Our iconic Christmas Tree on Sign Hill will be lit this Wednesday honoring our Princess Warrior Juliana Pena during September the City of South San Francisco has reported. Angelique Presidente, a board member with Juliana Journey Foundation tells us it will remain lit for the rest of the month. Juliana’s mother Patricia Watson says “South San Francisco has never done this for another organization so we are extremely appreciative of this gesture and I know Juliana will enjoy it from the sky.”*
“Juliana LOVED that tree” Patricia explains “She would stand at the window and just stare at that tree, night after night, and would even fall asleep with all the shades up until it turned off at 12:03 am every night.”
In late August President Obama proclaimed September as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Our own City Council, along with the Cities of Daly City and San Bruno, and the State of California, also made the proclamation at the request of Juliana Journey Foundation. Local proclamations were achieved after much work done on the part of the Foundation and with the help of Daly City Mayor David Canepa, South San Francisco City Councilwoman Liza Normandy, San Bruno Councilman Ken Ibarra, and California State Senator Jerry Hill.
Juliana stole our hearts as she was battling cancer and we followed her progress with a great expectation of a cure. We were all heart broken by our Princess Warrior’s death in February 2012, before her 3rd birthday . Everything South City partnered with the SSF ELKS for a breakfast fundraiser the following month and raised $10,000 to help with expenses and seed money for the foundation’s start. It was a bittersweet event as we had expected Juliana to be with us yet the outpouring from our community was amazing.
Juliana’s parents, Patricia Watson and Jesus Pena, have continued working in honor of their daughter and on behalf of other children who must battle childhood cancer. Through the foundation they have raised and donated $15,000 to UCSF research for neuroblastoma treatment and cure. Most people do not know that less than 3% of American Cancer Society monies go to Childhood Cancers. An anonymous donor will match contributions to Juliana’s Journey Foundation dollar for dollar up to $250,000 during the rest of September. If you would like to see your tax deductible donation maximized this month CLICK HERE. To see additional ways you can help CLICK HERE
As you look up at our Sign Hill and see the tree lit this month, please remember Juliana and the tremendous struggles she endured, her parents who must go on without her, and the thousands of other families who must face this challenge each day. We hope the lights give hope to all.
Information sent to us by Boardmember Angelique Presidente was quoted from Patricia Watson and we have changed names accordingly.
Thanks also to John Baker for this information posted on our FB pg
Just some minor trivia: the tree was lit-up year round a few years back for the City’s 100th birthday, but not exactly in tree form. The numbers “100” were lit up rather than the regular Christmas Tree pattern.