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CHOC Walk History
TIMELINE: 30 Years of Walking for Kids
November 10, 1990, was an important day for Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC Children’s). On this milestone date patients and staff moved through tunnels and halls, beginning the process of transitioning from their original building (constructed in 1964 through the efforts of local civic leaders and philanthropists, including Walt Disney). As they moved into a new, six-story building, nearly 1,000 men, women and children walked past the new hospital for the inaugural CHOC/Disneyland® Community Walk.
The first CHOC Walk stretched over five miles, starting at Main Place Mall in Santa Ana, past CHOC Children’s and through neighborhoods to the Disneyland® Park parking lot. By its third year, the event had outgrown its route and moved to South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa for the next nine years.
In 2002, the fundraising event returned to “The Happiest Place on Earth” and was transformed into “CHOC Walk in the Park,” presented by the Disneyland® Resort. In this all-new incarnation walkers had the unique opportunity to stroll a 5K route through Disneyland® Park, Disney's California Adventure® Park and the Downtown Disney® District, experiencing early morning magic long before each area opened to the public.
It was the first event of its kind to take place at the Disneyland® Resort and this new venue proved a huge success for CHOC Children’s. The inaugural walk was the biggest fundraising milestone for the event in its history up-to-that date, raising more than $550,000 for CHOC Children’s and CHOC at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo.
“CHOC Walk in the Park”, presented by Disneyland® Resort, has continued to enjoy annual growth and in 2004, it became CHOC’s first-ever million-dollar event. Today the popular fundraising effort remains a favorite destination event among Southern California residents (and beyond).
Over its 30-year history, the annual event has raised more than $37.5 million for CHOC Children’s and CHOC at Mission Hospital. The 5k event also has the distinction of being the largest and most unique pediatric fundraiser in the nation.
Among the CHOC Walk’s estimated 15,000 walkers and 450 teams are participants from across the U.S. and around the world, including Canada, Mexico, Australia, and Japan. Money raised supports CHOC Children’s programs and services in the greatest need—from mental health services to an expanded neonatal intensive care unit.
Named one of the best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report (2017-2018), CHOC Children’s is exclusively committed to the health and well-being of children through clinical expertise, advocacy, outreach, education and research that brings advanced treatment to pediatric patients. Affiliated with the University of California, Irvine, CHOC’s regional health care network includes two state-of-the-art hospitals in Orange and Mission Viejo, many primary and specialty care clinics, a pediatric residency program, and four clinical centers of excellence - the CHOC Children’s Heart, Neuroscience, Orthopaedic and Hyundai Cancer Institutes.
This year's event and registration information is now available at www.chocwalk.org, and real-time event information can also be found on our Facebook and Twitter. The social media hashtag is #chocwalk