CHLA Happenings

Published on 
November 29, 2019

Throughout the year, philanthropists, community leaders, corporate sponsors, and grateful friends and families come together to benefit Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The enthusiasm and generosity of our supporters inspire everything we do and ensure the hospital’s ability to create hope and build healthier futures. It is an honor to showcase some of the recent celebrations and fundraising events below.

Mann Family Foundation Dedication

A reception on June 12, 2019, recognized the Alfred E. Mann Family Foundation’s transformative $6 million gift to support leading-edge research in the fight against childhood cancers and other diseases. Half of the donation establishes the Alfred E. Mann Family Foundation Chair in Cancer Research—with Alan S. Wayne, MD, Director of the Cancer and Blood Disease Institute (CBDI), as the inaugural chair holder. The gift also provides $3 million to invest in a 3,000-square-foot aquatic research facility on CHLA’s Sunset campus: The Alfred E. Mann Family Foundation Zebrafish Facility. Led by James F. Amatruda, MD, PhD, the research lab will support scientists in their discovery of new therapies for cancer, diabetes, heart disease and more.



Helinet Aviation Dedication

On May 1, 2019, CHLA leaders gathered on the hospital’s main helipad to celebrate the life and philanthropy of former Trustee Alan Purwin, who passed away in 2015. The ceremony included a ribbon-cutting in front of the hospital’s new Sikorsky helicopter as the helipad was officially re-designated the Purwin Family-Helinet Aviation Helipad. The Purwin family’s company, Helinet Aviation, has covered the costs of transporting critically ill children to and from CHLA on nearly 9,000 missions over the past two decades. During the event, Lauren Cosentino, with husband Marco by her side, shared her family’s personal story of their infant son, Max, who was transported to CHLA during the Woolsey fire in 2018.



Spring Carnival

On May 23, 2019, the Worthe Real Estate Group hosted a spring carnival for CHLA outpatients and their families. Held in the Joyce and Stanley Black and Family Healing and Meditation Garden, the festivities included carnival games, prizes, a magic show and concession stands. More than 60 employees from the Santa Monica-based real estate company volunteered at the event alongside Worthe Real Estate Group President Jeffrey Worthe, who serves as Chair of the CHLA Board of Directors and is a member of the hospital’s Foundation Board of Trustees.



Hyundai Hope on Wheels Handprint Ceremony

Since 1998, Hyundai and its dealers have donated more than $160 million for pediatric cancer research through the Hyundai Hope on Wheels program. This year, Jesse Berry, MD, Associate Director of Ocular Oncology at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, received a $300,000 grant to support her research on retinoblastoma, the most common type of eye cancer in children. The award—which was recognized at a check presentation on Sept. 17, 2019—will further her work developing a safer, more effective way to biopsy tumors without having to remove the eye.



Jimmy Choo Fundraiser

CHLA supporters Amy Darvish, Nilay Celik and Nadia Zaman co-hosted a fundraiser at Jimmy Choo’s Rodeo Drive boutique in Beverly Hills on Aug. 22, 2019. The fashion house donated 20% of sales during the special shopping event to CHLA’s Children’s Fund. The fund enhances all areas of the hospital, from lifesaving medical care to groundbreaking research.


Spider-Man Cast at CHLA

CHLA received a surprise visit from the cast of “Spider-Man: Far From Home” on June 27, 2019. Dressed in character, Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal and Zendaya—who play Spider-Man, Mysterio and MJ, respectively—treated patients to an advance screening of the film, followed by a Q&A and plenty of high-fives, selfies and autographs. The visit was organized in partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment by the hospital’s Hollywood Cares for Kids™ Program, which develops opportunities for the entertainment community to support patients, their families and CHLA through special events, philanthropy, campaigns and other initiatives.


Walk and Play L.A.

The third annual Walk and Play L.A., presented by Disney, took place June 22, 2019, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and included a 3K walk, sports clinics led by professional athletes and a family festival with games, food and live music. Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner and his wife, Kourtney, were the honorary hosts, while KABC-TV anchor Coleen Sullivan served as emcee and CHLA Foundation Trustee Mary Hart presented honors to the leading fundraising teams. Paws for a Cause, the top team, raised more than $43,000, helping to bring the total amount raised to more than $350,000.

