This year the CHOC Walk through the park is celebrating it’s 27th anniversary. As it nears its third decade, this magical event continues to find new ways to provide magic for attendees. In doing so, it also helps raise money for children who desperately need the care Children’s Hospital of Orange County offers.
Children’s Hospital of Orange County
Children’s Hospital of Orange County, or CHOC, was founded in 1964 and is the first hospital in Orange County dedicated to the care of children. A group of visionary leaders that included local pediatricians, leaders, Walter Knott, and Walt Disney, had a dream for what could be offered for the local children. They also recognized a need for the area. Now over five decades later CHOC has around 250,000 visitors a year.
CHOC exists to help both the health and wellbeing of children. CHOC doesn’t care if these kids can pay. They do care about being the highest of quality for the children it serves. Affiliated with the University of Southern California, Irvine, it is a network of regional pediatric healthcare. The main CHOC hospital includes 279 beds and is found in Orange, CA. Another hospital within a hospital can be found in Mission Viejo, CA. There are also other specialty and primary care clinics. This fantastic organization also offers over 100 other programs and services, a pediatric residency program and these four centers for excellence: The CHOC Children’s Heart, Neuroscience, Orthopaedic and Hyundai Cancer Institutes.
CHOC Walk Origins
CHOC Walk began as a 5k at South Coast Plaza. As people began to walk for this cause and the event began to grow it became a walk to the park. Eventually it was decided that the walk should actually be in the walk. For the last 15 years, the walk has been inside the parks. This move inside the Disneyland Resort led to the first million dollar fundraiser within 2 years of moving into the parks. Last year alone it raised $3.4 million dollars! This was a world record. The only fundraiser in the park, CHOC Walk attracts thousands each year to walk for the Children’s Hospital of Orange County.
CHOC Walk Ambassador
Jordin Jackson is a nine-year old sickle cell CHOC patient. She has been visiting CHOC since she was three years old. In a recent special event at the Disneyland Hotel her mother shared how they consider CHOC a second home. On average, the Jackson family visits CHOC three or four times a year. They know that when they leave the front doors of CHOC that things will be better, Karen Jackson shared. The Jackson family also pays it forward and through Jordin’s Journey they have raised money for CHOC. Specifically, they raised money for a machine that will help test blood of kids with Sickle Cell.
New CHOC Walk Magic
This year the CHOC Walk in the Park takes place on August 27th. Those who have walked before will note that this is almost two months earlier than previous walks. The change of date is due partly to help families getting back into the school year and sports. It also helps the Children’s Hospital of Orange County’s schedule of initiatives. Perhaps most exciting, it sets CHOC Walk as the first walk of the season and will help generate more media/awareness throughout Southern California. This year a new medallion has been created for the event for those who raise over $275. Raise over $175 and a pin of the same design can be earned. More prizes for this year’s CHOC Walk can be found here.
CHOC Walk Events
There are several events throughout the summer that will lead up to the actual CHOC Walk. All of these events work together to support the overarching goal of raising funds for CHOC initiatives. They include:
- Paint Your Way to Miracles and Magic – June 24, 2017
- Taste of Downtown Disney – August 10, 2017
- Minnie Walk (private event) – September 23, 2018
Join Team DAPs Magic
Every year DAPs Magic creates a team and walks together to raise funds for CHOC! This year, DAPs Magic is really trying to raise more funds, have a bigger team, and make a bigger positive impact! To join team DAPs Magic, please visit chocwalk.org/dapsmagic. Another fun way the team is raising money is by attempting to get Cameron to shave his beard. If we can raise $5,000 for him to walk alone, he will shave his beard and keep it off until Halloween. To contribute to this cause, visit his page here. If you shop in Old Town Orange, Elsewhere Vintage and Joyride: Vintage for Men, who have offered 10% off any in-store purchase to those who contribute to Cameron’s #ShaveTheBeard challenge.
Team DAPs Magic is walking for a little boy named Cohen. As this post is being written, he is currently undergoing tests at CHOC. He’s a fantastic boy and it is an honor to work for him!
As we get nearer to the August 27th date for CHOC Walk continue to keep checking back at dapsmagic.com for more CHOC Walk news. There are some plans in the works for potential team fundraisers that will be incredibly exciting. You will NOT want to miss them!