Monthly Archives: May 2013

You’re Invited to No Worries Now’s 2013 Los Angeles Prom! RSVP NOW!

Patients, please RSVP HERE.
Volunteers, please apply HERE.

Thursday, June 20, 2013
7 to 11 p.m.

The Ebell of Los Angeles
743 S. Lucerne Blvd., Los Angeles
Free parking available on site

“An Evening in Venice”

Any teen who has faced a life-threatening illness and up to 2 guests. Participants are usually 13-21, but guests of any age may attend. The event is free for all participants.

Please wear formal prom attire. We encourage you to dress to the theme. We will hold a dress giveaway event on Tuesday, June 18th, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Millennium Dance Complex, 5113 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601. RSVP online HERE. We will also arrange for free professional hair/makeup the day of the prom. Contact for reservations.

* Dinner & dessert
* DJ & Dancing
* Red carpet entrance
* Photo booth with props
* Caricature artist
* Magician
* Live performances
* Doctor & EMT on site

Please consult with your physician regarding your ability to attend prom at this time. Do not attend if you have cold or flu symptoms, or have come into contact with someone with cold or flu symptoms, within 7 days of the prom; any infectious disease; a multi-drug resistant organism; a respiratory tract infection; an unexplained rash; or a febrile illness.

All attendees must RSVP (for themselves and their guests) no later than June 1, 2013. Late RSVPs may be accepted, but after June 1, we cannot guarantee that spots will be available. To RSVP online, click HERE.

Volunteers may apply online HERE. We will not know until a few weeks before the event how many open spots we have for volunteers, so please be patient. A member of our team will contact you by June 10th.

For more information, contact us at or (855) NWN-PROM.

We are excited to announce the launch of our new Los Angeles Pair Program! The program will pair up Los Angeles patients with teen volunteers and pay to send pairs on monthly outings, including amusement park trips, museum visits, scavenger hunts, movies, dinners, and more. Applications were due April 19th, but we may accommodate additional applicants. To read more about the program and to apply, click HERE.


No Worries Now’s Second Annual Washington D.C. Prom!

On Monday, May 20, 2013 No Worries Now held its second annual prom in Washington, D.C. The local organizer was Sara Sanders, and the event space was donated by Top of the Town! The theme was “Fly Me to the Moon: 1940s Hollywood.” Check it out:


Marco on the Web: A Night at the Prom

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Night at the Prom

There are days when a story takes on a whole new level, and the people involved leave a lasting impression. That’s how I felt after meeting 13-year old Samantha Ashburn, an 8th grader who suffered from a rare bone cancer called Osteosarcoma. After 10 months of chemotherapy, and several scars to prove it, her cancer is now in remission. With her mom Tina by her side, we sat and talked in their room at the Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood, as Samantha got ready for prom, styling her newly re-grown short hair.

This prom experience is a dream come true for many patients like Samantha who have dreamed of a glamourous night like this for years, after suffering many emotional and painful years of cancer treatment. Even more exciting, this specially designed prom night was started by the Shiri Foundation, an non-profit organization started by 18-year old Fred Scarf, who lost his teenage friend and prom date, Shiri, to cancer.

The Shiri Foundation flew Samantha and her mom Tina from Sacramento to attend this event at the California Science Center at Exposition Park in Los Angeles. Samantha’s mom was telling me that while she was visiting Osteosarcoma online chatrooms with other parents whose children are living with this rare form of cancer, one of those parents told her to check out Fred’s website – After doing so, she contacted Fred…and as a result, Samantha’s dreams of going to prom have come true.

Fred Scarf, who started the Shiri Foundation, is an inspiration to many, and after reading his story on how he created this wildly successful non-profit organization, you’ll know why I think the world of him. Honestly, to see the smile on Samantha’s face as she arrived at her prom was an incredible moment. Learn more about the Shiri Foundation and Fred Scarf at

You can also watch my live report on

Newswire: HOBY honors philanthropists, young alumni at Albert Schweitzer Leadership Awards Dinner

HOBY honors philanthropists, young alumni at Albert Schweitzer Leadership Awards Dinner


HOBY honors philanthropists, young alumni at Albert Schweitzer Leadership Awards Dinner

Los Angeles, CA (MMD Newswire) October 24, 2012 — Four influential philanthropists and four young leaders will receive the Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Leadership’s distinguished Albert Schweitzer Leadership Awards at the non-profit’s dinner on October 25, 2012 at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. Hosted by television and film star, Rainn Wilson, this annual event impacts over 10,000 youth who participate in vital leadership programs!

