Save the Dates for our 50th Anniversary Celebrations
We invite you to join us on Saturday, October 2, 2021 in Southern California, for our 50th Anniversary Gala. The Gala will be held at the LA Fire Museum in Hollywood. Event includes the unveiling of AARBF’s “Origins of Stop, Drop and Roll” museum exhibit, silent and live auctions and live entertainment. Live and virtual opportunities available for participation! Visit our 50th Anniversary Gala page for more information.
Our Central California Celebration will be held at the Wonder Valley Ranch Resort in Sanger, CA on Saturday, October 30, 2021 to honor Stan Oken and the entire Oken family. Celebrate the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation’s and Oken family’s dedication to helping young burn survivors rebuild and develop self-esteem and confidence at Champ Camp – and for life. Event includes a dedication ceremony for an honorary street sign, time capsule burial and campus tours. Visit our Central California Celebration page for more information.
Don’t miss our Northern California Photo Contest Finale event in Woodside, CA on September 12, 2021. Winning photos from the Photo Contest will be featured at the event. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
FUNdraising with the Fresno Urban Run!
The Fresno Urban Run was held on May 2, 2021. This year marked the third consecutive year of Scott “Poindexter” Mellon’s initiative to support Champ Camp through bringing together the fire academies and fire departments in the Central Valley to fundraise and be a part of the Fresno Urban Run. The three fundraising teams were comprised of members of the Hanford Fire Department (Scott Mellon), Fresno City College Fire Academy (FCC) and College of the Sequoias Fire Academy (COS). These teams were joined on run day by Marissa “Hydra” and Christina who are both burn nurses with the Leon S. Peters Burn Center, and Firefighters from Selma City Fire Department!
Scott, began with the goal of wanting to fundraise $1,000 to send one child to Champ Camp and with the help of both the FCC and COS students, they have surpassed that goal by a longshot from year one.
This year’s Fresno Urban Run raised a total of $17,062 which is more than double the total raised the first year. The FCC Team was the winning fundraising team, raising a total of $7,112.11! They will keep the winner’s plaque for the next year.
We are so thankful for the fire academies; FCC Class 55 and COS Class 21-39 that truly took their creative fundraising skills, making this year so successful. Thank you to Scott Mellon and the Hanford Fire Department for the initiative of creating such a successful event around the Fresno Urban Run’s fun and challenging race. An extra special thanks you to the Fresno Urban Run itself for making us the beneficiaries of their event, we truly appreciate your partnership!
AARBF Brings Yoga to You
AARBF hosts a virtual yoga class on the first Saturday of every other month. Not only is it a great way to spend time with your AARBF friends, you will also enjoy the self-care benefits of an interactive yoga session! Scott “Poindexter” Mellon was the guest instructor for our May class and you can catch the replay at the link above.
Our next Virtual Yoga session is scheduled for Saturday, July 3, 2021. You will need to register on our website at https://www.aarbf.org/yoga/ to receive the login information. Not sure if you can do all of the yoga poses? Check out the Modified Yoga video before registering. Our Virtual Yoga is for everybody and every body!
There are additional yoga videos available through the Multimedia Resource Library at www.aarbf.org/resources.
Submit Your Anthem Video Today
We invite you to join in the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation by creating an AARBF Anthem video. We will be selecting portions of submitted videos to create a compilation video that will be shown at the 50th Anniversary Gala! For music, lyrics and a sample video, click on Events and Activities from our website’s 50th Anniversary page: https://www.aarbf.org/50th-anniversary-events-and-activities/
Be sure to tag @aarbf when showing off your video on social media and use the hashtags #aarbf50 #aarbfgottalent #aarbfanthem. We cannot wait to see your video!
Meet the Photo Contest Judges
Have you submitted a photo for the 50th Anniversary Photo Contest? We encourage you to celebrate AARBF’s 50 years of service by sharing your memorable moments with us!
The Photo Contest categories are: AARBF Self Portrait, Burn Thriver, and Heroes In Action.
The AARBF Photo Contest Judges are a team composed of professional photographers who will evaluate a final round of entries according to theme. Photos will be ranked according to six criteria: impact, composition, artistic approach, lighting, special effects and difficulty.
