View slideshow Kids Day employs Fresno to assist Children's Hospital (VIDEO)
Community vends special edition papers, subsidizes sick children
Various schools, companies and organizations gathered at local corners to sell special additions of The Fresno Bee for Kids Day, March 6. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the event, which is held annually throughout the Fresno/Clovis area.
Local street corners are occupied by various individuals wearing warm layers and holding newspapers in hand. Despite the cold, early-morning mood, thousands of people come out to support their community and give back to Children's Hospital Central California.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of The Fresno Bee's locally-supported Kids Day. Officially starting at 5:30 a.m., multiple schools, companies and organizations annually station themselves around the Fresno/Clovis area to sell a special edition of the newspaper for $1. A partnership between The Fresno Bee, KFSN ABC 30 and Children's Hospital is responsible for making the event possible.
FC has been participating in Kids Day for the past 10 years. Bible teacher Robert Foshee led Student Leadership to the intersections of Cedar and Alluvial and Maple and Alluvial, arriving at 4 a.m. to claim the corners for the school.
Additionally, 23 members of The Feather staff co-operated with leadership in order to help peddle papers. According to Foshee, the opportunity to combine different groups allows the school theme to be active within the FC community.
"My favorite part about Kids Day is getting to help out the community and to join in with other groups to help Children's Hospital," Foshee said. "I also like combining Student Leadership with other groups on campus like journalism and like our theme, "We Are One," to be able to do that on a fun project. I know the kids wake up really early, but they all enjoy it afterwards and say they would like to do it again."
For Student Leadership member Katelyn Miller, '12, the demands of Kids Day were taxing, but the overall reward was worth the effort she put into the event.
"It was really fun but really tiring at the same time," Miller said. "It was great getting money from cars, but it was also tiring since we were up at 4 a.m. It was pretty cold and windy, but I had a good time and I'm glad I did it."
As a freshman staff member for The Feather and a first-time Kids Day attendee, Nick Fontes valued the morning's energetic atmosphere in addition to its communal cause.
"I liked going out there and yelling at people and trying to get them to buy papers; having a reason to act all crazy was pretty fun," Fontes said. "I think Kids Day has a really good goal. I really hope it continues because it's a really good cause and the more money they can get and the more kids who can help out the better."
FC raised $300 more than last year by selling 875 papers; campus students collected a total of $1,605. According to the Children's Hospital website, the 2012 totals include a total of $450,000 as of March 7.
Community leaders lend support to aid cause
According to The Fresno Bee Opinions Editor, Jim Boren, the newspaper has collectively raised almost $5 million through Kids Day; he hopes to raise an additional $450,000 this year.
"We've been doing this for 25 years to raise money for Children's Hospital and we've raised almost $5 million for the hospital through Kids Day," Boren said. "This year we hope to do $450,000 dollars and I think we are going to do it."
As Boren is part of The Fresno Bee's staff, he personally enjoys the excitement of the event and the overall day.
"My favorite part is just meeting all the people," Boren said. "You can see how much excitement is out here. I've met people from all over the community, giving to Children's Hospital. I'm enjoying it, we're having a ball. It started out cold and windy this morning, but it turned out to be a beautiful and great day."
"It just warms the heart to see people come together like this year after year. I think anybody that has been there [Children's Hospital], even one time, knows that it's worth the buck at the corner, and worth supporting ..." --Mayor Ashley Swearengin
Among the different groups, Monica Prinzing, a senior writer for the Marketing Communications Department at Children's Hospital, informs about her role in the event, which entailed covering the occasion.
"I'm here to help the community raise money for our hospital and all that we do," Prinzing said. "I really appreciate everyone that came out today. My role is to work with some of the media. Our team is out here on various corners, making sure that they get the interviews that they need, answering questions and having fun."
Various heads of the Fresno community, which included California State University (CSU), Fresno Head Football Coach Tim DeRuyter, Police Chief Jerry Dyre and Mayor Ashley Swearengin also came out to support Kids Day. Every year, community leaders and The Fresno Bee staff stake out the corner Blackstone and Shaw, one of the busiest intersections in Fresno.
Different mascots also came out to sell newspapers, which included The Bee's Scoopy, Children's Hospital's George the Giraffe and Deke from the Fresno Monsters hockey team. The Bullard High School drumline also stood on the corner of Blackstone and Shaw to showcase their musical ability.
"My favorite part about Kids Day is the excitement we get to see out here and all the different entities that come out to support Kids Day," Dyre said. "It's a great partnership and it's our opportunity to give back to our children within our community. Children's Hospital provides an incredible service to this [Central] Valley, and this is an opportunity for us to realize how fortunate we are."
In order to support Children's Hospital, Fresno Mayor and FC alumna, '90, Ashley Swearengin, center, sells newspapers with The Feather's adviser Greg Stobbe, left, and Features Editor Maddie Yee, '13, right, on the corner of Blackstone and Shaw.
As a new CSU, Fresno football coach, DeRuyter appreciates the opportunity to meet people in the community while supporting the cause of Children's Hospital.
"For us to be able to do a small part to help them [Children's Hospital] in their efforts to help the children and people in the Central Valley, we absolutely want to be out here to help those people out," DeRuyter said. "It's the spirit of helping others."
For Mayor and FC alumna Swearengin, '90, Kids Day brings a sense of thankfulness and appreciation for the care that Children's Hospital gives to people throughout Central California.
"It just warms the heart to see people come together like this year after year," Swearengin said. "I think anybody that has been there [Children's Hospital], even one time, knows that it's worth the buck at the corner, and worth supporting Children's Hospital. They take care of so many kids throughout Central California, not just Fresno, but all over Central California. It's just a very worthy cause."
Originally from Los Angeles, CA, NFL defensive back Richard Marshall was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals after playing for three years at CSU, Fresno. As one of Blackstone and Shaw's vendors, Marshall personally appreciates what the event supports, and how Children's Hospital has supported his family.
"I enjoy Kids Day because it is just giving back and trying to give back to the Fresno community," Marshall said. "It's important to me personally because I have two kids who were in the hospital for four months when they were born, so I always try to give back to Children's [Hospital]. I've been to the hospital and seen the kids, and know what's going on and what's happened to them."
For more information, check out ANNOUNCEMENT: KIDS DAY or read the March 8, 2011 article, Kids Day rallies community to support hospital. For more information on how to become involved in campus service opportunities, contact Robert Foshee, leadership adviser.