National Burn Awareness Week 2019
In honor of National Burn Awareness Week in the month of February, Throughout the week, burn survivors that have utilized the the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundations’ highlighted inspiring stories of burn survivors that have benefited from AARBF programs and services were featured on our social media pages. We shared incredible burn stories from Lea “Kamikaze” Elder and her brother, Michael “Buddy” Knopf, Tina “Skittles” Martinez, Nicole “Mochi” Chi, Amanda “Silly Goose” and Shannon “Goofball” Collins, Joseph “Baby Bear” Johannsen, and Erika “Kika” Mendoza.
National Burn Awareness Week (NBAW), observed the first full week in February, is a window of opportunity for organizations to mobilize burn, fire and life safety educators to unite in sharing a common burn awareness and prevention message in our communities. This year NBAW was held February 3-8, 2019, and the theme was scald injuries.
Did you know, an estimated 376,950 scald burn injuries associated with consumer household appliances and products were seen in hospital emergency rooms in the U.S. between 2013-2017; 78,526 (21%) of these occurred to children 4 years old and younger? Between 2007 – 2017, the proportion of burn center admissions due to scald burns has continued to increase each year (from 29.8% to 34.7%). Scald burns (from hot water, other liquids, and steam) comprise 35% of overall burn injuries admitted to U.S. burn centers. However, 61% of these occur to children less than 5 years old. These statistics were compiled by the American Burn Association and can be accessed here:
Please go to our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/AlisaAnnRuchBurnFoundation/, to read the stories in full and get caught up on everything AARBF.
Raising Money Across the Central Valley
We cannot properly express how grateful we are to the firefighters of the Central Valley for another very successful Central Valley Firefighters’ Burn Relay! On February 7, 2019, during National Burn Awareness Week (NBAW) and with the assistance of the CHP – Central Division, six fire departments made seven stops at fire stations throughout Madera and Fresno Counties. Approximately 50 firefighters and volunteers “ran” a parade of fire engines from station to station recognizing donations and bringing awareness to AARBF and burn prevention. This year’s relay raised an amazing $102,400 and we could not be more grateful for this region’s dedication to the burn community and fire/burn prevention!! We would like to thank all the firefighters that participated this year and continue to support AARBF.
Stop 1 – Our first stop was with CAL FIRE Madera-Mariposa-Merced where they graciously hosted breakfast and allowed us all to meet and get ready to go. CAL FIRE Fire Fighters Local 2881 – MMU Chapter presented a check from the CDF Firefighters Benevolent Foundation for $1,000.
Stop 2 – Our second stop was at Clovis Fire Department with a massively generous donation from the Clovis Firefighters Association – Local 1695 and Emerald Society for $90,000. The Clovis Firefighters were able to raise these funds with their annual Clovis Firefighters Dinner and Dance, an annual silent auction and dinner event that will be taking place on December 7th this year!
Stop 3 – City of Sanger Fire Department was our third stop and home to our Champ Camp that takes place at Wonder Valley Ranch Resort & Conference Center. The Sanger firefighters generously donated $500 to AARBF.
Stop 4 – At the CAL FIRE/Fresno County Fire, Sanger Station stop, the CDF Firefighters Benevolent Foundation again donated a very generous $1,000 and provided snacks for all the participants.
Stop 5 – Our 5th stop was at the Reedley Volunteer Fire Department where we recognized the amazing contribution the Reedley Firemen’s Association and Reedley Fire Department Explorer Post 57 make every year by cooking dinner for all the campers at Waterslide Day of Champ Camp and providing donations of food and toys for our Annual Central Valley Holiday Party.
Stop 6 – Our stop at the Selma Fire Department highlighted the amazing job that Firefighter Gerald Reeser and the Selma Firefighters have done to secure a grant from the Selma Healthcare District for $16,142 to ensure that every student in Selma receives our Firefighters in Safety Education (FISE) burn prevention program!
Stop 7 – We concluded our relay at Fresno Fire Department Headquarters – Fire Museum with a delicious lunch from Mediterranean Grill & Cafe and two extremely generous donations. The Fresno Fire Chief’s Foundation more than doubled their donation from last year with $8,000 and the Fresno City Firefighters – Local 753 with a donation of $1,500!
