October 2022 Burn Bulletin

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October 2022 Burn Bulletin

Join AARBF’s 50th Celebration Auction

This just in! The 50th Celebration Auction is now open! If you’re not able to join us on Saturday, but still want in on the fun, you can visit our auction site and start bidding now.

All bidders will be using the same online bid portal so they track status and get notifications if you’ve been outbid, both live or from the comfort of your couch. The auction will close during our 50th Celebration on October 15, 2022.

Click here to see the all the awesome items and get a head start on your bids.

Click here to visit our 50th Celebration page for instructions on the online bidding registration and process. Happy Bidding!

Make Being Prepared a Top Priority

September is National Preparedness Month and it is a great reminder to review with your family what to do in an emergency situation. In California, it is especially important to prepare for wildfires.

AARBF offers both wildfire preparedness and recovery tools. That’s why we have combined the wildfire prevention and recovery information on our website. Simply visit https://www.aarbf.org/wildfirepreparedness/ to access the Wildfire P.R.E.P.A.R.E. Guide, Children & Recovery from Wildfires booklet, Psychological Impact of Wildfires on Burn and Trauma Survivors flyer, and Wildfire Support Guide to learn about the assistance we can provide to wildfire burn survivors.

Everything you need – all in one place!

Burn Survivors Enjoy a Great Getaway

On September 3-5, 2022, we hosted our annual Getaway Family Camp. The weekend was amazing! Burn survivors and their loved ones were able to join workshop/support group, campfire, bingo night, and s’mores at campfire. In addition, they enjoyed many camp activities such as archery tag, archery, climbing wall, high ropes, swimming, and the giant water slide. We also brought back our dance night, which was perfect timing since we had a music-themed Getaway. Thank you to Figgy and Apollo for facilitating a workshop focused on Healing Through Music.

We would to thank our fabulous volunteers: Nemo, Lentil, Ricky Rescue, Viper, Chop, Hamster, Rajah, Figgy, Apollo, Scooter, Pine Cone, and Cubby for all their hard work!

Remembering Alisa Ann on Her Birthday

AARBF has spent the last 50 years preventing burn injuries through education, including, “Stop, Drop and Roll” as well as working to enhance the quality of life of those affected by burn injuries.  This mission was born out of tragedy.

On Memorial Day weekend in 1970, Alisa Ann Ruch, her father and her brother, were all injured in a backyard barbecue accident. Unfortunately, Alisa succumbed to her injuries. Alisa’s mother, Diane, wanted to keep Alisa’s name alive and worked with Los Angeles City and County Firefighters and medical professionals to form the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation. Little did Diane know she would be turning her mourning into a movement that would (and has) impacted millions of people over the last 50 years.

On September 8, 2022, we dedicated our social media to Alisa Ann in remembrance of her birthday. If you would like to help us honor her memory by making a $50 donation, so that we can continue to provide valuable life-saving burn prevention education, and support services to burn survivors for the next 50 years, please visit our website to make your gift today at: https://www.aarbf.org/make-an-impact/support-us/donate/. Thank you.

Virtual Hangout and Town Hall

On September 14, 2022, AARBF was proud to offer two virtual events to support our burn survivor youth and their families with back-to-school concerns. We know that school re-entry can be a stressful time for the child and family. Whether it is your child’s first time back to school after their burn injury or they are transitioning to a new school, AARBF is here as a resource to address staring, bullying and empowering burn survivors on how they can communicate their burn story.

Our re-entry program is based on the Phoenix Society’s Journey Back program. Recognizing that going back to school and being with their friends is an important step in a young bur survivor’s social recovery, Journey Back addresses the academic, physical, social and emotional aspects of the recovery process.

If you would like to learn more about our school re-entry program, please contact your Regional Manager or email us at info@aarbf.org.

SoCal Golf Tournament Raises $30,000

On Monday, September 19, 2022, participants in the 39th Annual Southern California Golf Tournament enjoyed a beautiful day at the Via Verde Country Club in San Dimas. AARBF’s Katie Szymczak and Daniel Chacon had a great time visiting with attendees at the event, including long-time supporters Ken and Toni Hewett.

This year’s event raised over $30,000! We appreciate everyone who attended and sponsored the event. We would like to give a special thank you to Red Pointe Roofing, John Patterson, Arcadia Firefighters Association, and Pasadena Fire Department for all of your hard work and dedication to making this event a success.

SPARC Hosts First Live Presentation in Santa Clara

On September 20, 2022, AARBF volunteer, Andrew Mersmann conducted a live presentation of SPARC at the Santa Clara Senior Center. SPARC is an acronym for Senior Prevention and Risk Conversations and is a burn prevention program geared towards older adults. Andrew spent about an hour speaking to the thirteen guests on ways they can prevent burn injuries as well as how they can share their knowledge with others. Thank you, Andrew!

We would also like to thank the Santa Clara Fire Department for co-hosting this presentation, as well as AARBF’s Daniel Chacon, Scott Wertz and Board President, Lea Elder for supporting Andrew.

Click here for more information about the SPARC program. If you would like to bring SPARC to your community, please email us at info@aarbf.org.

The Burn Relay Returns to Southern California

On Saturday, September 24, 2022, we saw the return of the Southern California Firefighters Burn Relay. We made several stops throughout the day. We would like to thank Santa Fe Springs for hosting us at Rio Hondo College Fire Academy and providing coffee and donuts, Alhambra for hosting us at Alhambra Fire Training Facility providing snacks and refreshments and Manhattan Beach for hosting us at Manhattan Beach Fire Station 1 and providing lunch. We also had volunteers and burn survivors joining us, including the Aymar family, Bob, Leslie, Megan, Amy, and Lindsey, as well as Ken Polhill and his son. We would also like to give a huge thank you to Josh Kueng, who coordinated the relay as well as his wife Stacey and son Nash, for joining us.

