Lew Wentworth, Chairman of the Board of Governors at our Northern California Shriners Hospital, and a Ben Ali Shriner puts Kids Day in perspective in this thoughtful note.
Community Matters – Remembering Kids Day
The first Tuesday in October holds a special place in my heart. For me, it is and always will be Kids Day. For that, I thank The Sacramento Bee, my fellow Shriners and our very generous community. Our first Kids Day took place on October 7, 1997. Volunteers dressed in bright t-shirts – and many wearing fezzes – blanketed street corners. As they waved copies of the special Kids Day edition of The Sacramento Bee, dollar bills practically flew from car windows. To see a community so robustly support a cause was truly inspirational.
That same scene repeated itself for 18 years – engaging and inspiring at every turn.
Kids Day memories are a poignant reminder of why community matters so much. The Sacramento Bee launched Kids Day as a way to welcome Shriners Hospitals for Children to its new home in Sacramento. The Kids Day edition of the paper was filled with stories about the patients served by the new hospital and its programs. The inspiring news was wrapped around the regular Tuesday edition of The Sacramento Bee and was available for purchase only from volunteers selling it on street corners, shopping malls and the likes. Volunteers rose before dawn to make sure people got their Kids Day papers. Proceeds from every dollar collected benefited our Shriners Hospitals for Children, where care is provided regardless of a family’s ability to pay.
Over the years, Kids Day raised well over $1 million to benefit Shriners Hospital. We can’t put a figure on how much goodwill and community awareness Kids Day mustered. We know it is priceless. We know it made an impact. More than 60,000 children have been accepted for care at the Northern California Shriners Hospital, and Kids Day helped open the door for many.
On October 6, 2015, we celebrate Kids Day by saying thank you again to The Sacramento Bee, the Shriners, the thousands of Kids Day volunteers, and a kind and generous community. Your belief, commitment, engagement and desire to make a difference in the lives of children will positively impact generations to come.