sherman Oaks, CA. Approximately 300 kids attended the event. We provided a stop, drop, and roll demonstrations along with fire safety books and stickers for kids. We also provided information about the foundation and burn prevention materials for the parents/adults. A big thank you to the LA City Fire Department for inviting us to be apart of this awesome community event.
A Great Day at the Ballpark
On May 19, 2019 nine burn survivors and 16 family members attended the Fresno Grizzlies vs. Sacramento River Cats game. Despite the weather conditions, we still had a wonderful time and we are so grateful to the Fresno Grizzlies for the ticket donation! Go Grizzles!
Sending Bakersfield Burn Survivors to Champ Camp!
On May 17, 2019 the Bakersfield Firefighters Burn Foundation hosted their annual Send a Kid to Camp Luncheon at Outback Steakhouse. Every year the Bakersfield Firefighters Foundation puts on this amazing event to help get burn-injured children from the Bakersfield area to Champ Camp. This year they were able to raise enough to send 15 lucky kids to camp this year and they had a phenomenal time! Thank you to the Bakersfield Firefighters Burn Foundation for your continued dedication to Bakersfield burn survivors and AARBF!
27th Annual LA Firefighter’s Burn Relay
On May 18, 2019 we hosted our annual Los Angeles Firefighter’s Burn Relay with a total of 18 stops and 20 fire departments and organizations participating. Fire engines traveled two different routes through Southern California collecting donations from local firefighters for AARBF and spreading awareness for the burn survivor services we provide and the importance of burn prevention education.
Thank you to all of the participating fire departments and supporters including: Santa Fe Springs Firefighters, BlastOne International – USA, City of Santa Fe Springs Mayor, Juanita Trujillo, Monrovia Firefighters Local 2415, Arcadia Firefighters’ Association (AFFA) IAFF Local 3440, San Gabriel Firefighters Local 2197, Alhambra Firefighters Association- IAFF Local #1578, Montebello Firefighters Association, Downey Firemen’s Association, Los Angeles County Fire Department, Compton Firefighters, Redondo Beach Firefighters Association, Long Beach Firefighters, United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, IAFF Local-112, Torrance Firefighters Association, Burbank Firefighters Local 778, Beverly Hills Firefighters’ Association, Culver City Firefighters – Local 1927, Santa Monica Fire Fighters, IAFF Local 1109 and El Segundo Firefighters’ Association.
We finished up both routes of the relay at Manhattan Beach Fire Department with a delicious lunch and extremely generous donation from the Manhattan Beach Firefighters Burn Foundation. Their donation alone will ensure that 15 burn-injured Southern CA children will be going to Champ Camp!
A special thank you to CHP – Southern Division and Sergeant Montanez for escorting us all over Southern California and ensuring that we stayed safe and together. We couldn’t accomplish this relay without their help. We would also like to thank all the volunteers, burn survivors, and the Ruch family members that came out to support AARBF and this incredible fundraising event. We would like to especially thank Santa Fe Springs Fire Captain Mike Kozicki and Manhattan Beach Firefighter Joshua Kueng for coordinating this event. Without these two incredible men, this fundraiser would not happen.
We were able to raise an incredible total of more than $40,000 and we couldn’t have done it without the hundreds of firefighters and volunteers that made that happen. Thank you does not encompass our gratitude for the dedication and commitment these fire departments show year after year to ensure the AARBF mission becomes a reality.
Pancakes, Firefighters, and Burn Prevention Education… oh my!
On May 4, 2019 the Arcadia Fire Department hosted their annual Pancake Breakfast and served pancakes and sausage to more than 2,000 community members. There were many vendors and an awesome course for the kids to experience being a firefighter first hand. The Arcadia firefighters demonstrated a real-life emergency and used the jaws of life to recue someone from a car. The event had a fantastic turnout and we are honored to have had the opportunity to be a part of it and teach life-saving fire and burn prevention tips.
On May 11, 2019 the turnout was also fantastic at the Annual Monrovia Fire Department Pancake Breakfast. The weather was cool but luckily there was no rain this year, so many community members came out to enjoy the delicious pancakes and excellent company. Even Smokey the Bear came out for some pancakes and sausage. The kids had a great time doing the obstacle course and the balloon maker made some awesome balloons for the kids.
On May 18, 2019 Champ Camp Counselor, Darren “Zinger” Keller attended the annual San Marino Fire Department Pancake Breakfast and thanked the amazing San Marino Firefighters for their donation and dedication to AARBF and Champ Camp. The event was held at the beautiful Lacey Park in San Marino. There were a lot of activities for the kids such as; firetruck rides, a petting zoo, games and bouncy houses. What a lovely day to be in the park and enjoy a delicious breakfast!
Wind and Fire Pancake Breakfast
On May 18, 2019 the Fresno Chapter of the Wind and Fire Motorcycle Club hosted their annual Pancake Breakfast at the Applebee’s Grill and Bar in Fresno. We want to thank the organizers, Javier “Evil” and his better half, Mary “2 Evil;” as well as, “Mouth,” “No Show,” “Mariachi,” “Lil Al,” and “Atreyu.” We love that they all have Champ Camp nicknames ready to go! We also appreciate the Wind and Fire MC – Santa Cruz Chapter for coming out to support, as well as Champ Camp volunteers D and Spunky. It was a wonderful morning filled with great food and even better company!
