Ethan & Choco's Book Club

Striving to make access to books and reading a core part of the care that SuperKids receive in the hospital, with the principal premise that literacy support for children fighting cancer and other life-threatening conditions can help promote cognitive development and social connections that are part of thriving through treatment and beyond


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Halloween Book Drive!

October is here, and so it’s time for our annual Halloween book drive! ECBC is so excited that our BOO-ks for Treats Halloween book give-away is finally back as part of CHOC’s trick-or-treating event! This event holds a very special place in our organization’s heart, especially ECBC co-founder Ethan’s. Ethan was diagnosed with cancer a few days before Halloween in 2014, and on Halloween day Ethan had his port surgically placed in his chest, started chemotherapy, and also dressed up and went trick-or-treating in the CHOC lobby at dozens of fun booths giving away candy and small toys. A year later, we founded ECBC and then BOO-ks for Treats, so that CHOC patients could also trick-or-treat for literary candy (aka books)! During Covid, we had to deliver Halloween books “reverse trick-or-treating” style, in bags to patient rooms — which was not nearly as fun. So we are thrilled to be back!

Which means that we need a TON of Halloween-themed books for patients of all ages! Spefically, we need about 500 books for the trick-or-treating event, and then another several hundred for our outpatient gifting library carts. Please help us if you can! To donate, you can scan the QR code below or go to bit.ly/Halloweenbooks4ECBC to purchase a book off our Halloween Wish List on Amazon. All books will be sent directly to ECBC and bookplated with donor names. We need books of all types — from board books and picture books to easy chapter books, middle grade chapter books, graphic novels, and teen/young adult fiction. THANK YOU for providing literary joy to kids who are stuck in the hospital on Halloween!


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THANK YOU Hicks Canyon, Arroyo, and Guin Foss!

THANK YOU to these Tustin Unified School District elementary schools for hosting book drives for ECBC last week: Hicks Canyon, Arroyo, and Guin Foss. All three schools collected books for Ethan & Choco’s Book Club as part of their fall book fairs, and all three schools do this regularly, 1-2 times per year alongside their book fairs. ECBC is currently donating 500-600 new books per month to CHOC patients, and most of these books come from school book drives. So it is a big deal to have “regulars” whom we can count on for incoming books! A special shout out to Hicks Canyon parent Tina Jussal, Guin Foss Librarian (and ECBC Board Member) Susie Alexander, and Arroyo parent Claudia Rounaghi for coordinating your school’s book drive efforts!

Please contact ECBC (ali@ECbookclub.com) if your school would like to partner with ECBC and run your own book drive! There are meaningful ways to involve students as desired, especially if your school’s ASB/leadership class would like to take it on!


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Outpatient Book Delivery Day!

Today was outpatient book delivery day! ECBC re-stocked our gifting cart at CHOC’s Outpatient Infusion Center (OPI) and our mini library at the Oncology Clinic — gifting a total of 500 new books for patients of all ages, infant through teen/young adult. ECBC also delivered 15 Read Think Thrive Bags, our book bags filled with ten new books and book crafting supplies — to be gifted to patients who are newly diagnosed with cancer. This typical outpatient delivery amounts to a cash value of approximately $7500 and wouldn’t be possible without the support of our community via our annual fundraiser and ongoing throughout the year.

Next up: We are going to need a HUGE amount of Halloween-themed books! Please keep an eye out for our Halloween book drive, or consider hosting your own Halloween book drive at your school, business, philanthropy group, or book club!


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THANK YOU BAUM ORTHO!

Thank you Baum Orthodontics for these 117 new books! Your ongoing book drive and regular donations are such a blessing for ECBC!

Baum Ortho collects books regularly for ECBC, in part by offering patient families deals on their retainer replacements if they donate new books. How AWESOME is that?! ECBC is in need of more partnerships like this with our community to help keep up with the 500-600 new books that we provide to CHOC each month. Please contact us (ali@ECbookclub.com) if you’d like to encourage your clients/customers/patients/community to donate new books and become an ECBC book donation site!

Community partnerships like this one with Baum Ortho are passive bookraising for ECBC and make such a difference for our tiny nonprofit!


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THANK YOU, BOOK IT 2023 PARTICIPANTS AND SUPPORTERS!

A HUGE thank you to our AWESOME community for joining us this past Monday at Ethan & Choco’s Book Club’s (ECBC) 6th annual (3rd in-person) charity run and book drive — BOOK IT! Racing for Reading for Hospitalized Kids! Approximately 400 racers (and nearly 550 total including volunteers, exhibitors, vendors, authors, and booksellers) came to walk, run, fundraise, bookraise, and make our event an amazing success! The net amount of funds raised is still to be determined, but between our event sponsors and online + onsite donations, we exceeded our gross fundraising goal of 50K and collected another few hundred books per the onsite book drive. This will allow us to sustain our current book and reading programs at CHOC Children’s Hospital.

