by JENNIFER FRAKES

The most rewarding part of being a member of the Carmel Valley Unit of Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary is making a difference in my community. I feel blessed to have this opportunity to give back, especially when it impacts children,” says Lory Fisher, historian for the Carmel Valley Unit.

The Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary was formed in 1953 and currently has 23 units in San Diego and Riverside counties. The Auxiliary is dedicated to ensuring that Rady Children’s Hospital will provide the best medical care for the community’s children. “Rady Children’s Hospital is unique in that it is the only children’s hospital in the country to provide care to 84% of the region’s children,” says Fisher.

The Carmel Valley Unit, with 28 active members, has made a major impact in fundraising and increasing community awareness for Rady Children’s Hospital. “In the course of the Carmel Valley Unit’s existence, these amazing ladies have evolved from raising a few thousand dollars to raising over $750,000 a year. All in all, the Unit has raised close to $4 million for numerous departments of Rady Children’s Hospital,” says Judy Rowles, Unit Chair.

When the Carmel Valley Unit was formed in 1994, the members wanted to create an annual fundraiser that was unique to the unit. Early events included a mother-daughter tea and a southern-style hoedown. In 2004, to celebrate its 10th anniversary, the Carmel Valley Unit launched what has become its signature fundraising event: “Sounds of Hope for Children.”

This year’s event features The Joshua Tree, a band who will play tribute to U2. “Sounds of Hope” will take place on April 28 at The LOFT at UCSD. Sandra Maas, Carmel Valley resident and KUSI news anchor, has graciously donated her time and talent to emcee the event.

The proceeds from the event will go to support Rady Discovery Pediatric Research Program, a collaboration with UCSD that focuses on discovering cures and treatments for childhood diseases. According to co-chairs Melanie Casey and Michele Divine, “Our goal is to underwrite 100% of our expenses so all money raised goes directly to the hospital.”

Tickets for “Sounds of Hope” are $155 per guest and available by invitation only to the first 200 respondents.