LLU Children’s Hospital gala surpasses $500,000 goal
Guests, friends, and local business supporters of Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital raised $523,370 at the 14th annual Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital Foundation gala held at the Riverside Convention Center on Sunday, February 25. Presenting the check is (right) Larry Sharp, chair of the Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital Foundation Board. Accepting the check are (from left) Ruthita J. Fike, MA, chief executive officer and administrator, Loma Linda University Medical Center; Dixie Watkins, chair, 2007 Foundation board gala committee; Donald Moores, MD, chief, division of pediatric surgery; and Zareh Sarrafian, MBA, administrator, Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital.
Guests, friends, and local business supporters of Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital raised $523,370 at the 14th annual Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital Foundation gala held at the Riverside Convention Center on Sunday, February 25.
Approximately 850 individuals attended the “It’s a Jungle Out There” gala presented by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.
“Each year we are privileged to select a Children’s Hospital unit to benefit from your caring and generosity,” said Larry Sharp, chair of the LLUCH Foundation Board, in his introductory remarks. “Tonight, all proceeds will support the pediatric trauma services, a department that treats children who are facing the most devastating injuries.”
Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital is one of only 13 level I trauma children’s hospitals in the country. Loma Linda’s pediatric trauma team serves the four county area of San Bernardino, Riverside, Mono, and Inyo counties and provides medical care for nearly 5,000 children annually.
Presenting sponsor for the evening was the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.
The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is among more than 50 Inland Empire businesses and nonprofit organizations supporting the pioneering work done at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital.
The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians shares with the hospital and its community a belief that the actions of today have a d
Arlene Willis Lewis (at podium), a lifetime resident of San Bernardino County, accepts the Shirley N. Pettis Award for her outstanding work with children.
irect effect on the health and well-being of future generations.
Over the years, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has grown as both a government and business entity to welcome some 3,500 individuals into its family of employees.
Several awards were presented during the evening. Receiving the Shirley N. Pettis Award was Arlene Willis Lewis, a lifetime resident of San Bernardino County, and chief of staff and spouse to Congressman Jerry Lewis, who represents California’s 41st congressional district.
The Shirley N. Pettis Award recognizes outstanding dedication and distinguished service of individuals to children. Through their volunteerism and community service, the award winners have demonstrated the desire and motivation to improve the lives of Inland Empire children. The award was named after Shirley N. Pettis-Roberson, who served in the 94th and 95th congress of the United States and was founding chair of the Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital Foundation Board.
Ms. Lewis, a graduate of San Bernardino High School, began her career as a legal assistant working for several San Bernardino and Los Angeles law firms. She began her work in the political arena in 1967 as a district office assistant for Congressman Jerry Pettis, who then represented all of San Bernardino County.
In 1968, she became the administrative assistant to newly-elected assemblyman Jerry Lewis, working first in his local office and moving to Sacramento in 1974.
In 1978, Jerry Lewis w
Students from Redlands Adventist Academy lead the audience in the pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.
as elected to the United States Congress and Ms. Lewis joined his Washington, D.C., office, continuing her role as his chief of staff. In her duties, she has assisted Congressman Lewis in spearheading a number of important national and local issues.
Local projects that Ms. Lewis has worked on include the development of the innovative Lewis Center for Education Research in Apple Valley and creation of a new Boys and Girls Club of Redlands. She has also assisted in obtaining resources for a number of youth recreational facilities in the community. Additionally, Ms. Lewis has mentored and assisted numerous local young people through public service internships, fellowships, and nominations to the nation’s military academies.
Ms. Lewis is active in several charities including foundations and guilds for Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, the Boys and Girls Club of Redlands, the Foundation for Fighting Blindness, and N Street Village.
Receiving the 2006 Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital Foundation Hometown Heroes Award were Debi Faris-Cifelli and Bernadette Gallagher.
Ms. Faris-Cifelli was inspired in 1996 to begin the Garden of Angels to bury abandoned babies, after hearing a news report about an unidentified baby found dead. Now she is able to give many abandoned babies a loving burial through her organization.
Through her work and advocacy she has helped to implement the “safe arms-safe haven” law that has been passed in 48 states. Th
Receiving the 2006 Hometown Heroes Award are Bernadette Gallagher (second from left) and Debi Faris-Cifelli (third from left). Presenting the awards are Mr. Sharp (left) and Mr. Sarrafian.
is law allows a mother to legally and confidentially surrender her baby within three days of birth at a hospital, to emergency department personnel, or at most fire stations.
Ms. Gallagher works as the attendance liaison in the Fontana Unified School District and continues to find new ways to reach out to her community.
While her job description asks her to serve as the liaison between student, school, and home, she has been known to arrange transportation for students, at times picking them up and taking them to school or appointments before her regular work day starts, and arrange for food and clothing.
This past year, Ms. Gallagher has worked with a nonprofit organization, Shoes That Fit, to bring new, name-brand shoes to children who were nominated by local teachers.
The Hometown Heroes Award was established in 1997 to recognize contributions of individuals who share the passion for children and help enrich the quality of life in the local community. The hometown heroes are nominated by individuals in the Inland Empire and selected by a panel of previous hometown heroes.
Proceeds from the evening were designated for the pediatric trauma services at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. Last year, nearly 5,000 children received trauma care at Children’s Hospital.
“While the leading causes of injury are motor vehicle accidents and falls,” says Donald Moores, MD, chief, division of pediatric surgery at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, “children need trauma care for a variety of reasons including near drowning, child abuse, and snake bites.
“In addition to saving lives through the quick action of the trauma team, Children’s Hospital works to help prevent injuries from occurring by reaching out to the community through programs like Safe Kids, Youth Alternative Sentenc-ing, and Tattoo Removal.”
Providing entertainment for the evening was iL CiRCo, a renowned cast of acrobatic performers. The performers took the audience to a world of inventive costuming and luminous stage sets assisted by original musical scores.
Loma Linda University is the only children’s hospital serving the 1.2 million children living in the Inland Empire’s four-county area. In 2006, Children’s Hospital cared for nearly 15,000 children through inpatient services, 95,000 through outpatient services, and more than 20,000 through pediatric emergency services.
By Richard Weismeyer
Lowell Cooper, MDiv, MPH, chair, Boards of Trustees, offers the invocation.
Riverside city Mayor Ron Loveridge welcomes guests to the 14th annual gala.
LLUCH administrator Zareh Sarrafian, MBA, thanks guests for their support for the children.
Dr. Moores welcomes guests Javier and Carmen Barroso and son, Sebastian. Sebastian was a patient at LLUCH emergency department. His emergency trauma was the subject of a gala film presentation.
A day with “Dr. Venom” was a $24,000 hit during the live auction. In the photo above, Sean Bush, MD, and his wife, Ame, hold their snake Samantha, as Sebastian Barroso, a former patient and star of the Children’s Hospital gala video, pets her.
African animals provided the theme for the 14th annual gala—“It’s a Jungle Out There.”
Members of the internationally renowned iL CiRCo acrobatic performers entertain the gala audience. The troupe’s members are some of the world’s most ingeniously talented performers.