(CBS SF) – San Francisco got a generous dose of Hollywood-style glitz and glamour Monday night when several celebrities and internationally-known entertainers performed at a special event that raised funds for programs that help sick children throughout California.
The benefit, that took place at Davies Symphony Hall, titled “A Starry Evening of Music, Comedy and Surprises,” included appearances from celebrities such as actress Annette Bening, singers Josh Groban & Amber Riley and comedienne Kathy Griffin.
Money raised at the Vaudeville-style show benefits UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and The Painted Turtle, a camp for children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses that was co-founded by the late Paul Newman a decade ago.
Neither the hospital or the camp charge children or their families for their services, so fundraising events such as this one are key to keeping the programs going strong.
“Both of us are really reliant on philanthropic support, so I hope it’s the beginning of a long-term partnership as far as fundraising goes,” said Kim Scurr, executive director of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.
“We put an enormous amount of emphasis on providing programs that promote normalcy while children are in the hospital and while they’re battling illness, so the goal is to have children who have really complicated illnesses be able to experience all the joys and wonders and discovery of camp.”
The Painted Turtle is located in Southern California, and is designed to accommodate the special needs of children with a wide variety of serious medical conditions. In addition to what one would find at a regular camp there is a full-time medical staff and all of the necessary care facilities and supplies.
For children who are too ill to travel to the camp itself, The Painted Turtle Outpost is an outreach program that brings the camp experience to 12 hospitals around California, including UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco.
“Volunteers come and set up a camp-like atmosphere in our playroom, with a ‘camp fire,’ a big backdrop with pictures of a lake and mountains, and they do activities that you would do at camp — they make picture frames, mini ‘camp fires’ with led lights, painting, arts and crafts and more,” said Scurr.
A new, state-of-the-art home for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital is slated to open Feb. 1, 2015, at the university’s Mission Bay campus, which will allow for expanded programs and events.
“The most exciting part of the new hospital is that we will have these big outdoor gardens, so we anticipate doing a lot of activities outdoors, and it will be completely accessible to children in wheelchairs,” said Scurr.
In addition to the star-studded line-up, included appearances from Randy Newman and Renee Zellweger, and was put together by record producer Lou Adler and his wife Page — who helped co-found The Painted Turtle — several children from the camp and the hospitals it helps will be taking to the stage to perform.
“We consider our kids celebrities,” said Scurr. “So I’m really excited for that part of the show.”
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