Summer festival helps Rancho artists and artisans believe

DOWNEY - Hundreds of patients, staff and community members took part in Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center's first-ever summer festival last Friday in the hospital's Jacquelin Perry Institute back lot. The celebration consisted of a bazaar featuring hundreds of original creations from the Arts and Crafts of Rancho, beautiful plants and flowers grown in Rancho's Restorative Garden, a delicious dinner cooked by Rancho Director of Facilities Management Michael Lear, and a spectacular concert entitled "Believe" delivered by participants in the Performing Arts of Rancho program.

"What a day for Rancho patients!" exclaimed Supervisor Don Knabe, who attended the Summer Festival with his wife Julie. "The breadth of artistic achievement was incredible, from the beautiful craft items to the potted plants created in the garden to the inspiring concert by the performing artists. I salute all the Rancho patients who took part in the Summer Festival, and also applaud Team Rancho for helping them move forward successfully with their lives after their disabling illnesses and injuries."

Rancho Chief Executive Officer Jorge Orozco agreed with the Supervisor. "I am in awe of the tremendous effort put forth by our patients to create the art and beauty we witnessed today," he said. "Their talent and dedication make us all proud to work at Rancho. For every artist who shone today, there are Rancho doctors, therapists, nurses and other team members who have worked with them to help them achieve their artistic visions."

"We are all profoundly thankful to be able to give back to Rancho, because the amazing people at this special hospital have helped each of the Rancho patients here today experience our own personal miracles in our quest to fulfill our potential," said Performing Arts of Rancho Director Jay Cramer.

Singer Annette Revilla, spoke for her fellow artists. "Our stories are all different, and yet in many ways we have shared similar experiences. Many of us were almost out of hope when we came to Rancho, but then our Rancho experiences lifted us up in ways we could never have imagined.

"Each of us have found our own personal path to independence," she said. "For me, being involved in the Performing Arts of Rancho has given me new hope as I feed off the love of my fellow artists, the Rancho staff who support us and even the response of the audiences at our concerts. "I'm still fighting for my life, but with Rancho on my side, I know I will win!"

********** Published: July 26, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 15