Meet Roni Ziemba, an adrenaline junkie and photographic artist specializing in public safety and surgical operating room imagery for publications and public installations. Recently Roni became qualified as a wild land firefighter so that she and her camera could get that much closer to the fire line.
Next, Kirstyn Russell, is a Photography professor at San Joaquin Delta College. She’s a known photographer and her work was reproduced in Capricious Magazine and written about in Make/Shift Magazine. She was a speaker at the 2011 Society for Photographic Education conference and her work has been published in the Oregonian Newspaper.
Emily Sandor is a professional food, travel, and cookbook photographer based in Los Angeles, California. Emily was awarded the prestigious Lucie award for both her food and travel work and has photographed five books to date. Recently she self-published a cook booklet about saffron, based on her personal travels to document the saffron harvest in Northern Greece.
Remember – all are invited and welcome to submit photos. Winners from each category will win $200! Prizes will be announced on September 12, 2021.
Links to submit your photos and full contest rules can be found on our website at https://www.aarbf.org/50th-anniversary-events-and-activities/.
Please share, tag your friends and @aarbf, and submit your photos. We can’t wait to see your amazing photos!
AARBF Sponsors 12 Burn Survivors to Attend Phoenix WBC: Engage
On May 14, 2021, the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors hosted a new virtual program called Phoenix WBC: Engage. This program was designed to have elements of their annual World Burn Congress, hosted each October, but in a one-day format. AARBF was able to assist with the registration expenses for 12 burn survivor/family members to attend. We also had seven staff members attend.
We enjoyed watching J.R. Martinez host the event. The Keynote Speaker was Sonya Renee Taylor, an award-winning poet, activist, author, and transformational leader. In 2011, Sonya founded “The Body is Not An Apology”, an online community cultivating radical self-love and body empowerment. They also had four different learning sessions to choose from on “Getting Back Out There: Tools for Self-Care”, “Skin Care after a Burn Injury”, “Healing with Guided Imagery”, and “Community Reintegration for Youth Burn Survivors.”
If you missed the event, recordings are available on-demand until July 14, 2021 through the Phoenix Society’s website at: https://www.phoenix-society.org/phoenix-wbc-engage/registration.
We Want to Help You Share Your Story
In celebration of the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation’s 50th Anniversary, our hope is to bring more awareness to burn survivors and their stories. Inspired by TED’s mission to create a deeper understanding of the world by spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less), AARBF would like to assist individuals (i.e. burn survivors, volunteers, donors, etc.) to share your story!
Please complete the following form if you are interested in sharing your story and would like the support of AARBF: https://forms.gle/bjdjASaNiwykP6NQ9. This form can also be found on the 50th Anniversary page on our website: https://www.aarbf.org/50th-anniversary-events-and-activities/.
AARBF Attends the Urgency of Civility Conference
AARBF’s Executive Director, Jennifer Radics-Johnson attended the two-day Urgency of Civility Conference hosted by AARBF’s Board President and Founder of The Urgency of Civility Conference, Russ Charvonia! This conference was an action-oriented opportunity to facilitate connections, build bridges, and apply the transformative power of civility within our community. It featured several guest speakers including authors, political figures, organizers and professionals, and professors. Sessions included, “Barriers to Civility”, “Applying Civility”, “Grassroots Civility”, and “Civility in Government.”
AARBF Moderates Spanish Peer Support Chat Group
On May 19, 2021, AARBF’s Senior Regional Manager, Margarita Rodriguez moderated the first ever Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors Spanish Peer Support Chat! The Spanish Peer Support Chat is only available through Facebook where Margarita was joined by Jose Saez, a burn survivor from UC Irvine. This chat group addresses the questions and concerns about burn recovery from participants from all over the world! We are so excited that AARBF and Margarita could be a part of this first session, and we wish the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors continued success on hosting this Spanish Chat group.
To join future chats, sign up for the Spanish Chat group on the Phoenix Society’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/phoenixpeersupportchat.
