Inspired by the hope Shriners Hospitals for Children has given his family, Chad Allen Smith and Grecia Guzman traveled to Sacramento on Wednesday, Oct. 12, to present the Northern California hospital with a donation of more than $10,000. The money was raised at a comedy show and benefit dinner Smith organized at The Fruit Yard Restaurant in Modesto on September 24.
The story begins at this time last year.
In October 2015, Smith’s dream of becoming a father came true when doctors confirmed that his fiancé, Grecia Guzman, was a mother-to-be. The proud parents welcomed the arrival of Klayton Daxon Smith on June 28, 2016. On that same day, the young couple learned their son was born with cleft lip and palate. Doctors immediately referred them to medical specialists in the region. “A family friend who is associated with Shriners headquarters in Florida reached out to us and suggested that we look into Shriners Hospitals,” said Smith. “After some research we decided that Shriners Hospitals was over all the best option for our son. We were extremely excited and grateful to be accepted into the program.”
Soon mom, dad and Klayton had an appointment with the cleft lip team — Dr. Pirko Maguina, a plastic surgeon at the Northern California Shriners Hospital, and Dr. Craig Senders, otorhinolaryngology surgeon. They scheduled surgery for Klayton in November. “That’s when we felt we had a purpose and that purpose was to bring attention to this amazing hospital,” said Smith. With the support of his boss, The Fruit Yard owner Joe Traina, Smith invited his friend and Modesto comic Anthony K to perform for a benefit dinner at the restaurant. Smith and his fiancé pulled together a team of volunteers to get donations and raffle prizes.
“The event was a huge success. With ticket sales, raffles and donations we were able to gather a final donation of $10,200,” said Smith, who with family at his side, presented the check to Alan Anderson, Director of Development, and thankful Shriners Hospital staff gathered for a reception in the hospital’s central activity area.
In just a matter of weeks, Smith’s son will have surgery at the Northern California Shriners Hospital to repair the cleft lip and palate. “I will continue my support for the rest of my life,” the grateful dad said.
Shriners Hospitals for Children is devoted to transforming the lives of children through excellence in treatment, teaching and research. Located at 2425 Stockton Boulevard in Sacramento, Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California provides care to children with orthopaedic conditions, spinal cord injuries, burns, cleft lip, scars from any cause and other complex surgical needs. There are no barriers to care as admission is based on age and diagnosis. Donations support the hospital in its mission to provide care regardless of the family’s ability to pay. For further information call (916) 453-2000.
Media Contact: Catherine Curran | Public Relations (916) 453-2218 | firstname.lastname@example.org