Thousands of people are expected to attend “The Concert For Kids” on Tuesday night in San Francisco, a fundraiser that will benefit UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland.
The fourth annual event, which is being presented by the Salesforce.com Foundation in conjunction with their Dreamforce conference and gala, is set to take place at AT&T Park, with festivities including live music, cocktails and special presentations. Headliners for this year’s event include Grammy-award winning rockers Green Day, Rock N’ Roll Hall of Famers Blondie and local rapper MC Hammer.
The concert is an important part of the hospitals’ efforts to provide a host of programs to sick children and their families from all over the world. Previous concerts have raised $10 million, and this year’s event has already garnered $6 million in sponsorships, according to Juliana Bunim, Senior Public Information Representative at UCSF.
In addition to raising funds for current programming, money generated from the concert will also go toward building a new state of the art home for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital at the university’s Mission Bay campus, slated to open February 1, 2015.
“This is a dream come true to know that we are going to have a six story building completely dedicated to children, and I think that it’s a building that’s going to suit the incredible care that’s given here,” said Kim Scurr, executive director of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.
In addition to treating children with a variety of illnesses, and preparing them for their procedures, the hospital also strives to provide a high level of comfort for them and their families while staying there; at the new campus, which has been in the works for more than a decade, the staff are planning on being able to offer even more specialized care.
“You can cure a child of their illness-but you can also rob them of their childhood. Our Child Life Specialists normalize the hospital experience for kids, they normalize what is an abnormal environment; so kids go to school here, there’s a play room, and we have an art and music therapy program that helps kids to express how they feel about having an illness in a way that they might not be able to verbally articulate,” said Scurr.
“That’s a big part of us moving into the new building, because we will have more space, we’ll also be able to offer more programs like that. We’re a family-centered care environment-we consider the entire family to be our patients-and there will be opportunities to work with them outside in three beautiful gardens, and children who are undergoing rehabilitation services will be able to do some of their exercises outside.”
The new children’s hospital will have 183 beds, and will be part of a 289 bed integrated complex for children, women and cancer patients.
“We’re really excited about the new way of doing our business, a way that makes the patients’ experience much more empowered,” said Scurr. “And that also makes it a fantastic place to work.”
The Concert for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital takes place on Tuesday, November 19, at AT&T Park, 24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco, starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $250. For more information visit www.theconcertforkids.com or call (415) 476-6400.
Sean McCourt, Bay City News