A special thank you to FFD Firefighter, Eric Hanson, for helping to coordinate this relay and spending so much of his time making this the best year yet! We would also like to thank Officers Justin Foraker and Rob Montano of the CHP – Central Division for keeping us safe and on track for our relay!
Last but certainly not least, we would like to thank burn survivors Pradnya B., Bryant M. and his sister, Elizabeth, and Peter “Chop Suey” Reynaga for coming along on the relay to talk about the significant impact that AARBF and Champ Camp have had on their lives. We also truly appreciate past Champ Camp Counselors and volunteers, Dave “D” Allan and Tracy “Spunky” Allan-Ross, for joining us and contributing towards the cost of our lunch. This year was a great one to say the least and we cannot wait to see what 2020 will hold!
Over President’s Day weekend, February 16-18, 2019, we hosted our Young Adult Summit (YAS) Burn Survivor Event for young adults at Camp Ocean Pines. There were 34 burn survivors in attendance, along with 19 volunteers and staff. A big thank you to our volunteers Kamikaze, Buggy, Lil’ Bear, Mara, Chris, Shelly (chi), Chief, Patch, Dash, Butterbean, Rocks, Murray and Pat from Canada, Brooklyn, Zinger, Monkey, and Buc for all of their assistance and dedication to helping these young burn survivor’s to become more well-rounded and responsible adults.
Mission Ready was the weekend’s theme and we were so fortunate to have beautiful weather, with some rainy days and incredibly clear days. We had workshops regarding nutrition, exercise, taxes, cooking and hygiene. We had a dancing lesson in the apparatus bay of Calfire Station 10 in Cambria and had a fantastic etiquette dinner put together by our very own professional chef, Buggy!
We are so grateful to all the young burn survivors that joined us on this important trip and to all our volunteers for your continued support and general AWESOMENESS.
All the Crab You Can Eat!
On February 16, 2019, the Santa Clara Firefighters Foundation hosted another incredibly successful, and fun, Crab Feed! The Santa Clara Fire Department Firefighters accommodated nearly 300 people for absolutely delicious dinner and a fun raffle and silent auction. Silent auction items were everything from sports memorabilia to a private tour of Disney Pixar, charitably donated by an employee there.
The Santa Clara Firefighters Foundation is generously donating $5,000 from the proceeds of this event to AARBF and we can not express our gratitude for these firefighter’s continued support and commitment to AARBF and Champ Camp!
Mindset is Key
Also over President’s Day weekend, February 16 – 18, 2019, we hosted The Retreat, our annual Adult Burn Survivor event, at the beautiful Camp Ocean Pines.
This 3-day weekend is an intensive wellness event, developed by burn survivors for burn survivors. The weekend consists of workshops and support groups that promote healing, self-discovery and socialization. We had a total of 28 burn survivors join us for this beautiful weekend. In addition, there were 8 volunteers and staff that also accompanied us and truly made this weekend amazing with their wisdom and huge hearts. A huge thank you to our lead volunteer, Teague “Raven” Cowley for leading us through this weekend alongside; James, Cindy, Wendy, Zach, Lea and Steve. They put so much work and effort into making this the best experience yet! We also would love to give a special thank you to Minnie Haraway from Yoga for the Burn Survivor for leading the group in an outdoor yoga session, and Kimberly for providing a delicious dinner that the group enjoyed at Piedras Blancas Light Station.
The three-day weekend consisted of workshops like; mindset, self-esteem, guided meditation, yoga, art expression, stress management, decision making, fun group activities and games!
Some feedback from the burn survivors who attended included: “The amount of love in this new community I have been burned into has and will make a huge difference in my life” … “I feel like I can truly love myself now” … “It helped me feel not alone and that others can understand” … “That I found a community of Burn survivors!” … “It helps me cope.”
Presenting on Prevention
On February 19, 2019, our Assistant Director, Daniel “Apollo” Chacon, had the opportunity to give a presentation about Burn Injuries and Prevention Efforts in Pediatrics to the members of Safe Kids Alameda County. At this meeting, Daniel shared how AARBF is using its Firefighters in Safety Education (FISE) program to educate children and families throughout California.
To learn more about our FISE program, please click here: http://firefightersinsafetyeducation.com/
Welcome to the Team!
