Choco, A Treasured Part of CHOC’s History…and Disney’s?

It’s CHOC Walk time again! And as we anxiously wait for Sunday’s festivities, we can’t help but reflect upon the long-standing relationship between CHOC Children’s and our CHOC Walk host and presenting sponsor, the Disneyland Resort.

Did you know that Choco Bear, the beloved mascot for CHOC, was born on the drawing board of artist Bob Moore at Disneyland? Disneyland had volunteered to help create a logo long before CHOC ever opened. Choco was first designed as a two dimensional logo, and through the years evolved into a three dimensional character.

The history of these organizations, two Orange County staples, goes way back. Walt Disney first formed a bond with the hospital in 1960, when he was appointed as one of the founding members of CHOC’s executive council. Decades later, the support continues with Disneyland Resort President George A. Kalogridis serving on CHOC’s board of directors, and most recently, a $5 million donation from the Disneyland Resort to CHOC’s comprehensive fund-raising campaign.

Choco Bear and CHOC Children’s President and CEO, Kimberly Chavalas Cripe stand in the new main lobby of CHOC Children’s Hospital, after a key ceremony in Sept. commemorating substantial completion of the new tower, set to open in Spring 2013.

Choco, however, is perhaps one of the most nostalgic treasures in the history that the two organizations share.

Today, Choco is recognized wherever he goes and continues to be the comforting and lovable mascot to all of the patients and families CHOC is privileged to serve, and the entire community.

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One thought on “Choco, A Treasured Part of CHOC’s History…and Disney’s?”

  1. Back in 1964 when I was 7 years old I had my first heart cath at CHOC when it had just opened. They gave me a soft golden yellow Choco Bear Head Pillow, I scrunched it the whole night before the angiogram. I had my second cath in 1974 also at CHOC, no pillow this time =( both were done by Dr Stanley Kagel. He had the most amazing rooms to be seen in. Big murals on the walls, one had it as if were in a spaceship looking out with buttons and screens and birds with space helmet looking in painted on wall of the room. Five years ago at Hoag I finally had an AVR with a mechanical one. I go tic-toc now instead of lub-swish like I used to with what my congenital aortic deformed third leaflet sounded like. =D CHOC has so much more for children now then did when I first went. It’s more family and friends involement, which is much better for the child in getting better and feeling comfortable there.

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