By Nicole Hanratty
Sunday, September 27, 2015–Santa Monica, CA–Over $1 million dollars was raised at Mattel UCLA Children’s Hospital “Party on the Pier” held last Sunday, September 27th at the iconic Southern California Santa Monica Pier. The event, now in it’s 16th year, is an important fundraiser for Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA.
A virtual explosion of celebrities showed up to support the cause including Honoree David Silverman (The Simposons), actress Sarah Michelle Gellar (I Know What You Did Last Summer, Scream 2, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Truth Be Told, Saved By The Bell), and Wally Kurth, (Days of Our Lives).
While the celebrity support for the Party on the Pier is impressive, (see the long list of names below), what is most striking is the sheer number of people that show up to pack the pier with love. A sold out crowd of over two thousand people attended, bought raffle tickets, bid on auction items, played games, and enjoyed unlimited rides, lunch, music and a gorgeous day in the sun.
Attendees included patients and their families–not just donors and sponsors–including Sam Bathfield, a child diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Sam Bathfield is currently undergoing chemotherapy and treatments at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital. Donning a LA Dodgers hat and Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation tee-shirt (major sponsors of the event), Sam Bathfield presented the day’s honoree David Silverman with a Doctor of Joy title and white doctor coat. Bathfield received a huge cheer from the crowd for his courage and inspirational words.
Party on the Pier is a remarkable charity event because it stays focussed on the very children it aims to serve, putting huge smiles on their faces as they win toys and fill their oversized reusable Mattel Party on the Pier gift bags.
Special thanks to committee planning chair Liz Greenspan for inviting LOAR to be a part of Mattel UCLA Chidren’s Hospital Party on the Pier.
Dozens more celebrities–including Dodger alumni–spent the day in the sun with the children, posed for photos, and signed autographs. Out supporting the cause were Nathan Kress (“iCarly”); Francesca Capaldi (“Dog With a Blog”); Rosa Blasi (“The Thundermans”); August Maturo, Peyton Meyer, Corey Fogelmanis (“Girl Meets World”); Forrest Wheeler (“Fresh Off the Boat”); Olivia Stuck, Cade Sutton, Tiffany Epsensen (“Kirby Buckets”); Veronica Dunne and Trinitee Stokes (“K.C. Undercover”); Chris Brochu (“The Vampire Diaries,” Singer-songwriter); Davis Cleveland (“Shake It Up”); Hana Hayes, Connor Kolopsis (“The Grinder”); Jordyn Jones (Singer; Dancer, “Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition”); Samantha Peszek (Gymnast: 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist, UCLA athlete); Reiya Downs, Ellen Downs (“Degrassi: The Next Class”); Isabela Moner, Brady Reiter, Jaheem Tombs (“100 Things to Do Before High School”); Ella Anderson, Cooper Barnes, Reile Downs, Sean Ryan Fox (“Henry Danger”); Dante Brown (“Mr. Robinson”); Benjamin Royer, Lauren Taylor, Matthew Royer (“Best Friends Whenever”); Jake Short, Paris Berelc, Devan Leos (“Mighty Med”); Keon Alexander (“Tyrant”); Erica Ash (“Real Husbands of Hollywood”); Raymond Ochoa (The Good Dinosaur); Megan Nicole, Ashlee Keating (Singer); Skai Jackson (“Jessie”); and Dodger Alumni including Mickey Hatcher, Tim Leary, Dennis Powell, Shawn Green and Lee Lacy.
Net proceeds from ticket sales and monies raised from the silent auction benefit Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA. For the past 16 years, Mattel Party on the Pier has provided unrestricted funding to launch high-priority programs and support innovative research discoveries that benefit children being treated at UCLA and around the world. Recent support has been directed to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and gene-therapy programs, research on autism-related epilepsy and treatments to improve immune function for children who have undergone chemotherapy and bone-marrow transplants.