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Steven’s Hope outlines progress at annual luncheon

Sandy Cappelli shares the story of her son at the recent “There is Hope” luncheon for Steven’s Hope. (Photo by Suzanne Sproul)

Sandy Cappelli shares the story of her son at the recent “There is Hope” luncheon for Steven’s Hope. (Photo by Suzanne Sproul)

By Suzanne Sproul, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Posted: 11/19/14, 3:54 PM PST |

It was a packed house at the recent Steven’s Hope luncheon to outline progress on “There is Hope,” but more importantly, discuss dreams for the future.

And those dreams are big. The Upland-based organization started off 12 years ago to help provide temporary housing to families caring for severely ill children. That effort grew to helping with daily necessities and now it encompasses a goal of someday having a full-fledged campus.

The annual gathering is designed to be an hour to inspire people to help change a life. But it’s also a powerful testimonial to a family’s faith and love in believing there is hope even in times of despair. That story – of the Cappellis of Upland – began in earnest with a little boy who only lived 32 hours in 2000, but whose life continues to impact many today.

The mission statement of Upland-based Steven’s Hope says it all about the nonprofit that helps families in desperate times. (Photo by Suzanne Sproul)

The mission statement of Upland-based Steven’s Hope says it all about the nonprofit that helps families in desperate times. (Photo by Suzanne Sproul)

His story, along with those of others helped by the organization that bears his name, highlighted the seventh annual fundraising luncheon. Sandy and Tony Cappelli found out early in her pregnancy that their son, Steven Joseph Cappelli, had a fatal heart defect. The Upland couple didn’t waver in their decision to proceed with the pregnancy in hopes of donating his organs. That wasn’t possible, but the legacy lives on. Today, Steven’s Hope helps families coping with living with an injured or seriously ill child. Steven’s Hope provides financial support and housing to those families, but more importantly it serves as a support network in what is usually a lengthy ordeal.

Last year alone, Steven’s Hope helped 3,000 children. Jason Sgrignoli is the Chairman of the Board. He introduced several of the families helped by the organization, including Isabella Vahanian and her mom, Wendy, father Gregory, and sister, Gabriela.

Each year, Steven’s Hope recognizes a volunteer for his or her outstanding contribution. This year’s honoree is Gary Johnson, a former engineer and teacher who works tirelessly at the organization’s Children’s Boutique in Rancho Cucamonga.

Despite a record number of success stories, there is always much more that can be done. That takes money. Sandy Cappelli thanked Jersey Mike’s Subs for selecting them as a charity to help in its March promotion. Twenty Inland Empire stores participated and earned $122,000 for Steven’s Hope. And AM/PM stores also have contributed more than $100,000.

Corporate gifts are a wonderful mainstay, but the nonprofit relies heavily on local support. This year, Steven’s Hope opened its fourth apartment where families can stay when their children are being cared for, many times at Loma Linda University Medical Center. Last, Christmas, as part of its annual Winter Wonderland program, the nonprofit provided gifts to 6,000 children.

Steven’s Hope supporters also are in full holiday mode again this year. The annual Winter Wonderland toy campaign needs donations. Anyone who would like to adopt a family, arrangements can be made. Sponsors are needed, too, for the annual Winter Wonderful Christmas party for Steven’s Hope children and families.

Donations and sponsorships of all amounts are welcome. For more information about Steven’s Hope, call 909-373-0678.

Seen at the Scene: Alexa Cappelli, who sang; Donna and John Russo; Dale and Lynette Edelson; and Jim and Marcia Flock.

Steven’s Hope Holds Annual Golf Tournament

Press Release June 24, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Steven’s Hope Holds Annual Golf Tournament

[UPLAND, CA] The 12th Annual Drives to Save Lives Golf Classic was held on May 19, 2014 at Red Hill Country Club in Rancho Cucamonga.

The golf tournament’s presenting sponsor was ampm. Other sponsors included: The Matreyek Family Foundation; Chino Valley Medical Center; Mellon, Johnson & Reardon; Raymond James – Jason Sgrinoli; Martinez Towing; Colonies Crossroads; Frontier Homes and Gary Golota.

“We have been very blessed to have such great weather, donors and friends wanting to be a part of this day,” said Tony Cappelli, President and Executive Director at Steven’s Hope. “This years event was a big success because of all the volunteers and supporters, new and current, that came out and spent a day with Steven’s Hope.”

After golf, attendees were invited to a banquet. They were invited to participate in a silent and live auction, as well as a reverse pong drawing.

The banquet featured guest speaker Eric Dickerson, an NFL Hall of Fame running back. He previously played for the Los Angeles Rams and the Indianapolis Colts. Dickerson shared his personal story of his daughter’s illness and his appreciation for the work done by Steven’s Hope.

The Vahanian Family, who is currently utilizing Steven’s Hope services, also spoke at the banquet sharing their heart felt story with attendees. They gave personal insight on how Steven’s Hope has been so gracious and helpful in their time of need.

The funds from this event will help aid the programs and operations at Steven’s Hope.

About Steven’s Hope
Steven’s Hope for Children is a nonprofit organization based in Upland, California. Steven’s Hope helps families of seriously ill or injured children. They provide these families with temporary housing while their children are receiving the critical care that they need. Steven’s Hope has four fully furnished apartments in Loma Linda, California. Along with providing housing to these families, Steven’s Hope also provides emotional and financial support to the families in need.

For more information on this event and further events please contact Tony Cappelli at tonyc@stevenshope.org.

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Steven’s Hope in Upland holds Christmas party

By Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer  Inland Valley Daily Bulletin Created: 12/22/2011 06:03:11 AM PST

 

Six-month-old Scarlet Griffith with a brand new heart will spend her first Christmas being helped by Steven’s Hope for Children in Upland.

