Q&A with a Charity Walk Organizer

As senior associate director of special events at CHOC Foundation, Ashley Loera is instrumental in putting together the annual CHOC Walk, typically held at Disneyland. This year, the event goes virtual with fundraising through June 22. 

What are your goals for this year’s walk?
Our goal is to raise a million dollars by the end of our CHOC Walk virtual season. We hope to have 5,000 people signed up and fundraising from everywhere. We have walkers signed up (from across the country), and I think we have a couple of people from England who have signed up, so we want this to span as far as it can and broaden our scope.

How are you encouraging people to get active?
We have a brand-new app, which has a lot of new tools, including our activity tracker. You can go out for a walk, get your daily steps, and it will automatically connect to (the app) and you can essentially set a goal. We created the Step Up for Kids Activity Challenge (30 million miles by walk participants) so people stay active. You can track your miles even further by swimming, hiking, biking, and whatever activity you want to do.

What has kept your team motivated this past year?
This year has definitely been the craziest year that any of us have ever seen because we knew it was so vital that we pivot so quickly for the hospital, think outside the box, and find whatever avenues we could to keep fundraising. We’ve been doing the best we can to really support them as they’ve had to pivot to new ways to help our patients have continuous care through telemedicine, COVID-19 testing on-site, and all these new safety protocols to make it safe and accessible for the families that still needed to come.

What are you looking forward to post-pandemic?
I’m hoping by next year we’re going to have another in-person event. Once we get back to the park, we will be celebrating our 30th anniversary, and it’s just going to be a massive celebration.

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