Kids and Parents Affected by Childhood Cancer Enjoy Magical Camp Out in Rose Bowl

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By ANDY VITALICIO | Photography by JAMES CARBONE

5:25 am | July 9, 2018

Squeals of laughter filled the Rose Bowl Friday night as scores of children played games, listened to music, crawled into tents and were hosed down in the simmering heat by Pasadena firefighters at the inaugural “Campout on the Field” for families affected by childhood cancer.

The magical event was planned for more than 200 kids and their parents as an opportunity to “create lasting memories” for the families who are beneficiaries of Northwestern Mutual’s Childhood Cancer Program.

Joining the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based insurance company as a sponsor was the Rose Bowl Stadium Legacy Foundation

The kids and their parents brought sleeping bags and other gear, and Northwestern Mutual provided blue-colored tents that were set up across the football field at the Rose Bowl.

The kids also enjoyed arts and crafts and on-field games, a free movie showing on the jumbotron widescreen, and dinner and snacks.

Us the Duo, Los Angeles-based folk-pop husband-and-wife Michael and Carissa Alvarado, provided live music through the evening until the kids were ready to lie down in their tents under the stars.

Northwest Mutual said it decided to host the event as one opportunity for kids and families with childhood cancer “to restore the sense of childhood so often lost during treatment and recovery.”

“Camp is an invaluable experience for any child, but especially for those fighting cancer: Research shows camps for kids with cancer and other chronic illnesses provide community, camaraderie and hope to those who need it most,” the company said in a statement. “Cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease past infancy among children in the United States, yet childhood cancer research and services are vastly and consistently underfunded.”

Northwestern Mutual’s Childhood Cancer Program, launched in 2012, hopes to find cures, provide family and patient support, and aid those who struggle with the long-term effects of treatment. The program has so far contributed more than $17 million, funding more than 200,000 hours of research, the company said.

After the Rose Bowl inaugural Campout, Northwestern Mutual started an online poll to decide on the venue for the next Campout on the Field. For every 25,000 votes the poll gets through July 20, the company will donate an indoor camp experience to a children’s hospital.

To vote in the poll, visit http://foundation.northwesternmutual.com/vote/.