Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizza Store Raises $45K for Julian’s Lego Corner at CHOC

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Sgt. Pepperoni’s presents a check for $45,000 to CHOC and Julian’s Lego Corner.

Julian Dunn loved LEGO products. They helped Julian take his mind off his treatments for brain cancer, a diagnosis Julian received when he was in kindergarten.

Julian attended Mariners Elementary School, as did neighbor Lauren Roberts. When she learned that Julian was battling brain cancer, five-year-old Lauren asked her parents to help her open a lemonade stand in support of her friend.

They set her up on Balboa Island with her sister, Ashley. They raised over $1,000. The next day we presented the money to Julian’s parents, Rich and Andrea.

Julian lost his cancer battle when he was in the third grade, but his parents honored the memory of their son by creating Julian’s LEGO Corner, a fund at Children’s Health Orange County (CHOC) where Julian had undergone his treatments. The fund provides new LEGO sets for hospitalized patients to play with while receiving care, with a particular focus on children in the oncology unit and those with other serious conditions.

After Jeff Roberts and three fellow Newport Beach natives acquired Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizza in 2013, they began fundraising for Julian’s LEGO Corner through sales of pizza, and sales of Sweet Things for a Sweet Cause, a line of desserts cooked up by Lauren Roberts and sold at the Sgt. Pepperoni’s pizza store on Bristol Street in Newport Beach, and now at the two newer locations in Irvine and Aliso Viejo.

Until this year, Sgt. Pepperoni’s had raised a total of $100,000 for Julian’s LEGO Corner.

In recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September, Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizza Store held their annual Julian’s LEGO Corner campaign. The results are in, and thanks to generous customers and corporate donors, you can add $45,000 and nearly 130 Lego kits collected for the cause.

“We are grateful and very humbled to stand beside Julian’s parents, who have shown so much strength and love,” said Jeff Roberts. “We celebrate their friendship and want to go above and beyond to help all the kids receiving treatment at CHOC.”

“We are grateful to everyone who is supporting this effort, as we know that LEGO sets are the No. 1 requested item of children who are hospitalized,” said Andrea Dunn.

“What started as a small lemonade stand on Balboa Island has grown into a campaign that fills our hearts,” Jeff Roberts adds. “Today, the four owner families of Sgt. Pepperoni’s and over 100 employee team members carry on Julian’s legacy.”

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