May 30, 2024


El Chicano, Colton Courier, Rialto Record

31st Annual Children’s Hospital Foundation Gala Raises More Than $1 Million

2 min read

LLUCH representatives shared in excitement the final check for just under $1.1 million raised at the 31st annual Foundation Gala on April 4, 2024.

Local community members gathered at the Riverside Convention Center on Thursday, April 4 for the 31st anniversary Foundation Gala presented by Laurena and Darrell Bolden with Alaina Mathews, raising more than $1 million to support Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital.

“We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the support of our community,” said Peter Baker, senior vice president and administrator for Children’s Hospital. “Each dollar raised truly makes a difference and has allowed us to continue in our mission of caring for the most vulnerable patients.”

Under the theme “Saddle Up for Miracles,” attendees embraced the spirit of unity and compassion. It provided a platform to showcase the Stronger Together campaign, marking a significant milestone. This initiative focuses on cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment services, with the goal of offering personalized care to every child in need. Plans include the acquisition of state-of-the-art clinical equipment and the construction of a Pediatric Outpatient Specialty Clinic to streamline access to a wide range of specialized services.

The gala honored individuals who have demonstrated outstanding dedication to children’s healthcare:

  • Richard E. Chinnock, MD, was awarded the prestigious Shirley N. Pettis Award, recognizing his exceptional commitment to pediatric care.
  • Dixie Watkins and Eloise Habekost were celebrated as recipients of the Nancy B. Varner Lifetime Achievement Award for their enduring contributions to the community.
  • Donald Moores, MD, received the Dr. Leonard L. Bailey Outstanding Clinician Award for his dedication to clinical care.
  • And Paul Emerson and Emerson Fine Jewelry were acknowledged with the Hometown Hero Award for their commitment to the community.

A highlight of the evening was the inspiring story of Oakley Quinonez, a young nature enthusiast who bravely battled acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Through advancements in pediatric cancer care, Oakley’s journey took a positive turn, symbolized by the regrowth of her hair and the transition to at-home cancer treatment.

The gala also featured entertainment by the Fiddle Sisters, Summer and Kadence, from Nashville.

Funds raised at the annual Foundation Gala this year will support the new Children’s Hospital clinic and pediatric cancer care as part of the comprehensive Stronger Together Campaign, which launched in February 2024.


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