On June 1, UHS Life without Limits hosted a fundraising concert that featured student performers as well as YouTube star, David Choi. General admission tickets were $18, and VP tickets were $25. VP tickets offered front row seats and a meet & greet. $3,561.07 dollars were raised in total from sales, donations, and sponsorships. All proceeds will go to the organization United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), a national organization devoted “to advance the independence, productivity, and full citizenship of people with disabilities,” as written on their website. Life without Limits is the branch in Orange County located in Irvine. Cerebral Palsy is a general term for disorders that interrupt one’s ability to control movement and balance. CP is the most common motor disability for children; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an average of 1 in every 323 children in the United States has Cerebral Palsy.
Flora Chang (Jr.), co-president of UHS Life without Limits, said her personal experience with a third grade girl, Emma, inspired her to advocate the goals of UCP. After volunteering at Mariner’s Church as a member of the “Special Friends” program for three years, Flora formed a bond with Emma, a patient of CP. Flora said, “I wanted to do something to help a CP foundation and raise awareness since every time someone asked me what I did at Mariner’s Church and I explained that I helped this girl with Cerebral Palsy, the majority of the people asked what Cerebral Palsy is.” Jissa Vennat (Jr.), also co-president of the club said, “The concert was an incredible way to support a really deserving cause. Just to have students rallied around a benefit for cerebral palsy, and especially being able to have a teen with CP come share his experiences, was priceless.”
After meeting David Choi through Choi’s agent – a mutual friend – Chang was able to convince him to perform at the Life without Limits benefit concert. David Choi is a singer, songwriter and producer living in Los Angeles who achieved fame through his YouTube Channel. David Choi has almost a million subscribers and over 117,000,000 total video views. His songs have been used by NBC, FOX, MTV and Disney, and he has toured the world performing his original songs and covers. He has reached incredible success touring and self-producing his own albums despite not being signed by a record label. His self-produced albums include “Only You,” “By My Side,” and “Forever and Ever.” “Forever and Ever” landed #97 on the iTunes top album charts while his collaboration song “By My Side” hit #1. Ozan Erdal (So.) said, “his voice was as beautiful as the cause he is fighting for.”
Prior to David Choi’s performance was a discussion on CP by Elizabeth Beas, the Director of Development at United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County as well as Rio Kobayashi, a 15 year old CP patient. They spoke on the significance of the UCP organization and how it has positively influenced the community of CP victims. Rio Kobayashi shared his experience coping with CP, and how he has ultimately appreciated it “as a blessing in disguise” since doctors initially told his parents he would not survive long after birth and never be able to talk. The opening act also included Thomas Seo (Sr.) who beat-boxed for the crowd.
Life without Limits’ previous fundraisers include ones at Veggie Grill and ones with GoFundMe. They have also contacted small local businesses as well as gone door-to-door asking for support and donations. Chang said, “I am infinitely grateful to all those who supported this event, especially to Jissa for being there with me every step of the way and through every instance of drama and problems. All our hard work paid off in the end, proving that our ups and downs through the past year were worthwhile.”
By TAMARA LIN