Founded in 1958, HOBY’s mission is to inspire and develop our global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service and innovation. HOBY programs provide youth with unique training, service learning and motivation building experiences. Over 4,000 committed volunteers plan and execute local and international program each year!

HOBY’s 2012 Awards & Recipients

– Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award is presented to individuals who have distinguished themselves through service to mankind and who have contributed significantly through their leadership to the education and motivation of youth.

Honoree Gary Kelly – Chairman of the Board / President and CEO, Southwest Airlines

Gary Kelly serves as the Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer at Southwest Airlines. A 24-year Southwest veteran who became CFO, Gary has received awards and recognitions, including being named one of Business Travel News’ 25 Most Influential Executives of 2004; selected as Dallas Business Journal’s CEO of the year for 2011; and most recently named to the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

Honoree T. Hale Boggs – Partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Hale Boggs is a partner with Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, chairs the firm’s nationwide Business Development Committee, and serves on the Compensation Committee and Executive Committee. Hale’s practice focuses on corporate and securities matters, including venture capital transactions, mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganizations, public and private securities offerings, and joint ventures. Mr. Boggs also represents a wide variety of financial institutions and financial services companies, including commercial banks and bank holding companies, and consumer and commercial finance companies. Mr. Boggs is currently Chairman of the Board of BizWorld, a national non-profit that teaches entrepreneurship to elementary and middle-school students.

– HOBY Leadership in Entertainment Award pays tribute to the artistic merits of production companies, outstanding motion pictures and television programs, and talented performers that have inspired and motivated others by the values they promote through the stories told and the characters portrayed.

Honoree Tena Clark – Founder and CEO / Chief Creative Officer, DMI Music and Media Solutions

Tena Clark founded and serves as CEO of DMI Music & Media Solutions, programs music for Air Force One for the last four three Presidents and produced Aretha Franklin’s most recent album. Music has guided Tena from rural Mississippi to Hollywood where she has excelled in multiple genres across mediums including penning award-winning country hits, contributing to multi-platinum movie soundtracks, writing for television shows and creating the instantly recognizable national campaign theme, “Have You Had Your Break Today,” for McDonald’s. She is currently preparing her award winning musical Twist for its Broadway debut.

– HOBY Inspiration Award honors individuals who have profoundly inspired others by their character, their values and their actions. Their achievements have equaled their ambitions, and they inspire us to do no less.

Honoree Carla Christofferson — Co-Owner, LA Sparks / Managing Partner, O’Melveny & Myers LLP

Carla Christofferson is Managing Partner of O’Melveny’s Los Angeles office and a member of the Business Trial and Litigation Practice. Carla focuses on commercial civil litigation, including litigation involving energy, natural resources, environmental, unfair trade practices, accountant liability, and contract disputes. Carla is a recognized leader in the Los Angeles community, a frequent speaker on topics related to leadership and diversity, and is co-owner of the Los Angeles Sparks. She is currently Chairwoman of the Los Angeles Library Board and is involved with the Young Presidents’ Organization.

– Outstanding Young Alumni Award recognizes outstanding HOBY alumni who have distinguished themselves as a leader in professionals, social and philanthropic endeavors, and have carried that leadership with dignity and respect.

Honoree Marta Belcher

“I came to HOBY with drive and ambition, but I left with a vision and a purpose. Spending a few enlightening days among the leaders of today and tomorrow was, for me, not just an inspiration to work toward a better world — it was an imperative.” Marta is the executive director of No Worries Now, a nonprofit dedicated to immediately improving the lives of teens with life-threatening illnesses through proms and other programs. Marta graduated Cal Berkeley in 2012 and is attending Harvard Law School.

Honoree Abigail Wheeler

“HOBY gave me the confidence to be myself, the desire to continually learn in every situation, the inspiration to not just talk about making a difference but to actually do it, and the tools to be successful in this life.” After Abby’s inspirational weekend at HOBY, she founded the Wasco Kids Club, a mentoring and community service program for elementary school children run by high school students one Saturday a month. With over 900 hours of service since 2009, Abby attends Azusa Pacific University and continues to be involved in leadership and service, including Wasco Kids Club and HOBY.

