View Count: 153 |  Publish Date: March 04, 2014
Big-name celebrities coming to S.F. event for kids

A flock of big-name, big-heart celebrities - including Annette Bening, Danny DeVito, Josh Groban, Randy Newman, Jack Nicholson, Renee Zellweger and Bonnie Raitt - whooshes into Davies Hall on Monday for A Starry Evening of Music, Comedy & Surprises.
The invitation list includes local tech stars, too. Jack Dorsey (Twitter and Square) and Sean Parker (Napster and Facebook) are on the event committee, along with a list of familiar names: Montana, Wilsey, Newsom, Traina and Baer.
The evening is a benefit for the Painted Turtle, a camp for sick kids; the UCSF Benioff Childrens Hospital, which cares for sick kids; and the Teddy Bear Rescue Fund, which is for the families of sick kids.
Everything about all that - the healthy raising money for the sick, the haves raising money for the have-nots, the bold-faced celebrities raising money for the publicly nameless - is noble and grand. But before the tree, there comes the seed: the marriage of co-producer and celebrity-wrangler Lou Adler and Page Hannah Adler, the woman who dreamed up the camp 17 years ago.
Lou Adler, record producer, artist manager, director, theater owner and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, is in the notoriously tough music business. This years show will include campers performing with the pros, and every one of those pros is a volunteer. Nobody asks if theyre going on first, Lou Adler said at a recent cocktail party benefit pitch at Ann and Gordon Gettys Pacific Heights home.
The Painted Turtle, worlds away in Lake Hughes (Los Angeles County), is free for the 2,400 children and family members who use it each year. Raise a little hell
It is an offshoot of the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp founded in 1988 by Paul Newman, who envisioned a place where children, no matter how seemingly incapacitated, could relax, kick back and raise a little hell. The camp ran on profits from sales of salad dressings hed invented with pal, novelist and playwright A.E. Hotchner.
Lou Adler, 81, and Page Adler, 50 - whose father was a friend of Hotchners - have been married since 1992, live in Los Angeles, and have raised seven sons. Page Adler had been volunteering at everything possible since she was 15, said Lou Adler, and she volunteered at Newmans camp in Connecticut in its second year. A few years later, after she and Lou Adler married, she opened the door to me, said Lou Adler, and they began planning a California camp.
A needs assessment study found there were 17,500 seriously ill children in California with no access to summer recreation, and a survey of state facilities resulted in UCSFs childrens hospital becoming a founding partner of the California camp. The Painted Turtle was the sixth camp in Newmans SeriousFun Childrens Network.
Lab and X-ray facilities
There were requirements for the site: lab and X-ray facilities less than 45 minutes away and an emergency room reachable by 15-minute helicopter flight (theres a pad at the camp). When a 173-acre former RV park two hours north of Los Angeles was chosen as the site, Lou Adler envisioned a couple of bungalows and a fire pit. In 2004, seven years and $30 million later, the Painted Turtle opened.
Every activity is accessible to all - so if youre in a wheelchair, said Page Adler, no one will say to you, Your entrance is around the back to the left. And everything is ADA-compliant, including a high ropes course for wheelchairs. Dialysis is offered in cabins and in the Well Shell medical clinic. Theres an on-site pharmacy, and every facility is within 600 yards of the clinic and dining hall. A medical director and nursing director are joined by rotating medical specialists.
Most summer campers attending weeklong condition-specific sessions are away from their families for the first time. But there are family weekends year-round, and an Outpost Program that brings one-day, on-site play and activity camps to patients, including children at UCSF Benioff and 11 other participating hospitals around the state. The Painted Turtles budget is $4.5 million a year. Ten days before the benefit, $850,000 (toward a goal of $1 million) had been committed by sponsors. Tickets in the Davies tiers start at $125, with orchestra seats selling for $1,000 and up. The Adlers are enthusiastic, but putting on a benefit means assuming a fundraisers quid pro quo. Whoever you ask will ask you next week, as Lou Adler puts it.Tech community
Theres a lot of asking being done by people at UCSF Benioff. Kathy Balestreri, head of patient services at the hospital, credits investor and political force Ron Conway, a longtime supporter of the hospital, for links to the tech community.
This year, dermatologist Richard Glogau and wife Pam Glogaus Teddy Bear Rescue Fund is included in the glittering Davies Hall event so donors arent besieged with competing requests. The Glogaus spent time at UCSF when their young son required surgery for orthopedic problems. They noticed other parents sleeping in their cars, eating grape jelly on white bread for dinner. Realizing the need for a cookie jar full of money for social workers to give out discreetly, said Pam Glogau, they created the Teddy Bear Rescue Fund. In 10 years, they have raised $1.3 million, mainly through annual carnival-like Snuggly Soiree parties at the Gettys.
Medical crises
Hospital executive director Kim Scurr talked to the Gettys guests about the difficulties of helping children in medical crises. Most hospitalized children are sicker than hospitalized adults; more than 50 percent of the beds in the Benioff Childrens Hospital are ICU beds. She also described a few cases (without names, of course), in which the Glogaus fund had provided gas money for visiting parents and paid for unfunded medications.
Midtalk, Scurr, whose everyday work involves helping these families, choked up at the Gettys event. Whoops, she said. This doesnt usually happen.
Whatever has befallen those children isnt usual, either.
The goal of the camp, said Page Adler, is to bring back some normalcy to these children. Their illness is part of them, but it doesnt necessarily define them. A Starry Evening of Music, Comedy & Surprises
What: A benefit for the three organizations dedicated to helping sick children
When: 7:30 p.m. Monday
Where: Davies Symphony Hall
Leah Garchik is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. E-mail: Twitter: @leahgarchik

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Time: 3:14  |  News Code: 389871  |  Site: San Francisco Chronicle
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