NFL veteran Kerry Rhodes led a sports clinic for kids. Celebrity trainer Dion Jackson (center) and Troy Titus-Barrow (right) led participants in a dynamic warm-up with support from Los Angeles Kings mascot Bailey, members of the LA Kings Ice Crew, the Los Angeles Chargers Girls, Los Angeles Rams cheerleaders and Ontario Fury mascot Stryker. Representatives of the Ontario Fury indoor soccer team at the team’s welcome table Musical guest Camryn entertained the crowd. Disney Village was a popular new attraction at this year’s event. LA Kings mascot Bailey with CHLA Dog Therapy volunteer Shelley Buck and therapy dog Yogi Left to right: One of the event’s top fundraisers, Michael Anthony, former Van Halen bass player, and his granddaughter, Nina Becerra, onstage with Elissa Margolis, Disney Senior Vice President of Enterprise Social Responsibility; CHLA Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer Alexandra Carter; CHLA President and CEO Paul S. Viviano; and CHLA Foundation Board of Trustees member Mary Hart The enthusiastic crowd cheered as Disney VoluntEars (in blue) crossed the finish line.


Nautica Malibu Triathlon

Zuma Beach was the site of the 33rd annual Nautica Malibu Triathlon presented by Bank of America, which took place Sept. 14-15, 2019. Thanks to all the sponsors and participants—including more than 160 Children’s Hospital Los Angeles team members who ran, swam and biked—this year’s event raised more than $1.35 million for pediatric cancer research at CHLA. The hospital has been the beneficiary of the race since 2007, and more than $15 million has been raised to discover new therapies and improve outcomes for children with cancer. These funds are vital to CHLA researchers whose work creates hope and builds healthier futures for countless patients and families.

Participants race into the ocean for the ½-mile swim. Left to right: Members of Sophia’s Buddies, a team composed entirely of patient families, including Katie Moore, team captain Sandra Andrade, Ethan Moore and Aaron Moore Singer Richard Marx performed an inspiring rendition of the national anthem. Team CHLA co-captain Leslie Stach flashes a smile during the last leg of the race. Team CHLA raised $229,000 for this year’s race. Left to right: Team captains Marlon Duarte, Dave Abbott, Leslie Stach and Steven Viramontes with CHLA President and CEO Paul S. Viviano during the check presentation More than 160 faculty, staff members, family, friends and community members comprised Team CHLA this year.

Team CHLA member Steven Richard embarks on the 17-mile bike ride along the Pacific Coast Highway. The Walt Disney Company fielded the largest entertainment division fundraising team, raising $282,000. Left to right: CHLA President and CEO Paul S. Viviano; The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger; Disney Tri Team co-captains Michele Fortier and Richard Chandler; and Alan Wayne, MD, Director of CHLA’s Cancer and Blood Disease Institute

An Inspirational Team Member

Robert Adler, MD, MSEdEvery year since 2007, Robert Adler, MD, MSEd, Chief Medical Director of the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Health System, has participated in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon—an impressive ½-mile swim, 17-mile bike ride and 4-mile run that benefits pediatric cancer research at CHLA.

“I enjoy the team spirit and seeing my colleagues from work in a completely different light and environment,” says Dr. Adler, 71, who earned a spot on the podium in 2019 for coming in first in his age group. “There is no hierarchy out here. We are all in our wetsuits having a good time.”

When he first started training to participate in the triathlon more than a decade ago, Dr. Adler used to occasionally run home from work—9 miles in all. More recently, his routine has included time on the treadmill, long bike rides in the canyons and swimming in the ocean with friends.

A former marathon runner, Dr. Adler became hooked on triathlons because he enjoyed the variety and the opportunity to exercise with his large family, which includes 15 grandkids. Being physically active also “helps me cope with stress and relax,” says Dr. Adler.

While he is planning to do the race in the future, Dr. Adler says next time he’ll likely get his grandchildren involved, perhaps by forming a relay team with them.

“It’s a wonderful family event,” says Dr. Adler. “I can’t wait for next year.”


Mary Duque Society Dinner

On Oct. 1, 2019, members of the Mary Duque Society gathered at the home of CHLA supporter Yvonne Niami to celebrate the group’s collective philanthropy. The evening featured a cocktail reception, dinner and a moving testimonial from actress Nikki DeLoach, a member of the CHLA Foundation Board of Trustees whose son was treated at Children’s Hospital. The Society was established in honor of the former CHLA Board President and Chair of the Associates and Affiliates Committee who helped raise more than $100 million from 1947 to 1990.

Back row, left to right: Abdul El Habash; Terry Green, Associate Senior Vice President of Development at CHLA; Luan Phan; and Mark Krieger, MD, Billy and Audrey L. Wilder Chair in Neurosurgery, CHLA Senior Vice President, Surgeon-in-Chief and Director of the Neurological Institute. Bottom row, left to right: Karol Pozniak; Thomas C. Lee, MD, Director of The Vision Center at CHLA; and Glorya Kaufman From left to right: Lara M. Khouri, CHLA Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer; Paul S. Viviano, CHLA President and CEO; Paula Rudnick; and CHLA Foundation Trustee Allan Rudnick Actress Nikki DeLoach, who is a member of the CHLA Foundation Board of Trustees, shared the story of her son’s heart surgery at CHLA. Left to right: Tony Zebrasky; Lois Bourgon; Eilish Zebrasky; Robert E. Shaddy, MD, Pasadena Guild Chair, Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Pediatricianin-Chief at CHLA; Glenda Jones; Jack Messenger; Sue Meckley; and Bonnie McClure, CHLA Foundation Trustee and Chair of the CHLA Associates and Affiliates Left to right: Alexandra Carter, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer at CHLA; Jeffrey Worthe, Chair of the CHLA Board of Directors and a member of the CHLA Foundation Board of Trustees; event host Yvonne Niami; Paul S. Viviano, CHLA President and CEO; and Kevin H. Brogan, Chair of the CHLA Foundation Board of Trustees


