On August 26, 2018, the Disneyland Resort opened its gates before dawn to help make an impact for the children of Southern California. CHOC Walk in the Park brings thousands of people to the Disneyland Resort to raise funds for these kids. Many of these kids wouldn’t have hope or a future if it weren’t for CHOC Children’s.
This year’s CHOC Walk had over 13,000 walkers showing up. As of Sunday, over $2.7 million dollars had been raised for this year’s CHOC Walk. There is still almost a month of fundraising and one more special event (Taste of Downtown Disney) to go! The money raised this year will go to building a neonatal intensive care unit with 36 private rooms, assist over 90,000 visitors in OC’s only pediatric-dedicated emergency department, and also help organize over 150 special events for patients, including the Oncology Prom. The gifts that are given because of this walk really do change the world for the patients of CHOC Children’s.
The Disneyland Difference
CHOC Walk is a unique event that is made by the partnership of so many people from so many backgrounds. It is made possible through the incredible generosity of the Disneyland Resort. It provides, not only a location for the walk, but also incredible entertainment, safety, setup, and operational support. The result of this is the Disneyland Resort shares Disney magic in a way that helps the community change so many children’s lives for the better. This generosity really empowers the 13,000+ that walk in CHOC Walk to do something so much bigger than any one individual walker could do by themselves. It also lends an incredible platform that excites people even more in their quest to help the children of Southern California. It truly is one of the most special things that the Disneyland Resort does every year.
The partnership between CHOC Children’s and the Disneyland Resort goes back decades. Walt Disney himself was one of the early fundraisers who helped get CHOC Children’s built in 1964. Walt Disney felt that a children’s hospital in Orange County was incredibly important. He believed in it so much that he also sat on the hospital’s founding board.
Through the years the Disneyland Resort has continued to be the hospital’s largest corporate donor. The Disneyland Resort has shared more than just donations though. The hospital’s mascot, Choco Bear, was designed by Disney artist Bob Moore. The Bill Holmes Tower benefited from the efforts of Disney artists who helped make the lobby special and child-friendly. Walt Disney Imagineering also donated “Turtle Talk with Crush” to the hospital. On top of all of this, each year Disneyland Resort voluntEARS donate their time and efforts towards the hospital in many different capacities.
Why We Walk
Thousands of people walk each year for the CHOC Walk in the Park. Each of them has a reason. For many, there is a personal connection to the hospital. Someone they know and love was aided by the hospital. This aid is life-changing for so many families in Southern California. For others, it is a good cause and a way to make a difference. And still, others come for the opportunity to experience the Disney magic in a completely different way than a normal day in the park. Whatever the reason, the people who walk (or walk as a sleeping bear so they aren’t actually walking) are making a difference. These thousands of individuals each making their own contributions adds up to something incredible. This year those reasons for walking are adding up to nearly $3 million dollars. That is absolutely incredible.
Truly the best way to learn just how much of a difference made by the CHOC Walk in the Park is through the stories. As people share the stories of why they walk, they also share just what CHOC Children’s is doing. Over the last few years, I have had the pleasure of getting to meet several of the CHOC Walk Ambassadors. Their stories are not only inspiring, they are life-changing. They change the CHOC Walk in the Park from a fun special event that makes a difference to a movement that is so desperately needed by the children that are assisted by the hospital.
How to Help
The 2018 CHOC Walk in the Park may be over already but the efforts for this year are not. There is still time to help support this year’s walk. If you would like to donate, please visit chocwalk.org/dapsmagic where you can donate to the cause until September 26th. If you would like to experience one of the events surrounding CHOC Walk in the Park, check out the Taste of Downtown Disney event on September 5th. Perhaps neither of these things are doable for you right now, there are also other events that happen throughout the year. Make sure to stay tuned to DAPS MAGIC and also the CHOC Walk in the Park Facebook page. Updates are shared in both locations. And while you are checking out these updates, share them! This also makes a huge difference!
So much is already being done to help CHOC Children’s help the kids of Southern California. However, this is still a lot to do! The CHOC Walk in the Park is a great way to help with this cause. DAPS MAGIC is honored to help support CHOC Children’s and we hope that you will join us this year, and every year, in our effort to help thee kids. DAPS MAGIC had a great team this year for CHOC Walk but we want it even bigger and better next year! Let’s make a difference together. Are you with us?