Sixth Annual CoachArt Children’s Benefit in San Francisco raises $946k

 In CoachArt Community, Inspiration, Our Mission, San Francisco

Since 2001, CoachArt has matched volunteer coaches with youth impacted by chronic and life-threatening illnesses for free arts and athletic lessons. Today, we are proud to announce that we raised $946,000 at our sixth annual CoachArt Children’s Benefit on May 16 at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. Led by our inspiring Heart and Humanity Champion Chris Britt, a packed crowd of more than 500 guests celebrated the positive impact of CoachArt for families impacted by childhood chronic illness.

Chime CEO Chris Britt honored as “Heart & Humanity Champion” at the Sixth Annual CoachArt Children’s Benefit


Honoree Chris Britt Speaking at the Sixth Annual CoachArt Children’s Benefit. Photo by Julia Zave Photography.

Chris Britt is the founder and CEO of Chime, the leader in U.S. challenger banking that helps members avoid fees, save money automatically and achieve financial peace of mind. From 2007-2012, Chris was Chief Product Officer and SVP, Corporate Development at Green Dot. Chris was also a senior product leader at Visa and one of the first executives at ComScore. A Board Member of CoachArt, he was honored as the “Heart & Humanity Champion” at the event.

The CoachArt Children’s Benefit honors individuals for exceptional professional success and personal humanitarianism. Past honorees include: Noah Wintroub, Vice Chairman, J.P. Morgan; Julia and Kevin Hartz, co-founders of Eventbrite; and Jennifer Kuperman Johnson, Head of International Corporate Affairs, Alibaba Group.

In his remarks, Chris asked the guests to think about a person in their lives who helped them in their childhood.

“For me, this person was Joe,” Chris said. He described a neighbor who provided guidance and support to him throughout his youth, going so far as to help pay his tuition at Tulane University. He offered a toast to all the volunteers and donors who make a difference in the lives of CoachArt students.

The 2019 event also honored Kendell Hardy of Richmond, California as CoachArt’s Volunteer of the Year. Kendell, an executive coach and HR business partner with Kaiser Permanente, has been a volunteer coach with CoachArt since 2017, and had led numerous clubs and in-home lessons for CoachArt students with a focus on sewing and cooking. View a special Facebook Live interview with Kendell from the CoachArt Children’s Benefit here.


Volunteer of the Year, Kendell Hardy, Speaking at the Sixth Annual CoachArt Children’s Benefit. Photo by Julia Zave Photography.

The event was co-hosted by CoachArt students Nomi, 16, from El Sobrante and Roan, 16, from Oakland, both of whom are childhood cancer survivors. In order to prepare for the event, Nomi and Roan worked with Lisa Larkin, CoachArt coach and former actress.

Sixth Annual CoachArt Children's Benefit Features Student Co-Hosts and Childhood Cancer Survivors

CoachArt Children’s Benefit Student Co-Hosts (Nomi and Roan). Photo by Julia Zave Photography.

CoachArt student Chanita, age 17, of Oakland was featured as a Shining Star Student. Chanita was born with hip dysplasia and was later diagnosed with kidney complications. She has participated in many CoachArt programs, and her favorite lessons have included animation and sewing. 

Chanita Being Honored as a Shining Star Student at the Sixth Annual CoachArt Children's Benefit.

Chanita Being Honored as a Shining Star Student at the Sixth Annual CoachArt Children’s Benefit. Photo by Julia Zave Photography.

In his remarks at the event, CoachArt Executive Director Greg Harrell-Edge announced the organization’s plans to expand its service area beyond the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Thanks to the scalability of CoachArt Connect, the organization’s new online platform for matching volunteers with families, CoachArt is evaluating opportunities to offer services outside California. Eventually, CoachArt hopes to serve families nationwide.

CoachArt Executive Director Greg Harrell-Edge Speaking at the Sixth Annual CoachArt Children's Benefit.

CoachArt Executive Director Greg Harrell-Edge Speaking at the Sixth Annual CoachArt Children’s Benefit. Photo by Julia Zave Photography.

A significant portion of the funds raised by the Children’s Benefit were generated by the “paddle raise” that concluded the event. Guests raised numbered paddles roughly the size of ping pong paddles to bid on auction items including a trip for two to see Lady Gaga’s sold-out Encore show in Las Vegas, and to make additional donations to the organization.

Sixth Annual CoachArt Children's Benefit Features Paddle Raise to Benefit Kids Impacted by Chronic and Life-Threatening Illnesses.

2019 CoachArt Children’s Benefit Paddle Raise. Photo by Julia Zave Photography.

To raise the total event income to the million dollar mark, we invite the public to join a “virtual paddle raise” by donating any amount at

Share event highlights on our Facebook page, and stay tuned for more moments from the 2019 CoachArt Children’s Benefit!

Making a Difference for Families Impacted by Childhood Chronic Illness

CoachArt provides a transformative learning community for children impacted by chronic illness by providing no-cost lessons in the arts and athletics. CoachArt was founded in 2001 by Zander Lurie and Leah Bernthal in memory of Zander’s father, Dr. Arthur Lurie, a cardiac surgeon who recognized the need for long-term support and enrichment among the pediatric patient population. Today, CoachArt offers 10,000 hours of high-quality arts and athletics activities to children each year with the support of 400 volunteers and 85 partner organizations. To get involved with CoachArt as a volunteer or participate in its activities, please visit or call 213-736-2850.

Ways to Help

Do you have an artistic or athletic skill you would like to share with a child impacted by chronic illness? Become a CoachArt Volunteer.

Your gift today is guaranteed to improve the lives of kids impacted by chronic illness. If you were unable to attend the CoachArt Children’s Benefit in person, but you would still like to make a contribution, you can donate to CoachArt here.


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CoachArt Children's Benefit Aims to Raise Over $1 Million to Benefit Children Impacted by Chronic and Life-threatening Illnesses3 Special Facebook Live Interviews from the 2019 CoachArt Children's Benefit | CoachArt