Bandit Returns To Support The 12th Annual Celebration Of Champions
By Gerry Ashley



San Diego, CA - It's not often a little dog gets to assist TWO organizations at a single event, But then again, Bandit isn't your average little dog. For the second year in a row, Bandit represented the Officer Gerry Griffin Memorial Fund at the 12th annual Celebration of Champions held May 12th at Embarcadero.  Out of all the many charity events Bandit appears at, nothing means more to him than those where the beneficiaries are children. Bandit knows how precious each little child is and how they represent our future… and how heartbreaking it is to see them with a serious health crisis. So it was with a great deal of honor and pride that Bandit and Mark once again accepted an invitation to represent the Gerry Griffin Fund at the event.

 “Children’s Hospital Hematology-Oncology Care Center is currently treating over 650 children with Cancer. According to the center, each year, 130 to 140 more children are newly diagnosed and cared  for at this state-of-the-art facility. The children are provided with the finest medical care available today, including San Diego County’s only pediatric bone marrow transplant program.  

The Center’s Psychosocial Program is designed to provide an improved quality of life to both the children and their families while they face the severely challenging circumstances of the illness and the treatment. The Celebration of Champions was developed by the La Playa unit of the Children’s Hospital Auxiliary as a way of celebrating the efforts and lives of these children and families while raising the funds to facilitate these crucial services.    

“It’s really important to me to put this into the proper perspective,” Shaffer pointed out. “Bandit and I get to show up at these events, entertain people and put smiles on the faces of children and adults who really need something to smile about. And it makes us feel great. But there are so many more people working hard behind the scenes to make these events happen, it’s just incredible. I don’t have all the names because there are so many of them, but I really want to acknowledge the hard work of Marilyn Cornwell, Patti Horan and Denise Holcombe, the co-chairs of the event. This incredibly important event would not exist if not for their efforts.” With emotion rising in his voice, Shaffer final thoughts were of the organization he represented: “Finally, I want to thank motor officers Bryan Young and Bob Van Wulven of the San Diego Police Officer’s Association for inviting Bandit and me to represent the Jerry Griffin Memorial Fund at the event. It was a very humbling day for us both and an absolute honor.”



(click on the photo above to view slideshow of the Celebration of Champions)