OKIZU ANNOUNCES TIMOTHY CRUDO OF COBLENTZ PATCH DUFFY & BASS AS NEW BOARD CHAIRMAN, CO-FOUNDER JOHN BELL BECOMES CHAIRMAN EMERITUS, DR. MICHAEL AMYLON REMAINS A BOARD MEMBER AND MEDICAL DIRECTOR
San Francisco, CA – February 23, 2017 Now in its 36th year of offering free peer-support programs to Northern California children with cancer and their families, Camp Okizu has stood the test of time. Okizu is considered the premiere pediatric oncology camp for children with cancer and their families in Northern California and a model for medically assisted camps throughout the country. With the help of more than 100,000 volunteer hours and generous donors, Okizu serves more than 700 children every summer and more than 3,000 people every year by providing peer support, respite, mentoring, and recreational programs to meet the needs of all members of families affected by childhood cancer.
Okizu Co-Founder John Bell and long-time board member Dr. Michael Amylon, who together have been principal figures in the organization’s history since Okizu’s founding and for the past 36 years have dedicated their lives to building Okizu, are taking on new roles. John retires as Board Chairman and will remain as a member of the board and Emeritus Chair. Dr. Mike retired from his position as Vice Chairman earlier in the year and will stay on as a board member and Medical Director.
They leave Okizu in good hands. In addition to long-time Executive Director of Operations Suzie Randall, last year the organization added a new Executive Director, Lori Sparrow, who has more than 25 years of experience in fundraising and nonprofit management in the Bay Area. Taking over as Board Chairman is Timothy Crudo, who has been involved with Okizu since the early 90s. Tim stated that “John and Dr. Mike have left large shoes to fill, and we are fortunate that they will continue to be involved with Okizu. I’m excited to work with our very talented board as we continue to grow Okizu’s mission of serving kids with cancer and their families.”
A native of San Francisco, Tim earned a degree in History & Literature from Harvard and a law degree from UC Berkeley. A former federal prosecutor, he is currently a partner at Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass in San Francisco. As a volunteer (and later member of the Board of Directors) for the American Cancer Society, Tim learned of the volunteer opportunities at Okizu and, after attending one of the first Art Inspiring Hope Gala events, he felt compelled to be a camp counselor for a week. He has been hooked on Okizu ever since.
The Impact of Okizu
Time spent at Camp Okizu is profound and transformational. The support and camaraderie found there is unlike any other, and friendships are made that will last a lifetime. Camp Okizu’s Medical Director, Dr. Mike Amylon, Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics (Hematology/Oncology/Stem Cell Transplantation), Stanford University School of Medicine, said, “At the hospital we can treat the physical manifestations of illness, but Okizu is the magic that helps children and families heel from the emotional scars.” Okizu is the most powerful peer support program available to the families we serve, and is an important part of their ability to heal from the emotional and psychological wounds associated with cancer in a child. For more information, please visit http://www.okizu.org/.