Individuals and groups were recognized for their dedication and service to children in the Inland Empire


Every year the Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital (LLUCH) Foundation recognizes key individuals or groups for their dedication and service to children in the community. This year four awards were presented at the 24th annual Foundation Storybook Gala on Thursday, Feb. 16 at the Riverside Convention Center.

Alane Albee, RN, was presented with the Hometown Hero Award, which recognizes the contributions of individuals who share a passion for children and help enrich the quality of life in the community

A charge nurse on the hematology/oncology unit at LLUCH, Albee goes beyond the call of duty. She created the Spirit of Christmas project 25 years ago that she and other nurses work on all year to provide personalized gifts for patient families in need in the Inland Empire.

“I went in to nursing to make a difference in the lives of children,” Albee said. “I want every patient to know that we are a second home for them, and we give our best.”

The Outstanding Clinician Award was presented to Stephen Ashwal, MD, a pediatric neurologist at LLUCH. The award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a lifelong dedication and distinguished service provided to children and who, through their professional career and advocacy, have demonstrated the desire and motivation to improve the lives of children in the Inland Empire.

Now the chief of pediatric neurology, Ashwal joined LLUCH more than 40 years ago and has influenced more than a generation of pediatricians internationally through his research and care of children.

Frank and Mary Ann Xavier were honored with the Discover Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes outstanding dedication and lifetime distinguished service to children through their personal and professional lives.

“Few people have identified with our mission and culture like the Xaviers,” said Richard H. Hart, MD, DrPH, president, Loma Linda University Health. “Their participation in many events and commitment to our future is exemplary, and I am delighted to recognize them in this way.”

The fourth and final award handed out during the gala was the Shirley N. Pettis Award, and it was given to Farmer Boys. The award recognizes those who, through volunteerism and community service, have demonstrated the desire and motivation to improve the lives of children in the Inland Empire.

Farmer Boys has raised more $655,000 for LLUCH over the past 16 years benefiting nearly every unit at the hospital. Restaurant founder and CEO, Demetris Havadjias, along with President and COO, Karen Eadon, accepted the award on behalf of Farmer Boys.

“It makes our job so much more meaningful when we’re doing something that’s making a difference in the lives of people,” said Eadon of their most recent fundraiser for the hospital, “and for us that means so much.”

About Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital - LLUCH

The Children’s Hospital is the only dedicated pediatric hospital in the vast geographic region of San Bernardino, Riverside, Inyo and Mono counties. With 348 beds dedicated just for kids, one of the largest Neonatal Intensive Care Units in the country and more than 100,000 children who come each year, LLUCH is a major pediatric teaching facility, known worldwide as the pioneer of neonatal heart transplantation. LLUCH is part of Loma Linda University Health – the umbrella organization encompassing Loma Linda University’s eight professional schools, Loma Linda University Medical Center’s six hospitals and more than 900 faculty physicians located across the Inland Empire in Southern California. A Seventh-day Adventist organization, Loma Linda University Health is a faith-based health system with a mission “to continue the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ.”

Press Contacts

Briana Pastorino - Manager, Public Relations