Honoree Joshua Ford

“HOBY has provided me with inspiration, lifelong friends, and hope for a better world; what better gifts could I ask for?” After taking a year to teach English and work in a school in Ecuador, Joshua attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Morehead-Cain Scholar graduating from the Honors Program in 2012. He received the scholarship due to his participation at HOBY’s WLC and has started three non-profits: Project H.E.L.P improves the quality of education in rural Ecuador; GoMeal! combats food waste in Chapel Hill, NC; and GenerAction inspires a culture of social awareness and responsibility.

Honoree Michael Young

“My HOBY experience has helped me significantly to develop my networking and leadership skills, motivated me to start a non-profit organization called The Swing Fore Kids Foundation, and inspired me to be a role model for others.” Michael is the Founder and Director of The Swing Fore Kids Golf Classic, a charity golf tournament that has raised over $300,000for The Animal Assisted Therapy Program at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Michael was honored at the 2010 Major League Baseball All-Star Game as one of People Magazine and Major League Baseball’s All-Stars Among Us Winners.

About HOBY

HOBY teaches students – not what to think, but how to think – creatively, critically, and compassionately. An individual with opportunity and motivation is capable of accomplishing great things. We focus on individual growth in order for leadership to make a better world and a better society. Everyone at HOBY believes in the ability to be a leader and affect the future for all of us. We want students to stand out and be outstanding. HOBY is the open door to a life of leadership and service.

For more information, visit

The Daily Democrat: Twitter campaign under way to aid Woodland’s terminally ill Samantha Ashburn on her 16th birthday

Woodland resident Samantha Ashburn is celebrating her 16th birthday this Saturday – a birthday that doctors say will be her last.

Friends and strangers from around the world are teaming up to ensure that Ashburn, known fondly as “Sammi,” has the time of her life at her Sweet 16.

Sammi was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, at the age of 12. After a grueling battle with Sammi’s cancer, the Ashburn-Canchola family thought they had beat the disease.

Sammi lived cancer-free for two and a half years. Last year, Sammi’s cancer returned, and this time doctors told her it was terminal.

Sammi’s doctors have told her that this birthday is probably her last – they estimated that the 15-year-old only has a few weeks left to live.

Sammi’s mother, Tina Canchola, has vowed to ensure that this birthday is the best Sweet 16 a girl could imagine.

Canchola is working with board members and volunteers of No Worries Now, a Los Angeles based nonprofit that organizes annual proms for teens with life-threatening illnesses.

Sammi has attended three “Now Proms” and has become the public face of the foundation. She has interviewed on behalf on No Worries Now for multiple media outlets, including CNN and the CBS Early Show.

No Worries Now and Sammi’s friends have teamed up to launch several campaigns for Sammi utilizing social media. The first is a Facebook event called “Postcards for Sammi,” encouraging people from all over the world to send Sammi a note to brighten her day.

More than 500 people have joined the event, and more than 6,000 have been invited to date. The second campaign is asking the public to tweet, “#eminemcallsammi.”

No Worries Now is determined to have Sammi’s favorite music artist, rap icon Eminem, to call Sammi on her birthday.

No Worries Now has launched a Twitter campaign encouraging others to get the word out in order to reach Eminem by Saturday, April 9. The topic has been trending for four days and has been retweeted by musician Sara Bareilles and national nonprofit Do Something.

For more information on how you can help make Sammi’s Sweet 16 a day to remember, visit,, and


The Davis Enterprise: Special Prom Honors Memory of Woodland Teen

Special prom honors memory of Woodland teen

Woodland teenagers model T-shirts bearing the slogan "One Rule No Tears" in memory of Pioneer High School classmate Sammi Ashburn, who died in April, one week after her 16th birthday. Each $20 shirt makes it possible for a young person with a life-threatening illness to attend the Sacramento area's first "No Worries Now" prom, to be held June 22 at the Woodland Elks Lodge. Courtesy photo
From page A3 | June 13, 2012 | Leave Comment


The sale of some very special T-shirts will enable young people with life-threatening illnesses to attend the first “No Worries Now” prom in the Sacramento area.

The dance, themed “Sunset in the Bahamas,” will take place Friday, June 22, from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Woodland Elks Lodge, 500 Bush St.