Associates and Affiliates Events

For more than a century, the Associates and Affiliates have donated millions to support numerous areas of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Today, nearly three dozen all-volunteer groups across Southern California host events throughout the year to raise funds and awareness about the hospital’s mission.

Members of the Flintridge Guild at their annual event, The Great Chocolate Race, on May 5, 2019 Left to right: Seahorse Classic Chairs Heather Schuchert, Hilary Waxler and Heidi Sampson with bagpiper Eric Rigler Left to right: Joe Leimbach; 2019 Horse Show Chair Jacquie Leimbach; Peninsula Committee President Lisa Gentry; and Patty Ochi, past President of the Peninsula Committee Left to right: Terry Green, Associate Senior Vice President of Development at CHLA; Peter Heilbron, member of the CHLA Foundation Board of Trustees; Sheldon Liu; and patient parent Buck Page at the Seahorse Classic


Welcoming the New Heart Institute Co-Director

On June 24, 2019, CHLA hosted a reception on the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation Dining Terrace to welcome Paul F. Kantor, MBBCh, MSc, FRCPC, as the new Chief of the Division of Cardiology and Co-Director of the Heart Institute.

Left to right: CHLA President and CEO Paul S. Viviano, Dr. Kantor, CHLA Foundation Trustee Nancy Meidel and Greg Meidel Heart Institute Co-Directors Vaughn Starnes, MD (left), and Paul Kantor, MBBCh, MSc, FRCPC (right), with Cheryl A. Dickins CHLA patient and Junior Ambassador Eileen Garrido (left) with her mom, Betty, and Dr. Kantor


CHLA in the Desert

During CHLA’s Make March Matter campaign, local businesses, corporate partners and our generous community of supporters help raise funds through a variety of events and promotions all month long. The Coachella Valley has been an instrumental partner in the campaign, specifically supporting CHLA’s work caring for suspected victims of child abuse through the hospital’s partnership with the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center. On May 22, 2019, CHLA celebrated the success of Make March Matter’s desert initiative at the Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa, where donors had the opportunity to learn more about the hospital from several physician leaders.

The LaMont family (from left): CHLA patient Hudson, mom Sandra, dad Gino and sister Parker. Gino, who is News Director of NBC Palm Springs, served as emcee for the event. Leslie Briskman and Sean McGrath Left to right: Donna Jiaras; John Thoresen, CEO of the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center; and Catharine Reed from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation Joe and Lonnie Pestano from Shottenkirk Desert Lexus Left to right: Thomas C. Lee, MD, Director of The Vision Center at CHLA; Deborah Holder, MD, Director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at CHLA; Gino LaMont; and Karen Kay Imagawa, MD, Director of the Audrey Hepburn CARES Center at CHLA and a member of the CHLA Foundation Board of Trustees Left to right: Tom Langan, Judy Zeigler and Cliff Lamb Stephanie and Michael Landes


1901 Society Reception

On Oct. 17, 2019, members of the 1901 Society came together at the Petersen Automotive Museum to celebrate their philanthropic support of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The evening included a cocktail reception and inspirational program featuring CHLA leadership. The 1901 Society, named for the year of the hospital’s founding, honors current donors and the legacy of those whose generosity helped establish CHLA more than a century ago.

Left to right: Lisa Gentry, Peninsula Committee Children’s Hospital President, and Carole Rowe, also a member of the Peninsula Committee Left to right: Gary Toebben, a member of the CHLA Foundation Board of Trustees; David and Kathleen Aikenhead; and Paul S. Viviano, CHLA President and CEO CHLA Foundation Trustee Dayle Roath and Ken Roath Left to right: Laurence Paul, MD, a member of the CHLA Board of Directors and Foundation Board of Trustees; Ashwin Adarkar, a CHLA Foundation Trustee; Doug Kazanjian; and Joseph Barrios CHLA Foundation Trustee Nancy Meidel and Greg Meidel Left to right: Michael and Elisa Schenkman, CHLA Foundation Trustees, with Jennifer Heilbron and CHLA Foundation Trustee Peter Heilbron