Champions for children
Rady Children’s Hospital – Scripps Ranch Auxiliary Unit is in its 50th year and sets a major fundraiser for June
By Ashley Shah
Rady Children’s Hospital, a non-profit organization, has been serving children in San Diego County for almost 70 years. The hospital, in order to keep serving the community, has auxiliary units that help with funding and furthering the hospital’s mission. In San Diego county, there are 22 units that range all the way from Point Loma to Scripps Ranch.
“The unit in Scripps Ranch was started in 1972. Back then, there were only about 12 members. They would do activities in the neighborhood to help out the hospital. Now, the unit has expanded so much,” said Yvette Gilman, chair of the Scripps Ranch Unit.
Currently, the local unit has 32 active members and 27 supporting members.
This April will mark the 50th anniversary of the Scripps Ranch unit.
“For our 40th anniversary, we had a dinner where all members, past and current, were invited. We were able to hear some of the older members speak about how the unit was back in their time,” Gilman said. “We are hoping to have something very similar to that for our 50th anniversary celebration.”
The unit meets once a month from September to June to discuss what the hospital needs, and ways to help with funding.
Each year, the unit holds an out-unit event to fundraise for a center in the hospital.
“The center we are honoring this year is the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. We chose this center because two of our local children … are being treated at that center,” said Brandy Modic, chair of the event.
The all outdoor event centers around a theme of golf and includes dining, drinks, listening to speakers, auctions and more.
The event this year, Chip’n FORE, was originally scheduled for Feb. 12. However, due to the rise in COVID recently, the event was rescheduled to June 4.
“Even though the event was rescheduled, we are still hoping everyone comes out. We are still supporting a great cause and giving back to a center that has helped our local kids so much,” Modic said.
The unit hopes to raise $50,000 for the Peckham Center.
“We really want to be able to show to the kids how much they mean to us,” Modic said.
In addition to their yearly out-unit event, the unit, alongside all other units in the county, helps different centers in the hospital.
“Our unit is currently sponsoring a child at the Bernardy Center, which is for medically fragile children who need 24-hour nursing care. We provide him clothes, hold birthday parties for him, and do crafts with him and other patients in the center,” Gilman said.
The unit has made “brown bags” for families waiting for their children in the emergency room.
“We usually have the Girl Scouts decorate the brown bags, and then we fill them with healthy snacks and drinks so that families can have something while they are waiting for their child,” Gilman said.
The Clothes Closet is another service in which the unit participates.
“We keep the closet supplied with clothes for infants and children up to 19 years old. We want children to be able to go home with clean, new clothes instead of soiled clothes,” Gilman said.
Other centers and programs the unit helps with include the Alexa’s PLAYC, a program dedicated to creating a fair learning environment for all children; and the Chadwick Center, which helps children and teenagers dealing with traumatic events or mistreatment.
Throughout the past two years, the unit has faced challenges due to the pandemic.
“Usually, we have all of the new members walk around the hospital, see the kids, so that they can really see the difference we are making, but we haven’t been able to do that in the past two years,” Gilman said.
“I joined during COVID, and I really feel like it was hard for me to get the whole scope of the organization because I wasn’t able to see it. I think it has been hard for us to grow because we cannot see the impact we are making directly,” Modic said.
All of the unit’s recent meetings have been over Zoom.
Fundraising for the unit itself is done through dinners and potlucks.
“We have our in-unit fundraisers so that we can sponsor children, or provide items for the hospital if they need them,” Gilman said.
“We really want people who are genuinely interested in what we do for the children, and who care about what we do,” she added.
For more information about joining, reach out to Janet Mebane at firstname.lastname@example.org. Residents and businesses are encouraged to attend and help sponsor the Chip’n FORE event. Visit rchascrippsranch.com.