April 14, 2010
Southland’s Largest Event to Inspire Organ and Tissue Donation Slated for May 1 at Cal State Fullerton; 7,000 Expected at Eighth Annual Donate Life Run/Walk
Event Supported by Local Mayors, Major Businesses, Media, Area Hospitals and Transplant Centers
More than 7,000 people from across Southern California will join on Sat., May 1, from 7am to 1pm for the Donate Life Run/Walk at Cal State Fullerton. Now in its eighth year, the event inspires Californians to donate life by becoming organ, eye and tissue donors. Each year, the Donate Life Run/Walk serves to culminate DMV/Donate Life California Month with a broad spectrum of support from dozens of local mayors, major businesses, and broadcast media, including seven radio stations and local news anchor Phillip Palmer, a living kidney donor.
The family festival atmosphere includes a special performance by Grammy award-winning pop/R&B group All-4-One, whose latest CD includes a song inspired in part by the founders of the Donate Life Run/Walk, Kathleen and Craig Hostert. The Fullerton couple became active participants in promoting organ donation when Kathleen donated her kidney to Craig more than 11 years ago. The Hosterts now work professionally in the field of organ and tissue donation.
Among the event’s sponsors are Moss Adams LLP, the 11th-largest accounting and consulting firm in the U.S., which has made a multi-year commitment to the event; W.L. Butler Construction, Inc., recently held a dinner to educate and inspire their employees and clients, raising nearly $17,000; Vons, whose store manager Keith Walton became a donor following a massive stroke at age 42; and St. Joseph Hospital of Orange, a longtime supporter and transplant center.
A number of radio stations are playing a major role in support of the Donate Life Run/Walk, including 94.7 The Wave, 97.1 AMP Radio, 93.1 Jack FM, KROQ 106.7 FM, K-EARTH 101, KFWB News Talk 980, KNX 1070, and KJLH 102.3 FM. These stations are also playing radio spots featuring ten Southland Donate Life Ambassador volunteers, each of whom is either a donor family member or a recipient of a life-saving organ or tissue.
“Events like the Donate Life Run/Walk serve to galvanize our community to affirm life by inspiring Californians to sign up on the Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry,” noted Tom Mone, chief executive officer and executive vice president of OneLegacy, the non-profit organ and tissue recovery organization serving the greater Los Angeles area and the largest such agency in the country. “The need for donors is disproportionate in California, which has more than 20,000 people awaiting life-saving organ transplants. Although our registry is the largest in the country, our 6.4 million registered donors only represent a quarter of those who have had the opportunity to enroll at the DMV. The seconds it takes to check ‘yes’ when renewing your driver’s license or ID card, or a just a few minutes to sign up online, could mean a lifetime for someone in need.”
A new element is being introduced this year with the “Flame of Life” that represents the three elements of donation: the donor, the recipient, and the transplant candidate on the waiting list. The Flame of Life, which will debut the week prior to the event at St. Joseph Hospital of Orange, is symbolic of the act of donation and is intended to both honor the memories of donors and inspire others to donate life.
More than 3,000 people are participating in one of 155 teams honoring donors who gave life in their passing. Among the largest donor family teams are:
- Celebrating Scott 2010 (Huntington Beach) – More than 230 people honor former Mater Dei student and donor Scott Davis;
- Team Eric (Chino Hills) – Nearly 90 people honor 37-year-old donor Eric Acosta;
- Team Roc Star (San Bernardino) – Honors 19-year-old donor Vincent Atkins;
- Team Tiffany (Murrieta) – Honors 14-year-old donor Tiffany Breslin, whose death in a jet ski accident was widely reported;
- Team J.A.M (Anaheim) – Honors seven-year-old donor Tony Martinez; and
- Team Eddie (Wilmington) – Honors the donor brother of OneLegacy’s Family Services staff member Ana Arellano
The morning-long event, which starts with an opening ceremony at 8:15 a.m., also features a “Circle of Life Garden” with more than 100 photograph-bearing signs honoring donors and recipients. Before runners and walkers begin, eight baskets of doves will be opened in memory of loved ones, including the Virginia family of three-month-old Katie Field and the family of Linda de Beaumont, a longtime Orange County Donate Life Ambassador and two-time heart recipient who passed away this year.
Registration fees for Donate Life Run/Walk participants are $30 for runners and walkers, $20 per living donor or recipient, $20 per person for families of four or more, and $20 per person for teams of 10 or more. There is no charge to attend the post-walk Family Festival. More information is available at www.donateliferunwalk.org.
OneLegacy is the non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation in the seven-county greater Los Angeles area. With more than 200 hospitals, 12 transplant centers and a diverse population of 19 million, OneLegacy is the largest organ and tissue recovery organization in the world.
Those wishing to make the commitment to donate may register online at www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org or its Spanish-language counterpart, www.doneVIDAcalifornia.org. For more information, call OneLegacy at (800) 786-4077 or visit www.onelegacy.org.