I have been known to showcase some smooth dance skills every now and again – not easy for a bear my size. There’s nothing like dancing, especially when combined with singing, to cheer one’s soul. That’s why I am counting the days until CHOC Follies XII: The Princess and the Prius, featuring more than 100 of Orange County’s society, business and civic leaders singing and dancing to raise funds for CHOC Children’s. This hysterical musical production will hit the Robert B. Moore Theater at Orange Coast College on April 2 at 8 p.m., April 3 at 8 p.m., and April 4 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. More information, including ticket prices and sponsorship opportunities, can be found at www.chocfollies.org.
I had such a great time at the inaugural CHOC Cherishes Children Gala – a fundraiser for CHOC Children’s. It was wonderful to see so many supporters (close to 300!) I was a little star-struck by guest of honor Manny Guevara, known to his fans as Manny on the Streets on 102.7 KIIS-FM. Manny is such a cool guy and a regular visitor to the hospital. He accepted the first-ever Children’s Champion Award on behalf of KIIS-FM. As you probably know, KIIS-FM has been a long-time supporter of the hospital and played a key role in helping bring Radio Lollipop to CHOC. We are so thankful for their friendship. We are also so thankful for the support we received by everyone at the gala. An auction that evening helped to increase net proceeds to $335,000 for the night! For those of you who missed the event, stay tuned for details on next year’s gala – or you can find ways to support the hospital on our website www.choc.org.
The kind people at the Ralphs Fund and the Food 4 Less Fund, the philanthropic arms of Ralphs and Food 4 Less, recently donated $25,000 in support of The CHOC Children’s Cancer Institute Adolescent and Young Adult Program. This program gives our teen and adoloscent cancer patients access to the latest clinical protocols and psychosocial services tailored to meet their unique needs. This is not the first gift from the Ralphs and Food 4 Less Funds. Since 1996, they’ve donated more than $213,000. What an awesome demonstration of corporate philanthropy!
I have always counted firefighters among my list of heroes – along with CHOC doctors and nurses, of course. Today, firefighters from the City of Orange were big heroes to our patients for escorting Santa to our campus – despite the rain. Patients gathered in the playrooms to see the big guy in the red suit riding on a firetruck, with sirens blaring, behind the hospital. Santa, along with the firefighters, came into the hospital to spread a little holiday cheer. Our young patients could not take their eyes off of our special guest. (See the photo if you don’t believe me.)
Out of respect for Mr. Claus, I stayed low key – I didn’t want to take the attention away from him.