In addition to walking or running in our 1K and 5K events, it was fun to see so many supporting our cause in a variety of ways: dressing up as a children’s book character and participating in the Literary Character Costume Contest; visiting author and bookseller booths to purchase books, meet authors, and get autographs; contributing to our book drive by dropping purchased books into our book donation boxes, funding a book on the Handprint Wall, and purchasing raffle tickets; using the photo booth with literary props and receiving printed photos to keep; jumping in the bounce house; having faces painted and cartoon caricatures drawn; receiving fun wearable balloon art; visiting our many exhibitor and vendor booths; enjoying great breakfast and coffee treats from our food trucks; attending storytime on the stage with our authors; and winning great prizes at the culminating book drive raffle drawing. It was so fun to see so much activity and energy going towards our cause, with so many in their BOOK IT! logo shirts and sporting “Run Read Thrive” medals! Congratulations to top 5K finishers (top male finisher Nathan Kneller, top female finisher Lauren Mansy), the winning team “Caleb’s Team”, and all age division winners.

Thank you to Jeffrey Trail Middle School, Irvine Unified School District, and the city of Irvine for providing us with a fantastic location with a beautiful course! Thank you to A5 Events and Ryan Kugler for their expertise in the many layers of permitting the event as well as all aspects of set up and tear down of the exhibit area and course. Thank you to Itz About Time for their seamless professional timing services. Our deepest thank you to the Gerrit and Amy Cole Foundation for stepping up to be our Title Sponsor, and a huge thank you to all of our sponsors: Eisai Inc, Mercer, Jen Schro Catching, 5 Boroughs Book Club, Chapman University, CHOC/Hyundai Cancer Institute, Enderle Center, Paris Family Trust, Sur West Homes, Voit Real Estate, Behr Paint, Blue Buoy, Erin Denes Realtor, Miracles for Kids, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Old Towne Orange Film Festival, Orange Chamber of Commerce, PaKua OC, Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, Selman Chevrolet, The O’Dell Group of Seven Gables, The Printery, Tiddlywinks, and Zov’s. We couldn’t have pulled this off without all of our terrific event sponsors. 

Thank you also to everyone who contributed to our AMAZING expo area! To our awesome booksellers — Tiddlywinks Toys and Games, Arvida Book Co, PaperPie — who provided terrific titles to sell at the onsite book drive. And to our children’s authors — Kim Dwinell, Amber Morell, Tootie Nienow, Jennifer Gray Olson, Dan Paley, Chris Robertson, Susie Schaefer, Kristine Sheleritis, and Kathleen Troy — who sold signed copies of their books and also provided an engaging storytime on the stage. Thank you to all of our exhibitors, vendors, Kids Korner vendors, and food trucks who made the expo area fun and interesting: CHOC Children’s Hospital, Miracles for Kids, MaxLove Project, PaKua OC Martial Arts OC, OC Children’s Book Festival, Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Mom & Pop Shop Popsicles, Daisy Chains, Fully Body Pilates, AKT Tustin, OC Bouncers, Creative Parties for Kids, Annie Banannie, Creative Phototime, Crepes Bonaparte, The Lime Truck, and Carmen’s Coffee. And thank you to the following raffle prizes donors: Zov’s, Kristin Chahbazian, Cirkel Fitness, Sharon & Tod Paris, In-n-Out, Laguna Handbags, TIddlywinks, Irvine Regional Park, The Potting Shed, Rock & Brews, Coast Hardware, Centro/Storico, Patti Wilkins, Trader Joes, Hands On Wellness Center, Nektar, and Studio 17. The 32 awesome prizes you donated added excitement to the book drive and helped to make it a success. Also a shout out to these individuals for donating their time and expertise: Master David Clawson for leading the warm-up, the Foothill High School Madrigal singers for leading us beautifully in singing the National Anthem, Old Towne Film Festival Director Dan Parks for filming BOOK IT on the ground and by drone, photographer Annie White for her professional photography, and CHOC mascot costume wearer veteran MaKenna Clawson for donning the heavy CHOCO suit again this year! A HUGE thank you to the BOOK IT planning committee for their incredibly hard work in the weeks and months leading up to event day — Susie Alexander, Mary Kay Viscounty, Jeanie Viveros, Fenny Kokenge, Kristin Chahbazian, Juliet Hilde, Anne Case, Suzanne Bernardy, Sandy Tweedt, and Patti Wilkins. And, this event could not have happened without the robust group of approximately 100 volunteers who came out to help on race day. Thank you to ECBC’s Bedside Readers, the Assistance League of Tustin, Youth Action Team High School, the National League of Young Men Tustin, the Kiwanis Club of Irvine, and the UCI and Irvine Valley College Circle K Club. This event is a big undertaking for our tiny organization, and it truly does take a community to pull it off. You are all so appreciated.

