While Big Bear was bustling with “Black Friday” shoppers, the firefighters of the Big Bear Lake Professional Firefighters’ Association were out in full force on November 27, stationed at the Interlaken Shopping Center, to raise money for burn-injured children and adults of the Inland Empire. Through the generous support of the community, the Association tells KBHR, more than $2,100 was raised to benefit the burn survivor programs of the Inland Empire’s Burn Institute; these contributions will also benefit Camp Beyond the Scars, a specialized burn camp for children who live in the Inland Empire who have experienced a life-altering burn injury. This camp is provided free of charge to the children and, over the past two years, the Burn Institute has brought these children to Big Bear Lake for a winter camp. Michelle Caldwell of the Big Bear Lake Firefighters’ Association says, “After having served as a volunteer camp counselor for the past two seasons at Camp Beyond the Scars, my personal support of the Burn Institute-Inland Empire continues to be strong. I have witnessed firsthand the difference the programs offered by the Burn Institute-Inland Empire make in the lives of burn-injured children and adults.” The Institute’s Executive Director Gary Stansberry adds, “We think Big Bear Valley is a special place and many of the children attending Camp Beyond the Scars have never been to the mountains or even seen snow—together, this creates magic.” The Burn Institute-Inland Empire is a non-profit agency dedicated to saving lives through prevention, reducing the number of fires and burn injuries in our area, and providing burn survivor programs while also supporting burn research. To learn more about the Burn Institute, which also supports the burn unit at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, you can visit their website at BurnInstitute-IE.org.
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