Help us win Vivanista’s Party with a Purpose!!

Edit: CONGRATULATIONS!

Thank you Vivanista for your contest! Red Balloon ended up in 3rd place with well over 4,000 votes! Thank you all for your support; we couldn’t have done this without you!

Red Balloon is one of the five finalists for Vivanista’s Party with a Purpose video submission contest. The other submissions are quite amazing and inspiration so please also check out their videos.

Don’t forget to vote for Red Balloon!!

Here’s the link: http://vivanista.com/2011/01/the-results-are-in/

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Red Balloons on my shirt!!!

Thanks to The Imaginary Zebra, we have an exclusive t-shirt for the event! Benson Chou’s creativity really shines through this design and every aspect of detail has a significance. We are so happy with the finished product and so honored to have Imaginary Zebra be apart of our benefit this year.

They will also be showcasing their apparel at our benefit so please come out and support them and the UC Davis Popping Club.

Please visit http://theimaginaryzebra.blogspot.com/ to see other wonderful creations of the Imaginary Zebra. Pictures are from their website.

Shirts are $20 with 50% of your purchase going to the UC Davis Children’s Hospital!

To preorder your shirt: http://theimaginaryzebra.bigcartel.com/product/red-balloon-x-the-imaginary-zebra-pre-order

You can pick up your order at the show OR have the shirt shipped to you!

Don’t forget to RSVP your tickets at redballoon.staff@gmail.com or donate online at http://projectredballoon.chipin.com

We are so excited to see you all this weekend!!! Stay tuned for more updates and news. We promise it keeps getting better and better!

Red Balloon, party with a purpose

Thank you Vivanista for featuring us on your website!!!

Please visit http://vivanista.com to learn about other local non-profit organizations and learn how you be successful at your own! They are a fantastic group and offer great advice to help any person get started.

Vivanista is also having a video contest with Red Balloon in the running!

This video submission has been my personal dream for years. I decided it’s finally time to make this dream a reality. We’ll be saying goodbye to you at our November show, but saying hello to over 1000 pediatric patients in local children’s hospitals throughout Northen California. This is truly what I wanted Red Balloon to become.”
— Jennifer Allison Tran, Founder and Executive Director

Once when I was little,

I believed that I could fly to the moon Tuesday morning and be back by noon; I believed that I would find a cure for cancer in my spare time and marry Justin Timberlake; I believed that the world could only get better.

My second day in the ER, I witnessed my first pediatric trauma and time of death. 3yo, 911 trauma, peds vs. auto. He had on a pair of Shrek velcro shoes. I was devastated. I spent an hour crying in the stairwell because I felt so helpless. I thought medicine was a misguided ambition; I thought I wasn’t meant to be a doctor. Ironically, this incident solidified my childhood dreams. But needless to say, I avoided peds ER like the plague.

In June 2009, my PI (principal investigator, she’s my boss when I did clinical research in peds) paged me and told me they were expecting an “exciting case” and I should go down to the ER to check it out. Working in an academic hospital has its perks; I knew her idea of “exciting” meant chief complaint/injuries with academic potential. I stopped by the emrap office to check the medical records to have an idea of this “exciting case.”

My heart sank; 4yo, 911 trauma, peds vs. auto, struck by oncoming vehicle, airlift, induced coma, multiple brain injuries. Every phrase induced sharp pains into my chest. “Let’s check it out!!!” said the emraper on shift. Usually (if not all the time), I would’ve already beat ’em to Resus but today was different. Today reminded me of my 3yo with the Shrek shoes struck by a truck in a shopping mall parking lot. I told the emraper to go out instead and that I had some work I needed to do. I found myself crying in a familiar stairwell.

Fast forward to now.

I’d like to introduce you all to Aviana. She is a beautiful little girl, adopted by two loving parents. She loves Gary Allen and Butch Walker. She’s like any normal little girl you’d know. In June 2009, she was with her grandparents walking along the sidewalk. Her grandpa held her as her grandma was a few steps behind. The two were struck by an oncoming car while her grandma watched in complete horror. Her grandpa presented with a pelvis fx, multiple rib fx, multiple contusions, cuts and scraps. Ariana was thrown out of his arms and landed on her head, suffering numerous skull fx and intracranial trauma. She needed immediate treatment and went into the OR at Sutter Roseville before airlifted to UC Davis Children’s Hospital.

You can connect the dots.

In a second, her life was completely broken and now her family is slowly (but surely) putting together all the pieces. Aviana’s injuries have left her unable to talk, walk or eat on her own; yet, her family makes the best out of everything and count their blessings that she is still alive.

By chance, I found her family’s blog and connected the dots. Their story hit close to home because I also remember that girl in the stairwell who cried for their little girl. When I was in that stairwell, I was completely helpless and passive. When I got in touch with her family, I cried but I was not in a stairwell. It’s different.

I’m happy to announce that this year’s Red Balloon will be dedicated to Aviana and her family. I believe that music goes beyond scalpels and sutures to make someone whole again. With a bit of magic, prayers and red balloons, maybe this one night of music can help with her recovery and brighten her family’s day. And who knows, maybe we’ll be able to change a child’s life. After all, the world can only get better.

All my love,

Jennifer Allison Tran

P.S. Visit and follow her family’s blog at http://avianareese.blogspot.com/

TH Books for Kids

As a child, my parents would take me to the library every Saturday afternoon and we would leave the building with stacks of treasures. As humans, we read to know that we are not alone. A friend personally referred me to this non-profit and my heart started to swell with admiration and love. Alongside Jeremy’s Empty Suitcase Project, I think TH Books for Kids would compliment perfectly with Red Balloon 2010.

All my love,
Jen-Allison

Thanks for your support, Marie Digby!

Check out this amazing video with the beautiful and talented Marie Digby! Marie made her big break into the music world and has been touring the world, enchanting and enriching ears with her sweet voice and serene songs. Nicki Sun (our favorite interviewer!) hosts a youtube online show called Now You Know, where she interviews and allows all of us to meet talented musicians. It’s so sweet to see how people support Red Balloon! Thank you so much 🙂

Nicki Sun, thank you for including us in your interview with Marie Digby!

And Marie Digby, thank you so much for your support in music therapy programs! We love you ❤

Empty Suitcase Project

We had the beautiful opportunity to meet Jeremy “Passion” Manongdo who graced our ears with his Empty Suitcase Project. We are in the process of incorporating Jeremy’s project into Red Balloon 2010. Thanks for sharing your time and talents with us, Jeremy! Best of luck of your trip and thank you for giving us an opportunity to collaborate.