And finally, thank you to the many individuals and families who signed up and showed up, thus contributing to our great turn-out despite the four-year gap since our last in-person BOOK IT. A special thank you to our largest teams: Foothill High School, Mercer Cares, Ethan’s Family & Friends, Cavalry Church, We Love Literacy – Team Hilde, Anaheim Run Club, OC Parent Guide, and Team Ethan Lakin Loves to Read. The large teams help our numbers so much! And a very special thank you to all of the oncology and other CHOC patients and families who joined us — your strength, perseverance, and bravery inspire us every day to create programs that help you thrive and become tomorrow’s future leaders

Thank you for BOOKing IT for reading for patients at CHOC Children’s Hospital! We sincerely hope that our community views ECBC’s cause as their cause too, benefiting the kids of Orange County who end up in the hospital. See you back next year for BOOK IT 2024!

** If you couldn’t make it on race day but would still like to contribute to our annual fundraiser, it’s not too late! The online book drive/fundraising campaign will be running for a month after the event, until October 4, 2023.

Our full collection of event photos, including shots of all our exhibitors and medal winners, will be uploaded soon.

TO DONATE ONLINE, CLICK HERE: https://runsignup.com/Race/Donate/CA/Irvine/RunReadThrive
TO VIEW RACE DAY RESULTS, CLICK HERE: https://runsignup.com/Race/Results/53767#resultSetId-402396;perpage:100


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It’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Today is September 1, marking the start of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. EVERY DAY, 47 KIDS IN THE U.S. ARE DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER. Every day, 47 families’ lives are flipped completely upside down. If you haven’t signed up FOR BOOK IT yet, please consider joining us on Labor Day in Irvine to help ECBC continue to do our part in helping kids to THRIVE against cancer with high-quality books and reading experiences. In addition to the 1K and 5K walk/runs with t-shirts and medals, there will be local authors and booksellers, terrific food trucks, raffle prizes, and FREE fun for kids including bounce house, face painting, balloon artist, caricature drawings, and photo booth with free prints!

3 DAYS TO GO! PLEASE SIGN UP AT RUNSIGNUP.COM/BOOKIT2023


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13 Days To Go!

BOOK IT 2023 is now 13 days away…and we need 350 more sign-ups to sustain our book and reading programs at CHOC Children’s Hospital. PLEASE HELP by signing up now and/or sharing this with your friends/family/community.

WHAT: BOOK IT! Racing for Reading for Hospitalized Kids

WHEN: Monday, September 4 (Labor Day), 7:00 – 10:00 AM

WHERE: Jeffrey Trail Middle School in Irvine

WHY: To raise money for books and reading at CHOC — ECBC gifts 500-600 new books per month + bedside reading, primarily for patients with cancer and other life-altering illnesses

HOW: Sign up at runsignup.com/BOOKIT2023

WHAT ELSE: Book character costume contest with prizes; 3 great food trucks; fun for kids including bounce house, face painter, balloon artist, caricature artist, photo booth; local authors and booksellers; and a raffle with prizes

CLICK HERETO SIGN UP!


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14 DAYS TO GO!

BOOK IT 2023 is now 14 days away…and we need 350 more sign-ups to sustain our book and reading programs at CHOC Children’s Hospital. PLEASE HELP by signing up now and/or sharing this with your friends/family/community.

WHAT: BOOK IT! Racing for Reading for Hospitalized Kids

WHEN: Monday, September 4 (Labor Day), 7:00 – 10:00 AM

WHERE: Jeffrey Trail Middle School in Irvine

WHY: To raise money for books and reading at CHOC — ECBC gifts 500-600 new books per month + bedside reading, primary for patients with cancer and other life-altering illnesses

HOW: Sign up at runsignup.com/BOOKIT2023

WHAT ELSE: Book character costume contest with prizes; 3 great food trucks; fun for kids including bounce house, face painter, balloon artist, caricature artist, photo booth; local authors and booksellers; and a raffle with prizes


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Another large donation to outpatient oncolgoy!

Last month was ECBC’s “largest outpatient book delivery” to date, and yesterday we beat that with our July gifting library re-stocking! We delivered 516 new books to CHOC’s Outpatient Infusion Center (OPI) and at the Oncology Clinic. And we also delivered 19 more Read Think Thrive book bags for kids who are newly diagnosed with cancer — which are each filled with 10 new books. So we delivered a total of 706 new books to CHOC!

ECBC’s volume of book gifting to outpateint oncology has increased significantly over the last several months. The nurses are sharing that patients are now arriving for their chemo infusion or their oncology visit eager to choose a book, and almost all kids are choosing a book over a toy. As stated in our mission, ECBC strives “to make access to books and reading a core part of the care that kids receive in the hospital” — it’s so exciting that books have become a regular and expected part of patients’ outpatient oncology experience!

Please consider supporting our annual fundraiser — BOOK IT (a charity walk/run on Monday Sept 4) — to help us keep this up! You can sign up to join us at runsignup.com/BOOKIT2023.