For Devin Hugie, director of facilities at CHOC, a tiny patient close to his heart makes it extra special to participate in the CHOC Walk in the Park.
But Devin’s participation in the CHOC Walk actually began more than a decade ago – long before he was an employee. His wife was looking for a community event in which their family could get involved, and started a team for their family. Their daughter Ashlie, in junior high at the time, would voluntarily go door-to-door to raise funds. The family was well aware of everything CHOC did for children in the community, and they continued to support the CHOC Walk throughout the years.
In 2012, when an opportunity opened up to work for CHOC, Devin jumped at the chance to join the CHOC family. As an employee, he became even more involved with the CHOC Walk and formed “Team Hope.” The now 50-member team, which includes Devin’s family, friends, and partners of the facilities department, has raised close to $10,000, their fundraising goal for this year. Devin has personally raised $4,250, making him one of the top fundraising walkers.
Proceeds from the CHOC Walk help fund education, research, and advance the health and well-being of children. More than 15,000 people are expected to attend this year.
“I’m blessed to be at CHOC. It really is about the kids and I can’t think of a more awesome cause,” Devin says.
In March 2014, this important cause hit even closer to home. Devin’s grandson, Noah, was unexpectedly admitted to CHOC’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for an infection in his lung. It was a scary time for Devin’s daughter, Ashlie — Noah’s mom — and the rest of the family. Today, Noah is a happy and healthy toddler, and the family is even more inspired to give back through the CHOC Walk.
“I’ve always known the great work that we do, but when a loved one becomes a patient, it becomes more real. The care that my grandson received made it even more amazing to be a part of CHOC. I am so grateful,” Devin says.
The dedicated, fun-loving grandfather hopes his story will inspire others to get involved and give back.
“The morning of the Walk is filled with excitement,” he says. “You see all the various teams and the pictures of the many kids whose lives CHOC has touched; you feel grateful to be part of the bigger picture.”
The CHOC Walk in the Park presented by Disneyland Resort will be held October 30, 2016. Register today.