The 18th annual charity fundraiser Hot Cocoa for a Cure will take place 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16 at the Freitas residence, 3616 Garrison St. More than 1,000 cups of hot chocolates and scrumptious baked goodies will be sold and dispensed.
“This year’s event is to help Ron Schoors, who lost his arm in a boating accident this summer, and is now in need of a prosthesis,” said Kyle Ybarra who, along with wife Carrie, are continuing their family's annual giving tradition begun by their now-grown daughter almost 20 years ago.
After several surgeries, Schoors continues to recover from his boating accident. He was out in San Diego Bay when a wave rocked his boat and knocked him into the water. The empty boat started to spin out of control and ran him over while he was underwater. The boat's propeller caught his arm, leaving it seriously injured. He also broke his leg.
The Coast Guard rescued Schoors out of the water. They got the boat under control after Schoors' friend hit it with his own boat to stop its momentum.
The Schoors' family has set up a Go Fund Me page to help defray Ron's medical expenses.
Past hot chocolate fundraiser recipients have included a victim of domestic violence, a child with brain cancer, a boy who was shot and survived, a juvenile diabetes sufferer and many others in need.
Kyle Ybarra noted Schoors is unquestionably deserving of being this year's fundraiser recipient.
“His leg was severely broken in multiple places, and his right arm was so damaged, he ended up losing it,” Ybarra said, noting it's hoped proceeds from the annual charitable fundraiser “will be enough to get him his prosthetic arm.”
Of the origin of the hot cocoa fundraiser, Kyle Ybarra, said: “When my daughter, now 24, was 6 years old, she and her three best friends set up a small little hot chocolate stand to benefit a young girl in Tijuana they knew who was going to have surgery. They raised about $80 and took that money and bought the girl a Barbie doll and took it to her hospital room. It's (fundraiser's) grown larger and larger ever since.”
Carrie Ybarra said her family's charity fundraiser started out small with her two daughters setting up a card table in front of their house, adding, “Now it's turned into a community event where people not only donate, but help run it. It’s amazing.”
Carrie Ybarra noted there will be something else special, too, about this year's chocolate fundraiser.
“This year, the San Diego Padres have generously offered to help support this cause,” she said.
Kyle Ybarra added there have now been 18 different fundraiser recipients over the years, as an institution, Rady Children's Hospital, was a recipient one year. He added some recipients have benefitted more than once.
The public is encouraged to come out for hot cocoa, delicious treats, music and an appearance by Santa, as well as the San Diego Padres Pad Squad and Friar.
To donate directly to Ron, a fundraiser page was set up for him: http://bit.ly/2A3Inu4.
Hot Cocoa for a Cure
Where: 3616 Garrison St.
When: 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16.
Donate: To donate directly to Ron Schoors, visit http://bit.ly/2A3Inu4.