Thank you also to the agencies who participated in this event: Alhambra Firefighters Association, Arcadia Firefighters Association Community Fund, Downey Firemen’s Association IAFF Local 3473, Santa Fe Springs Firefighters Association, Santa Monica Firefighters Relief, Manhattan Beach Firefighters Burn Foundation, Compton Fire Department, Monrovia Fire Department, Montebello Fire Department, Torrance Firefighters Association, Redondo Fire Department, El Segundo Fire Department and San Gabriel Fire Department.

Annual Golf Tournaments Benefit AARBF

On September 24, 2022, AARBF’s Daniel Chacon joined the members of Sprinkler Fitters Local 483 at their annual golf tournament in the Castro Valley. This year marked their 25th tournament where they raise funds for both AARBF and their Scholarship and Community Fund. Local 483 has donated over $415,750 to AARBF since they began our partnership.

Daniel Chacon also attended the Northern California Fire Prevention Officers Association (NorCal FPO)’s 12th Annual Golf Tournament on September 30, 2022 in Vallejo. AARBF has been honored to collaborate with NorCal FPO in public education for fire and burn prevention.

Thank you Sprinkler Fitters Local 483 and NorCal FPO for your generous support of AARBF!

AARBF Participates in the IAFF International Burn Camp

On September 24-30, 2022, AARBF sent one Champ Camp camper and one counselor to the IAFF International Burn Camp. IAFF is the acronym for the International Association of Fire Fighters. This special Burn Camp is for teen burn survivors in the United States and Canada.

AARBF was honored to have the opportunity to participate, sending our camper, Kendall, and counselor, Marissa, from the Central region. They had this to say about their experience, “We are both so extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to attend IAFF International Burn Camp. It was a once in a lifetime experience. We loved being at the Arlington National Cemetery, watching the ceremony/changing of the guards at the tomb of the unknown soldiers, viewing the White House, Washington Monument and all the war memorials. We had spectacular sunrises and sunsets that we enjoyed every day! And we enjoyed meeting and making so many new friends from around the country and Canada. It was such an amazing experience and it’s truly special to watch our burn family continue to grow. Everyone was so welcoming and accepting.”

Thank you, IAFF, for providing a memorable experience for Kendall and Marissa!

Tickets On Sale Now for the Dinner & Dance

Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available for this year’s Dinner & Dance returning to Clovis on December 10, 2022. Space for this event is limited and we sold out early last year. So, round up your friends and join us! Visit our website at https://www.aarbf.org/dinner-and-dance-2022/ to learn more.

Volunteer Opportunties:

Please check with your regional office for more information on upcoming volunteer opportunities.

For Northern California, please contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at swertz@aarbf.org or 415-495-7223 Ext. 19

For Central California, please contact McKenzie “Bubbles” Dern at mdern@aarbf.org or 559-286-0710 Ext. 15

For Southern California, please contact Margarita “Cubby” Rodriguez at mrodriguez@aarbf.org or 818-848-0223 Ext. 16

Upcoming Events:

October 9-15: Fire Prevention Week

October 15: (5:30pm – 10:00pm) 50th Anniversary Celebration in Southern California

October 26: Alameda County Firefighter ALCO Masters Golf Tournament, contact Katie Szymczak at kszymczak@aarbf.org for more information.



November 6: (1:30pm – 3:30pm), SoCal Survivors Online Support Group, contact Daniel “Apollo” Chacon at 415-495-7223 Ext. 18 or dchacon@aarbf.org to receive log-in information.

November 1: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Santa Clara Valley Medical Online Support Group, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at swertz@aarbf.org or 415-495-7223 Ext. 19 to receive log-in information.

November 3: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Caregiver Support Group – Online Video Support, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at swertz@aarbf.org or 415-495-7223 Ext. 19 to receive log-in information.

November 8: (6:30pm – 8:00pm), Fresno Community Regional Medical Center Online Support Group, contact McKenzie “Bubbles” Dern at mdern@aarbf.org or 559-286-0710 Ext. 15 to receive log-in information.

November 9: (6:30pm – 8:00pm), East Bay Burn Online Support Group, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at swertz@aarbf.org or 415-495-7223 Ext. 19 to receive log-in information.

November 10: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Burn Care Professionals Support Group, contact Daniel “Apollo” Chacon at 415-495-7223 Ext. 18 or dchacon@aarbf.org to receive log-in information.

November 15: (6:00pm – 7:30pm), Spanish-Speaking Online Burn Survivor Support Group, contact Daniel “Apollo” Chacon at 415-495-7223 Ext. 18 or dchacon@aarbf.org to receive log-in information.

November 17: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Statewide Support Group – Online, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at swertz@aarbf.org or 415-495-7223 Ext. 19 to receive log-in information.

November 24 & 25: ALL AARBF Offices Closed for Thanksgiving

November TBD: (11:30am – 1:00pm), Saint Francis Online Support Group, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at swertz@aarbf.org or 415-495-7223 Ext. 19 to receive log-in information.

November TBD: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Writing Expression, contact Daniel “Apollo” Chacon at dchacon@aarbf.org or 415-495-7223 Ext. 18.

If you missed any of our past Burn Bulletins, please check out our archives.