Children’s Health Council’s 3rd Annual Rocktoberfest Gala Brings the Community Together to Support the Promise and Potential of Every Child

PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–On Saturday, October 17th, Children’s Health Council (CHC),
the well-known peninsula agency that believes in the promise and
potential of every child and teen, hosted more than 450 community
leaders, professionals, and philanthropists at its third annual
Rocktoberfest gala. The benefit dinner and dance raised over $300,000,
100% of which will benefit CHC’s financial aid to kids and families, and
programs that remove barriers to learning, helping kids and families
facing ADHD, Learning Differences, Anxiety & Depression and Autism
become resilient, happy and successful at home, at school, and in life.

“I am humbled by the remarkable community support shown at
Rocktoberfest,” said Dr. Rosalie Whitlock, Executive Director of CHC.
“Funds raised tonight will ensure more kids and families get the help
they need regardless of ability to pay.” Moved by the tremendous need in
the community for CHC services, an anonymous donor kicked off the
Fund-A-Need appeal by offering a $50,000 matching grant to support CHC’s
financial aid program.

Rocktoberfest, co-chaired by well-known community volunteers Calla
Griffith and Rahela Abbas, combined all the fun of Oktoberfest with a
California twist. From gourmet food, fine artisanal wines, and
hand-crafted beers to rock n’ roll, courtesy of the band Pop Rocks,
guests were treated to a first-class evening out. Under the twinkling
lights of the National Center for Equine Facilitated Therapy (NCEFT) in
Woodside, guests bought raffle tickets for a chance to win Nest Home
Security Cams, a pair of His and Hers Apple Watches, or the featured
prize: a Katie Anderson diamond necklace, among other prizes. Guests
also bid on over 30 unique experiences in the silent auction that
included a Hawaiian vacation, a Tesla for the weekend, or a “Tee Kid”
Experience for a Stanford Football game. The event was made possible by
event sponsors, both corporate and individual, including Hercules
Technology, DLA Piper and DPR Construction.

The evening’s program highlighted three CHC initiatives that are
transforming the lives of kids and their families in the Bay Area,
thanks to generous community support: financial aid, help for Ravenswood
kids and families, and support for anxious and depressed teens.

Sand Hill School focuses on teaching bright kids with learning
. “Sand Hill School changed our lives,” said Buffie
Williams, whose son who spent 4th and 5th grades
there. “My son hated school from Kindergarten through 3rd
grade, crying himself to sleep every night and telling me how stupid he
was. At Sand Hill School, the faculty and staff accepted him for who he
was. They believed in him and held him to high standards. He learned how
to advocate for himself, and they never let him give up on himself.”
After two years at Sand Hill School, Buffie’s son transitioned to an
independent middle school where he sings in the choir, participates in
athletics, and earns exemplary grades. “Our experience at Sand Hill
School has been transformative,” said Buffie. “Today my son is engaged.
He loves learning. He believes in himself. CHC’s financial assistance
made this possible for us.”

Underserved kids in Ravenswood thrive when social emotional barriers
to success are removed.
“At the beginning of the year, I had a
student who was unengaged in school,” said Wiatt Grant, Lead Teacher at
one of CHC’s schools, and Ravenswood academic group advisor. This
student only completed half of his assignments, and scored poorly on
tests. The student was evaluated by CHC and joined the academic advisory
group where among other things they discussed different ways people
learn. One day, he surprised Wiatt. He had made up all his assignments,
and received an A on his Physics test. What changed? Through his work
with CHC, this student had uncovered his unique learning style. Once he
applied this to school, he came to realize for the first time, that he
could go to college. This is one success story among many students who
could benefit from CHC services. “Our challenge is meeting the vast need
for our services in East Menlo Park, and East Palo Alto,” continued
Wiatt. “It takes a community, and your contributions are vital to
helping these kids.”

Anxiety and depression are treatable. Suicide isn’t. It’s
According to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among
15-24 year-olds1. In Palo Alto alone, the rate at which
students act on suicidal ideation is 4-5 times the national average2.
While teens’ minds and bodies are rapidly changing, they are navigating
an increasingly complex social world. Many teens find ways to cope with
this stress. Many others struggle with anxiety and depression. “We have
a tremendous commitment to serving the most vulnerable in our
community,” said David Arbulú, psychotherapist at CHC. “Every teen
deserves access to mental health services and support to learn positive
coping skills, develop resiliency in the face of adversity, to challenge
their own negative thoughts, and to look forward to the future with

On November 10th, CHC will host a breakfast meeting to bring
community leaders, professionals, and philanthropists together to
collaborate and take action to confront the problem of teen anxiety,
depression and suicide. For information, contact Dr. Ramsey Khasho at

About Children’s Health Council

Children’s Health Council (Palo Alto) has been serving kids, youth and
teens in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties as well as the greater San
Francisco Bay Area for over 60 years. The goal of the agency is to
remove barriers to learning regardless of language, location, learning
style or ability to pay. At CHC, we specialize in ADHD, Learning
Differences, Anxiety & Depression and Autism with our Center, two
schools, Community Clinic and Parent and Teacher Education. No matter
how big or how small the issue is, we’ll help you navigate your child or
teen’s journey together.




Children’s Health Council
Sydnee Brooks, 650-617-3818
Wolters, 650-867-7929