Throughout the year, several organizations put on a variety of special day-long events for less-privileged children. Many of them have heart-breaking stories: some have life-threatening illnesses or severe disabilities, others have suffered neglect and abuse, many simply never have received a birthday gift or Christmas present.
Through the imagination and the hard work of many, many adults, the Burrage Mansion is transformed into a place where — for awhile— these children’s cares are forgotten and their dreams can come true.
Children and adults enter a world of Christmas magic at the Burrage Mansion during the December holidays. You can spot our 70-foot tree of Christmas lights from miles away. Passersby see a beautiful manger scene, a herd of reindeer and a real elf village on the front lawns; a toy train is loaded with presents and on its way. Two golden angels and thousands of sparkling lights lead up the front-steps entrance. A six-foot animated Santa waves and elves pop out of boxes. The vintage-decorated Christmas tree is showcased in the mansion entry, with fairy Santas, angels, nativity scenes and garlands everywhere. Santa himself often can be found in his special big red chair during children’s parties.Christmas Lights video 3:13
Two hundred adults in Santa hats greet the more than 700 excited kids who clamber up the Burrage Mansion front steps for the Boys & Girls Club holiday party each year. What merriment! Food and fun—games, crafts, magic shows—plus, each child gets to take home a special toy from Santa (donated by the community through Redlands Fire Department’s “Spark of Love” toy drive) and a new book to read (donated by the Rochford Foundation). The party has been held every year at the Burrage Mansion since 2008.
Children experiencing serious illnesses or other traumatic life events are invited, along with their families, to enjoy a wonderful, magical day at the mansion. Intended to offer a respite from daily cares and create happy, lasting memories, these delightful celebrations—with storybook characters, crafts, games, treats and lots photo opportunities—are presented several times each year by the nonprofit Mansion Memories and their many dedicated volunteers.
Children from Micah House after-school programs and foster kids from Olive Crest and from Inland Empire Residential in Redlands celebrate Fall Harvest (and sometimes spooky goblins) with parties and pumpkins at the Burrage Mansion. And in Spring, hundreds of kids from several organizations have Egg Hunts all over the mansion grounds.
Families and children who are dealing with cancer and other serious illnesses leave troubles behind at variously-themed events at the Burrage Mansion, presented by the all-volunteer Adonai Foundation -- “An Evening for Royalty” featuring Cinderella carriage rides with real miniature horses, a rodeo with exotic animals, a luau with authentic hula dancers.
Fun for the whole family starts off with a 5k walk/run through Redlands that begins and ends at the at the Burrage Mansion, followed by games and sports activities throughout the grounds, demonstrations by local dance and fitness businesses, and healthy treats from Redlands vendors. This fitness expo benefits Big Hearts for Little Hearts, an auxiliary of Loma Linda Children’s Hospital.
The Rochford Foundation sponsors a children's choir at Victoria Elementary, led by volunteer choir director Jane Davis. The kids practice twice a week after school, come to the mansion for a one-day camp and present two concerts each year for family and friends. They are adorable!