Burn Survivors and Their Families Enjoy a Virtual Day at the Park
On May 21, 2021, AARBF hosted a Virtual Day at the Park – Carnival Edition! This was a statewide event held in lieu of our annual Day at the Park regional events. We were delighted to have the Prescott Circus join us as our special guest.
Prior to the event, we sent out boxes full of goodies to all who registered. These boxes included cotton candy, animal crackers, juggling balls, face painting supplies, popcorn and other items to get everyone ready for the event!
We had 19 survivors and their families participating in fun activities such as juggling, BINGO, and a pie- eating contest! The parent of one of our participants had this to share:
“My daughter had a great time and could not stop talking about the “circus” all night. She said she wanted everyone from her daycare to come over and sit at the computer and go to the circus with her. Yesterday, she tried to juggle her socks! Thank you for all of your hard work and attention to detail to make the event a great success!”
Countdown to Champ Camp
This year we will be celebrating 35 years of Champ Camp with not one, but two camps! We will be hosting both in-person and virtual camps so parents were able to select the experience that worked best for their family.
On May 26, 2021, AARBF conducted a mandatory Champ Camp Counselor training to teach our volunteer staff the new health and safety procedures we will have in place due to COVID-19.
Be sure to follow @aarbf on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to see all of the Champ Camp fun June 12-18, 2021. We cannot wait to see all of our campers again!
Art Expression - Learning to Express Ourselves through Clay
On May 27, 2021, AARBF hosted Art Expression with special guest speaker, James Bosch. We had 24 attendees and each person received two blocks of clay to work with during the session. James talked everyone through some techniques on how to work with the clay, molding it without really thinking of the end piece. He explained how this piece would be called their “ally”. Towards the end of working with the clay, everyone was asked to take a good look at their work and figure out what it was subconsciously telling them. One attendee realized she was making a leaf. She stated, “I am also going through some ‘growing pains’ and changes in my life, so to me that signified to trust the growing process and that I will come out the other side stronger like a tree.”
We appreciate and thank James Bosch for sharing his time and talent for an hour of learning how to express ourselves through clay! Watch for our next Art Expression session scheduled for August 26, 2021.
Last Chance to Donate to Our Virtual Fundraiser
AARBF’s annual fundraiser, Bows for Dough, Grow Your Stache and our newest addition Champ-on, ends June 9, 2021. Help your favorite fundraising team hit their goal by making a donation today at https://p2p.onecause.com/champyon21.
Thank you to our teams, individual fundraisers and our donors for your support of the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation! We would not be celebrating our 50th Year of Service without the support of people like you!
A Simple Way to Support AARBF
Want to help make a difference while you shop in the Amazon app, at no extra cost to you? Simply follow the instructions below to select “Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation” as your charity and activate AmazonSmile in the app. They’ll donate a portion of your eligible mobile app purchases to us.
How it works:
1. Open the Amazon app on your phone
2. Select the main menu (=) & tap on “AmazonSmile” within Programs & Features
3. Select “Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation” as your charity
4. Follow the on-screen instructions to activate AmazonSmile in the mobile app
These are upcoming events and activities. Please check with your regional office for plans on in-person events.
For Northern California, please contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at email@example.com or 415-495-7223 Ext. 19
For Central California, please contact McKenzie “Bubbles” Dern at firstname.lastname@example.org or 559-286-0710 Ext. 15
For Southern California, please contact Margarita “Cubby” Rodriguez at email@example.com or 818-848-0223 Ext. 16.
June 12-19: Champ Camp
June 24: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Music Expression, contact Daniel “Apollo” Chacon at 415-495-7223 Ext. 18 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 1: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Family and Caregiver Online Support Group, contact Daniel “Apollo” Chacon at 415-495-7223 Ext. 18 or email@example.com to receive log-in information.
July 3: (10:00am – 11:00am), Virtual Yoga, register online at https://www.aarbf.org/yoga/
July 5: ALL AARBF Offices Closed in Observance of the July 4 Holiday
July 6: (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.
July 8: (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.
July 11: (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.
July 13: (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.
July 14: (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.
July 15: (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.
July 20: (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.
July 22: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Writing Expression, contact Daniel “Apollo” Chacon at 415-495-7223 Ext. 18 or email@example.com.
July 29: (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.