The T-shirts bear the slogan “One Rule No Tears,” and are being sold in memory of Sammi Ashburn, a Pioneer High student who lost her battle with osteosarcoma a week after her 16th birthday in April.

Pioneer students Veronica Perez and Margaret Lambert took on the challenge of selling 200 shirts to their classmates. That goal was easily reached; they actually sold more than 1,000 shirts.

Ashburn attended three “No Worries Now” proms in the Los Angeles region, where they were first established. The parties are for young people with life-threatening illnesses who are not likely to live until their own high school proms. The youths are treated to a carefree evening of fun and memories.

Ashburn’s mother, Tina Canchola, said she’s so grateful to the “No Worries Now” prom and its founder, Fred Scarff, and she pledged to bring it to Sacramento. Every shirt sold helps sponsor a child at prom.

Children ages 6 to 18 are invited to attend the prom. They’re asked to arrange their participation by contacting the pediatric sub-specialties social worker at their hospital or, if they’re no longer in treatment, to call Canchola at (530) 661-7101.

All young people may bring one escort of their choosing.

T-shirts, at $20 each, and sponsorship opportunities are still available; contact Lambert at

Woodland teenagers model T-shirts bearing the slogan "One Rule No Tears" in memory of Pioneer High School classmate Sammi Ashburn, who died in April, one week after her 16th birthday. Each $20 shirt makes it possible for a young person with a life-threatening illness to attend the Sacramento area's first "No Worries Now" prom, to be held June 22 at the Woodland Elks Lodge. Courtesy photoWoodland teenagers model T-shirts bearing the slogan “One Rule No Tears” in memory of Pioneer High School classmate Sammi Ashburn, who died in April, one week after her 16th birthday. Each $20 shirt makes it possible for a young person with a life-threatening illness to attend the Sacramento area’s first “No Worries Now” prom, to be held June 22 at the Woodland Elks Lodge. Courtesy photo

Cornell Chronicle: Student to Host Comedy Show to Benefit Critically Ill Teens

Student to host comedy show to benefit critically ill teens

By Lauren Gold

It’s an American rite of passage: Prom night, with all its glamour, where the demands of high school are pushed aside by balloons and glitter and a few hours of decadent celebration.

But as Fred Scarf ’12 learned the hard way, not every student gets to share the glamour. For teens with critical illnesses, prom night can be out of reach — replaced with a life of frequent hospital stays, surgeries, treatments and constant worry.

Scarf was in high school when he found a best friend in classmate Shiri Gumbiner … and then, just a year later, lost her to osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer.

During his sophomore year in high school, Scarf founded the nonprofit organization No Worries Now in Gumbiner’s memory. Its mission: to plan and hold proms around the country for teens with life-threatening illnesses.

“Prom is a place where [teens] can feel their potential,” Scarf said. “They feel out of the loop; they feel disenfranchised. This is a great way to get them back in the loop. It’s also a way for them to remember who they are for one night.”

For his work, the Sherman Oaks, Calif. native and government major was honored this year as a CNN Hero — one of 25 people around the world chosen from more than 10,000 nominations for making a positive impact in the world.

When viewers whittled the candidates down in September, he was disappointed not to make the top 10. (The No. 1 CNN hero, to be chosen from the top 10 on Thanksgiving, will receive $100,000.)

But Scarf is not one to brood. A stand-up comedian in his spare time, he’ll be putting on a show, “Small Talk with Fred Scarf,” Nov. 7 from 9 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. in Barnes Hall to raise awareness for the cause — and have a little fun while he’s at it.

The show is open to the public. If people are inclined to donate to the organization, Scarf will have information on how to do it — but admission is free.

And he still has proms to plan. Since its inception in 2006, No Worries Now has held proms in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Next year’s plans include events in Los Angeles and New York; and he’s shooting for an international debut prom in London in 2013.

Every prom is held near a hospital and has a physician on site. Measures are in place to reduce the risk of spreading infection. But beyond those things, “they really feel like proms,” Scarf said.

“When you’re dying of cancer, people really act different,” he said. “One thing that’s really great about this is the authenticity of [the promgoers’] friendships.”

Six years after Gumbiner’s death, the proms are also a tribute to her, he said.