Please join us in welcoming Scott “Scooter” Wertz as the newest member of the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation (AARBF) team! As our new Northern California Regional Manager, Scott’s involvement with the foundation began on the other side, receiving services and attending support groups as a burn survivor himself. Scott started volunteering with AARBF during his recovery process and has been an integral part of Champ Camp and other regional trips since 2015. Scott brings a useful perspective as a survivor to his work with the foundation, joining the team after volunteering with both the Northern and Southern California sides of AARBF. He brings with him a Bachelor of Science in Statistics from Drexel University in Philadelphia, adding a valuable set of skills to the team.
Scott’s background gives him the ability to relate to our survivors in a unique way, but his kindness, empathy, and desire to provide meaningful services to the community is what ultimately makes him a great addition to AARBF. He is acutely aware of the impact the foundation’s work can have on survivors, and is proud to give back to the community that provided such profound support during a life-altering phase of his life. As the Northern California Regional Manager, Scott both works to serve burn survivors and their families through their journeys of recovery and to support AARBF’s efforts to prevent these injuries, starting in Northern California Schools with the Firefighters in Safety Education (FISE) program.
Scott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 495-7223 ext. 19.
Bringing “Firefighters in Safety Education” to Sanger
On February 21, 2019, our Assistant Director, Daniel “Apollo” Chacon, and our Central Valley Regional Manager, Erika “Kika” Corona-Mendoza, met with City of Sanger Fire Department Firefighters Greg, Adam and Brian to discuss implementing our “Firefighters in Safety Education” (FISE) program into the City of Sanger School District. Sanger City Fire Department has decided to move forward and FISE will now become a part of their fire and burn prevention education and community outreach programs. The firefighters will soon be out in their local schools teaching elementary school students the seven key skills necessary to prevent burns. We are very excited to further our partnership with the community of Sanger and help keep their citizens safe!
On February 27, 2019, our Assistant Director, Daniel “Apollo” Chacon, and our Central Valley Regional Manager, Erika “Kika” Corona-Mendoza, met with Shriners Hospital in Sacramento to establish a connection and strengthen the relationship we have with the hospital and it’s burn unit staff. A big focus is getting services to the families there and providing support to the hospital, as well as with financial assistance. We had the opportunity to share more about the foundation and all the services we are able to provide year round for not just the burn survivor, but the family as a whole. Erika was excited to bump into Dr. Greenhaulgh, who was her first doctor when she was first transferred to Shriners Hospital back in 1997! It was an overall great meeting and we look forward to strengthening our relationship with Shriners!
April Hot List!
April 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 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.
• Central California Volunteer Opportunities
Please contact Erika “Kika” Corona-Mendoza at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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!
• April 2: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Santa Clara Valley Medical Support Group, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-495-7223 x19 with any questions.
• April 3: (6:30pm – 8:00pm), East Bay Burn Support Group, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at email@example.com or 415-495-7223 x19 with any questions.
• April 6: SoCal Zoo Day, contact Margarita “Cubby” Rodriguez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 818-848-0223 Ext. 16 with any questions.
• April 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.
• April 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.
• April 7 – 13: National Volunteer Appreciation Week
• April 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.
• April 10: (6:30pm – 8:00pm), Santa Rosa Support Group, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-495-7223 x19 with any questions.
• April 11: (6:30pm – 8:30pm), Volunteer Appreciation Week Awards and Open House Event, contact Stephanie “Pocahontas” Boydell at email@example.com or 415-495-7223 Ext. 17 with any questions.
• April 11: (6:00pm – 7:30pm), Modesto Support Group, contact Erika “Kika” Corona-Mendoza at firstname.lastname@example.org or 559-621-4016 with any questions.
• April 13: Colma Fire Department Chicken and Polenta Dinner, contact Stephanie “Pocahontas” Boydell at email@example.com or 415-495-7223 Ext. 17 with any questions.
• April 13 – 14: Monterey Bay Aquarium Trip, contact Erika “Kika” Corona-Mendoza at firstname.lastname@example.org or 559-621-4016 with any questions.
• April 15: Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation 48th Anniversary
• April 25: (11:30am – 1:00pm), Saint Francis Hospital Burn Support Group, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at email@example.com or 415-495-7223 x19 with any questions.
• April 27: Santa Clara Co. Fire Department Pancake Breakfast, contact Stephanie “Pocahontas” Boydell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-495-7223 Ext. 17 with any questions.