Central CA Regional Message – May 2022

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Central CA Regional Message – May 2022

My name is McKenzie Dern and I am the Regional Manager for Central California. Below is my message to you for the month of May 2022.

Happy May! Spring is here and do you know what that means? The countdown to Champ Camp is on!! I hope to see you there for another amazing year at Wonder Valley.

If you are a burn survivor and family member and wish to be added to our monthly email, please email info@aarbf.org and indicate your region.

Phoenix: Engage 2022

May 14, 2022

Registration is open for Phoenix: Engage 2022 on May 14, 2022! This is a global, virtual event that will have many familiar Phoenix WBC elements, only in a single day format. To register, please visit the Phoenix Society’s website at https://events.phoenix-society.org/engage2022/begin.

AARBF is now accepting scholarship applications to assist with the registration fee for this event. Don’t delay, fill out your application today at https://forms.gle/5GDh5rPjFrwL2ASc8. Application closes on May 6, 2022.

Central CA Day at the Park

May 14, 2022

Join us for a Day at the Park where you can have fun, eat, play games and spend time with other burn survivors and their families. The event will be held at Gettysburg Park. You’ll want to be sure to bring lawn chairs, blanket, sun hats and plenty of sunblock! We’ll be at the park from 11:00 AM – 2:00PM.

It’s not too late to join us! Click here to register by Friday, May 6, 2022.

Champ Camp 2022

June 11-18, 2022

Registration is now open – click here to register!

Champ Camp is a week-long, residential summer camp experience for child burn survivors ages 5-17, who have been treated at California hospitals or are current residents of California.

Champ Camp is free to all burn survivors and it is fully staffed by medical doctors, nurses, program staff, volunteers and counselors – many of whom are also burn unit nurses, burn doctors, adult burn survivors and firefighters. Activities at the camp include fishing, horseback riding, crafts, canoeing, archery, water slides, camp fire, a dance, and team building activities. The main focus of camp is for burn survivors to have fun and just be kids away from medical procedures and financial hardships. Camp provides a safe environment where burn survivors can play, learn, grow, gain self-esteem, and make new friends.

Click here to visit the Champ Camp page to learn more about this program.

Movement Expression

May 26, 2022

Join us for this month’s Expression Session – Movement Expression! Tiffane “Lala” Wheeler will share how she found healing through movement and then she’ll lead you through a mindful yoga practice incorporating breath, affirmations, and visualization.

Click here to register.

Woody and Louise Reed Bridge to Life Scholarships

Registration is now open.

Are you pursuing an education after high school? Whether it is at a university or technical institution, you are encouraged to apply for the Woody and Louise Reed Bridge to Life Scholarship.

The Woody and Louise Reed Bridge to Life Scholarship program provides support to burn survivors and their family members 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.

For requirements and eligibility, visit our website at https://www.aarbf.org/project/bridge-to-life-scholarship/ and download the application. Don’t delay, the application closes on June 24, 2022.

Champy-On Fundraiser

Now – June 10, 2022

The Champy-On fundraiser kicked off on April 15, with a challenge from our Young Adult Council! If you haven’t formed a team yet, there is still time to get in on the fun, with prizes to be awarded throughout the fundraising campaign!

Visit the Champy-On fundraising page at https://p2p.onecause.com/champyon22 to create a team or support an existing team today!

Support Groups

Fresno Community Regional Medical Center – May 10, 2022 from 6:00pm – 7:30pm. This is an in-person regional support group open to both survivors and their family members. Currently this group is meeting virtually, but will convert back to an in-person group as soon as it is safe to do so. Contact me at mdern@aarbf.org to register.

Caregiver – May 5, 2022 from 7:00pm – 8:30pm. This is an online state-wide support group for family members, care givers and loved ones of burn survivors. This group is closed to burn survivors. To register, please contact Daniel Chacon at dchacon@aarbf.org.

Spanish Speaking – May 17, 2022 from 7:00pm – 8:30pm. This is an online support group specifically designed for Spanish-speaking burn survivors. To register, please contact Margarita Rodriguez at mrodriguez@aarbf.org.

Statewide – May 19, 2022 from 7:00pm – 8:30pm. This is an online support group open to both burn survivors and their loved ones throughout California. To register, please contact Daniel Chacon at dchacon@aarbf.org.

Peer Support – Not everyone is comfortable in a group setting, which is why the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation offers one-on-one Peer Support. Peer Support is a power tool for healing from a burn trauma. There is something magical that happens when one survivor sits and shares their experience and healing process with another. Peer support can relieve the feeling of being all alone in your experience. Peer support can come in many forms; a burn survivor talking to another burn survivor, a parent talking to another parent or loved one. This service is not limited to burn survivors. A burn injury can affect the entire family, caregivers and other loved ones. Contact me at mdern@aarbf.org to get started today.

Back to School Support (available upon request) – Contact me at mdern@aarbf.org to learn more about this program.

Featured Videos

AARBF’s Multimedia Resource Library includes tip sheets, videos, stories, and so much more. Video content within the library has been developed by the AARBF Community; including our staff, volunteers, burn survivors and community partners! Below are our featured videos for May!


When was the last time you paid attention to how you were breathing? You’ll be surprised how much it can affect your life…and your energy.

Acts of Kindness

Follow along with Pradnya “Pretzel” Bergdahl and she shares the benefits of kindness as well as how to get started.

Introduction to Photography

This video will only cover the very basics of manual photography – ISO, shutter speed, and aperture.