“She had one of the most uplifting, funkiest, sweetest personalities I’ll ever meet,” he said. “I really didn’t want to lose that energy. She would have wanted something to make kids smile, to make them feel glamorous. I think that’s what these proms do.

“I’m a big believer in turning something painful into something beautiful,” he said. “Shiri was definitely someone who could carry that spirit. So the foundation is just a wonderful continuation of that.”

Jewish Community Federation: Teen Volunteers Making a Big Difference in Health

Teen Volunteers Making a Big Difference in Health

November 17, 2011

HEALTH CARE is one of the most important challenges we face today, and local and international organizations from the International Red Cross to UCSF Medicine are working tirelessly to improve our world’s health. Teens are also working with incredible dedication to address health issues in this country and beyond, and we are proud to celebrate their efforts. If you know any exceptional Jewish teen volunteers in CA, nominate them to win $36,000 that will change their lives and spotlight their extraordinary work!

2008 Recipient Fred Scarf and his best friend Shiri

2008 Recipient Fred Scarf and his best friend Shiri

Fred Scarf, above, received a Tikkun Olam Award in 2008 for his project organizing proms for teens with life threatening diseases—who might not make it to their own proms. Fred’s organization, No Worries Now, is still going strong and is working on its 6th prom. The organization is also expanding, pairing teen volunteers with individual patients for monthly outings, creating the tools and resources for other teens to throw proms, and working with Cal Cord Blood to promote life-saving public umbilical cord blood banking.

Last year, almost 20 percent of the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award nominees worked on projects impacting disease prevention and care for the sick! Outstanding teens recognized with a nomination last year organized projects such as donating teddy bears and dvds to pediatric wards, raising the money to buy dozens of pediatric wheelchairs for Iraqi children, and organizing a school health fair to teach peers about heart health.

Seventeen Magazine: Charity Throws Prom for Teens With Illnesses

Charity Throws Prom for Teens With Illnesses

June 8, 2010 at 10:48:00 AM by Seventeen Magazine0 Comments

The perfect prom includes the perfect dress, the perfect hair, and the perfect date. No Worries Now, a non-profit organization, is helping teens with life threatening illnesses get the night of their dreams. The company is putting on their 4th prom for teens on Friday, June 18 at Sony Pictures Studio in Culver City. This year more than 250 teens with illnesses will come together for one very special night!

Some of the people lending a hand include Kim Kardashian — her online shoe company Shoedazzle is giving away shoes to each girl, and Wolfgang Puck, who will be catering the event.

No Worries Now was created by Fred Scarf, after his best friend passed away when Scarf was 17 years old. He promised her that he would take her to their prom, but she died before they were able to go. Scarf started the foundation in memory of her.

If you would like to be involved or learn more about the charity, visit

No Worries Now Prom

Starlight Children’s Foundation: No Worries Now Night at the Oscars

That Wednesday could have been just like any other Wednesday. However, thanks to the Oscar-themed No Worries NOW Prom, hosted by the No Worries NOW Foundation, it was an absolutely magical night for some very special Starlight kids.

Guests were dressed to impress when they arrived at Madame Tussauds Hollywood and were greeted with a paparazzi-filled red carpet. The cameras were flashing and interviews were rolling. Everyone was getting the A-List treatment.

Once inside, we were transported up to the wax museum’s rooftop where a party was in full swing. Twinkly lights were strung above the entire deck. There was a large lit up stage with a DJ who played everything from old hits to Top 40, a photo booth, caricature and balloon artists and a roaming magician. Guests sat at tables and soaked up the scenery.

After everyone finished a scrumptious dinner, the wax museum was opened. All the children – some escorted by dates, some by their parents – raced throughout the exhibits to get their photos taken with the alarmingly life-like statues of celebrities and superheroes from today and yesterday. There was someone for everyone, from Justin Timberlake to Lawrence of Arabia to Michael Jackson (who had a whole room to himself!).

Once everyone finished in the museum, it was time to get the party moving! The crowd came out onto the dance floor and sang and danced to all of their favorite tunes.

Most of these children couldn’t go to their own proms because of their illnesses, so the No Worries NOW Prom was their second chance to have an experience just like every other kid in high school. It was inspiring to see that even though these people have to go through things the normal person couldn’t even imagine, they don’t let it get in the way of them having a good time!

Again, it was truly magical Wednesday night.

-Starlight Intern Sara