ACFFA Charity Golf Tournament
On May 20, 2019 the Alameda County Local 55 Firefighters hosted their annual ACFFA Charity Golf Tournament in which 100 golfers came out to enjoy a great day of golf, libations, raffle prizes, delicious food and fun. All proceeds are donated to AARBF and we feel so fortunate to not only be the benefiting charity, but also to have had the opportunity to attend this amazing event. We had so much fun and we can’t wait for next year!
Woody & Louise Reed Bridge to Life Scholarships
Woody & Louise Reed Bridge to Life Scholarships
The Woody & Louise Reed Bridge to Life Scholarship program provides support to burn survivor teens and young adults who have been involved in the life of AARBF and need financial aid to pursue an education after high school.
The purpose of this program is to “bridge” the gap between the existing programs AARBF provides for survivors and higher education. The scholarship program provides financial assistance to those survivors seeking education beyond high school, whether it is at a university or technical institution.
In acknowledgement of the hard work and dedication of family members of burn survivors, AARBF and the Reed Family are proud to introduce the Woody and Louise Reed Bridge to Life Scholarship Application for Families. Eligibility requirements and the application can be found at: https://www.aarbf.org/project/bridge-to-life-scholarship/.
Please contact Jan “Tabby” Share at email@example.com or (818) 848-0223 with any questions. Applications are due June 28, 2019!
World Burn Congress Scholarships
The Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation 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 four-day conference. Scholarship funds may be used for conference registration fees, travel, accommodations and meals. This year the conference will be held in Anaheim, CA October 2 -5, 2019.
The Phoenix Society’s World Burn Congress is an annual international conference that brings together more than 800 burn survivors, their families, care givers, burn care professionals, and firefighters. It is a forum for encouraging and facilitating the sharing of stories, providing support and increasing knowledge of burn recovery. Whether you are a survivor, parent of a survivor, or a family member/caregiver you will find that World Burn Congress offers a healing environment for all. For many, it is the first opportunity to meet and share with others who have experienced a burn trauma. To learn more about the Phoenix Society and the World Burn Congress, visit www.phoenix-society.org.
Qualifying applicants must be burn survivors, parent of a burn survivor, or family member/caregiver and had his or her life and livelihood impacted by the burn or is involved in the recovery of the survivor. Applications can be found at: AARBF World Burn Congress Fillable Application 2019
For information on how to apply for the scholarship please call Jan “Tabby” Share 818-848-0223 Ext. 1 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Application are due July 26, 2019!
July Hot List!
Northern California Volunteer Opportunities
Please contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz 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.
- General office administrative tasks such as printing, filing, mailings, data entry, organization, etc.
Please contact Stephanie “Pocahontas” Boydell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-495-7223 x17 if you have interest in any of the following:
- Do you enjoy data management, input and/or making calls to our amazing volunteers and community partners? We are in need of a volunteer to assist us in staying up to date with contact information for volunteers, donors, and community partners (such as fire departments).
Central California Volunteer Opportunities
- Please contact Erika “Kika” Corona-Mendoza at email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 818-848-0223 x16 if you have interest in any of the following:
- We have an opportunity to assist as a volunteer in our Pasadena office with administrative duties such as filing.
- We are always looking for volunteers to help spread burn prevention education in their local community at outreach events!
• July 2: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Santa Clara Valley Medical Support Group, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at email@example.com or 415-495-7223 x19 with any questions.
• July 3: (6:30pm – 8:00pm), East Bay Burn Support Group, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-495-7223 x19 with any questions.
• July 7: (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.
• July 7: (4:00pm – 6:00pm), SoCal Grupo de Apoyo en Espanol, contact Margarita “Cubby” Rodriguez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 818-848-0223 Ext. 16 with any questions.
• July 9: (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.
• July 9: (6:00pm – 7:30pm), Modesto Support Group, contact Erika “Kika” Corona-Mendoza at firstname.lastname@example.org or 559-621-4016 with any questions.
• July 10: (6:30pm – 8:00pm), Santa Rosa Support Group, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at email@example.com or 415-495-7223 x19 with any questions.
• July 18: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), NEW Online Video Burn Survivor Support Group, contact Daniel “Apollo” Chacon at 415-495-7223 x 18 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or to RSVP.
• July 18: Giants Family Safety Festival, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at email@example.com or 415-495-7223 x19 with any questions.
• July 25: (11:30am – 1:00pm), Saint Francis Hospital Burn Support Group, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-495-7223 x19 with any questions.
• July 26 – 28: Northern CA Outdoor Trip, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at email@example.com or 415-495-7223 x19 with any questions.
• July 26: World Burn Congress Scholarship applications are due! Contact Jan “Tabby” Share at firstname.lastname@example.org or 818-848-0223 Ext. 1 with any questions.
• July 28: Alameda Firefighters Annual Pancake Breakfast, contact Stephanie “Pocahontas” Boydell at email@example.com or 415-495-7223 Ext. 17 with any questions.