Have Fun, Do Good, with Bay Meadows

Maybe you’ve heard about our rollicking food-truck extravaganza coming up on September 17th ? Red Hot Roundup will be a spicy good time for all ages. And we do mean GOOD. In fact, we’ve got 3 good reasons for you to attend Red Hot Roundup:

  1. Good food and fun with your family, friends and neighbors.
  2. The San Mateo City Parks and Recreation Foundation
  3. Joey “Baby Bear”
  4. Lea “Kamikaze”

Oh, that was actually 4 reasons! Let us explain. Reason #1 is pretty clear. Reason #2 – a portion of the event’s proceeds will go to support our City’s parks (stay tuned for a blog about why our parks matter.)

And reasons #3 & #4 are really one: Joey and Lea are dedicated volunteers with the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation (AARBF), a burn education and prevention charity championed by the San Mateo Firefighters. A portion of proceeds from Red Hot Roundup (including fees to enter the Spicy Wings eating contest) will be donated to this impactful organization.

And those are Joey and Lea’s nicknames from the Foundation’s “Champ Camp.” You see, Joey and Lea also are beneficiaries of the Foundation’s services for child survivors.

Joey has been involved with the Burn Foundation since he was 9 years old, one year after he lost his mom in a fiery car crash. Joey’s journey from burn victim to burn survivor was a long road, including several months in the hospital, 18 surgeries and years of grappling with traumatic physical and emotional effects.

AARBF has played a pivotal role in his recovery. Twenty one years after first getting involved, Joey continues to give back – through volunteering as a counselor at AARBF’s “Champ Camp” in the Sierras and even leading Burn Foundation fundraisers at Lagunitas, where he works in Petaluma.

Joey (l) today as a camp counselor and, bottom right, as a camper.

Joey (l) today as a camp counselor and, bottom right, as a camper.

Joey says, “At Champ Camp, kids are able to come out of their shells and feel comfortable, meet other burn survivors, make friends.”

Lea now works as a nurse in the burn unit of a local hospital. While she was surrounded by a loving family throughout her recovery, she says that AARBF was critical in helping her heal. “Even with that support system… I covered all my scars, wore long sleeves … at Camp, kids have this whole community that helps them adapt to dealing with their burn injuries, their scars.”

Lea adds that burns can happen to anyone and they usually represent hugely traumatic events requiring years of recovery. The Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation helps young people and their families feel “normal” again and understand there’s a whole network for survivors ready to help and share their experiences.

(top left) Lea with her brother at Champ Camp; (right) Lea at 13, wears pressure garments to help heal the scars; river rafting trip at this year's Champ Camp.

(top left) Lea with her brother at Champ Camp; (right) Lea at 13, wears pressure garments to help heal the scars; river rafting trip at this year’s Champ Camp.

Please lend your support to this great cause … first, by buying tickets to Red Hot Roundup and, also, by going up against the San Mateo Firefighters in the Spicy Wings Contest. And if you’re not able to attend, please consider giving generously to the Burn Foundation, here >


Businesses expanding or relocating within Silicon Valley, San Francisco or the greater Bay Area need look no further. Bay Meadows has 5 new office buildings conveniently located on Caltrain. Station 4 will be the new headquarters for SurveyMonkey, which will occupy the building in mid-2016. Station 3 is under construction and now leasing. These state-of-the-art buildings feature floor to ceiling glass, bike storage, expansive floorplates and locker room facilities. All Bay Meadows Station buildings will have access to 18 acres of open space, a social street featuring coffee shops, restaurants, bocce court and plenty of outdoor gathering spaces. The buildings are minutes from the Hillsdale Caltrain Station and proximal to SFO. It’s just 10 minutes to Palo Alto and SFO and 25 minutes to San Francisco!