Saturday, June 2nd, was an exciting day for City of Hope’s youngest patients and their families as the annual Pediatrics Picnic took place at Griffith Park. This year marked the 15th anniversary of the summertime celebration, and if the children’s level of enthusiasm and excitement was any indication, this was certainly one for the record books.
“We call it a picnic, but that doesn’t come close to describing the event that this extravaganza has become,” says Tami Case, Business Director of the Department of Pediatrics at City of Hope. Case describes the atmosphere of the picnic as always being “more like a carnival,” and this year there were plenty of games, activities, musical groups and even rides on the Live Steamer Train to entertain the children. Face-painting, henna booths and the always popular temporary tattoo booth allowed the kids to express their more colorful sides. Also on hand, to the delight of patients and their families alike, were several stars from the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon Channel.
With “Music Mania” as this year’s theme, the children were treated to a variety of musical genres and forms of entertainment, from 1950s rock ’n’ roll to country and hip hop. The music certainly made the day lively and, like the food, the entertainment and the equipment, every bit of it was donated.
“This really is a wonderful ‘home-spun’ event,” Case says. “Everything is donated. We don’t want the parents to have to pay for a thing.”
Case attributes the continued success of the picnic to City of Hope’s Judith Sato, MD. “The Pediatric Picnic truly is Dr. Sato’s baby in every sense of the word. She came to City of Hope and brought this idea with her.”
The picnic has grown larger each year, making it all the more special. “It is a great deal of work; there is no party planner hired,” Case says. “And it is all worth it to see the children with their loved ones getting the chance to be outside, enjoying a picnic, for the day.” For Case, the City of Hope staffers and volunteers, the Pediatric Picnic is a labor of love.