“Steven’s Hope has been our heaven-sent angel,” said Alexis Griffith, Scarlet’s mother, as she held Scarlet during Steven’s Hope’s annual Christmas party Dec. 14 at the Loma Linda Springs Apartments.

The Upland-based non-profit was founded by Tony and Sandy Cappelli after losing their son Steven, 32 hours after his birth.

It provides temporary housing for families with sick children who need to be close to Loma Linda University Medical Center.

They also provide Christmas gifts to the children and their siblings through the Winter Wonderland program.

They host Christmas parties for the kids and their families every year.

“Kids want to feel normal,” said Tony Cappelli. “They need special attention at least for a while here tonight they’re going to get to be normal kids.”

Each child received a present from Santa Claus, while volunteers sneakily pack their parents’ car trunks full of toys for Christmas morning.

There was also cookie decorating, Christmas music, games and food.

Scarlet and her parents, Alexis and Vince, attended the party for the first time.

“It shows you how many people’s lives that Steven’s Hope has affected. It’s amazing,” Alexis Griffith said. “We are blessed to be part of it.”

The family is still staying in one of the non-profit’s apartments but hopes to go home in a month.

The Griffiths moved to the apartment from Las Vegas about six months ago when Scarlet was two weeks old with the hope of getting a new heart.

The family’s social worker recommended the family to Steven’s Hope.

“With those hard days in the hospital of almost losing her, being able to go home to the Steven’s Hope apartment, it was home away from home,” Alexis Griffith said. “They’re our extended family.”

Scarlet got her heart about three months ago and is still at risk for rejection and will have a heart murmur but is as feisty as can be, Alexis Griffith said.

“She’s doing fantastic,” Alexis Griffith said. “She’s three months post transplant and just a little love bug.”

Eight-year-old Xander Moncada and his family were also in attendance.

Xander, who celebrated his eighth birthday on Dec. 16, has been cancer-free for five years.

“They gave us a home. They didn’t charge us anything. They made sure we had food and taxi,” said Cheryl Huffman, Xander’s grandmother. “That’s how it started and ever since then I’ve just stayed in touch. They’re just wonderful.”

He was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 2 years old, and while his mother was more than 8 months pregnant with his younger brother.

The family stayed in one of the apartments until Xander’s treatment was finished.

“It’s not just the place to live, but the support,” Huffman said. “They’re just amazing people and the loss of their child – to turn it around and help all these other people.”

sandra.emerson@inlandnewspapers.com

Steven’s Hope in Upland helping kids during holidays and year round

Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer

Created: 11/21/2011 06:02:53 AM PST

(Will Lester/Staff Photographer) Tony and Sandy Cappelli, founders of Steven's Hope For Children in Upland, stand in their store Wednesday November 2, 2011.

UPLAND – For many seriously ill children and their families, Steven’s Hope for Children is Santa Claus.

“A lot of families send us pictures of their kids Christmas morning just beaming because they’ve gotten something,” Tony Cappelli said. “Whether it’s a game they really wanted or not they’re beaming because they got something and they didn’t expect it.”

Steven’s Hope provides housing and support to families of ill children. They have three apartments near Loma Linda University Medical  Center where families can stay during their child’s treatments.

Through Winter Wonderland, sick children and their siblings submit their holiday gift wishes. A donor will sign up to fulfill those wishes.

Last year they gave out more than 3,800 gifts to more than 1,000 children from six local hospitals.

“It’s a prayer that we get all the wishes filled. It’s a little scary when you head out into an economy like this, but last year we exceeded everything that we could imagine,” Sandy Cappelli said. “I’m just praying we get enough to get all the kids sponsored again. Our goal is to hit over 1,000 again.”

Similar to many nonprofits, Steven’s Hope is working hard to stay afloat financially, but have seen donations grow for its Wonderland program.

“People they don’t have money,” Sandy Cappelli said. “This is why it’s such a huge program for us because they all want to deliver toys. I can’t get a check, but I can get toys, which is good. We’re making the best of that and helping as many people as we can help through that.”

This year they are looking for toys and sponsorships for two holiday parties in December.

Donors also can hold toy drives to help provide toys for the children at the parties.

“They all sit there holding this gift form Santa Claus, because Santa is the one who delivers it, – to see their little faces and to watch them open these gifts – it is so fun,” Sandy Cappelli said. “They don’t even know we load their trunk up for Christmas.”

Because the Cappellis want to continue to see those happy smiling faces, they are kicking off a new program that will spread the Christmas spirit year round.

“We just don’t want the spirit of Christmas to end on Dec. 25,” Tony Cappelli said.

They are looking for funding to support 25 families throughout the year with gift cards for food and gas as well as family celebrations.

Since their inception more than 10 years ago, Steven’s Hope has become more than housing.

Not only does it provide gifts for sick children and their families at Christmas, it also has two kids clothing boutiques, and try to support families with food, gas cards and family events.

Steven’s Hope opened the two boutiques, one next to their office at 1014 W. Foothill Blvd., Suite C and one in Rancho Cucamonga at 10730 Foothill Blvd., Suite 170.

They offer gift cards to their boutique for parents to buy their children clothing and toys.

The proceeds from the boutiques go to fund their programs and apartments.

“It adds up. It really does,” Sandy Cappelli said. “I just feel like we’re not just about one thing. We’re about hitting the needs of what the families are. We look at their situation and we can accommodate what needs to be done. ”

For more information on Steven’s Hope and its programs visit www.stevenshope.org

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– sandra.emerson@inlandnewspapers.com, 909-483-8555, @UplandNow