Superheros visit children at the Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA
Hosted by the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA's Student Council, the All-School Philanthropic Ball is open to all students and will be held Feb. 27, 2015.
The annual charity ball is planned and executed entirely by students at UCLA, headed up by student council members Nina Vyas and Prerna Gupta. "We plan the event from start to finish. We pick the activities, decide what to benefit — it's totally student driven," says fourth-year Medical School Student Council President Christine Thang. "It's really great that the school lets us do this. They let us come up with ideas and run with them."
Have a ball helping children
Each year, the formal event has a focus that sets it apart from previous years. This time, it's the charity that's special.
Previous years have benefited student-run initiatives, such as raising money for the homeless or providing for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. This year, the chosen charity is one close to many DGSOM students' hearts: The Child Life Program at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center provides children with art, music, therapeutic play and safe spaces to socialize with siblings and other patients. Hospitalized children have someone to play and engage with, including activities and equipment provided through the program. Much of the initiative hinges on donations, which makes it a perfect candidate for this year's charity ball.
"We rotate through there as third-year medical students," says Thang. "They allow us to come there to learn, and we wanted to give back to the patients, their families and the staff."
A worthy cause deserves a great party, and that is the case for this year's All-School Philanthropic Ball. The event will take place at the Victorian Hotel, an exquisite mansion originally built in 1892 relocated to Heritage Square in Santa Monica and now a hotel.
Bid your generosity
The evening's activities will feature music from live DJs and refreshments.
A silent auction will make a return this year, with donations provided by DGSOM students and staff. Last year's offerings included a weekend at a California ranch, test-preparation materials and tickets to sporting events. This year, auction donations will be accepted and available to be reviewed on the evening of the charity ball. Currently, they include front-row seats to graduation and tickets to a popular theme park. All proceeds from the silent auction will be given to the Child Life Program at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
The charity ball goes beyond the chance to socialize in an elegant setting. "It's not just a party," says Thang. "We want to bring the student body together and benefit the Child Life Program. Also, a lot of us are halfway through the year, and it's a time for us to celebrate together before the second-year students have to start studying for their board exams and the fourth-year students find out where they are matching for residency."
"It's also great timing, because the first-year students will have finished their exams that morning and will be able to celebrate that night," she says.
This night of fun and fellowship is a must to benefit children at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. With friends, a nice outfit and a spirit of giving, donors can get ready for an elegant evening for a great cause.