LOS ANGELES, Calif. (March 14, 2019) – Starlight Children’s Foundation, an organization dedicated to creating moments of joy and comfort for hospitalized kids and their families, announced today the return of its award-winning design competition, the ‘My Starlight Gown’ contest. Niagara Cares, the philanthropic arm of Niagara Bottling, has signed on as the official sponsor of the nationwide campaign which is launching this year with a special in-school educational campaign through Scholastic.
“We’re excited to invite America to join us for the second annual My Starlight Gown campaign and help us bring smiles and happiness to hospitalized kids,” said Adam Garone, Chief Executive Officer, Starlight Children’s Foundation. “The contest is fun, easy, and a great activity for kids and families to enjoy in school or around the kitchen table. We’re so grateful for our partnership with Niagara Cares and collaboration with Scholastic which will provide hundreds of thousands of school teachers and children with a fun and meaningful way to learn about philanthropy and support their hospitalized peers.”
“We look forward to teaming up again and supporting the second My Starlight Gown contest and integrating our local schools with the help of Scholastic,” says Kristen Venick, Director of Niagara Cares. “We’re excited to bring more smiles to faces of hospitalized children while providing school children the opportunity to make a difference.”
For the second year in a row, kids and families across America are challenged to create and submit an original design for a new Starlight Gown, the revolutionary children’s hospital gowns from Starlight Children’s Foundation that kids love to wear. There are two ways to participate:
- Contestants of all ages are encouraged to visit www.starlight.org to download a Starlight Gown template, create an original design and submit it directly to Starlight for consideration.
- Separately, children who are currently enrolled or homeschooled in grades 3-8 are invited to participate in a Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) classroom-based curriculum created by Scholastic where they will learn about empathy and the importance of giving back to their communities. The lesson plan culminates in an activity to support their hospitalized peers by entering the My Starlight Gown contest at www.scholastic.com/mystarlightgown. For every design submitted to Scholastic by a child currently enrolled in grades 3-8, Niagara Cares will donate a book to a hospitalized child up to a maximum of 7,500 books.
Design submissions are open now through April 18. Finalists will be announced on May 13 and the public will be invited to vote for their favorites. Winners will be announced on June 12 and receive the opportunity to have their unique design manufactured on a new Starlight Gown for hospitalized children.
Starlight Gowns replace uncomfortable traditional children’s hospital gowns with ones that are soft and comfortable, tie on the side instead of down the back, and feature brightly colored fun designs that transform kids into their favorite characters. Originally launched in the fall of 2016, the program has already delivered almost 400,000 Starlight Gowns to hospitalized children across the United States thanks to the generosity of corporate partners, like Niagara Cares, and individual donors.
To learn more about the My Starlight Gown campaign, or to donate a Starlight Gown for just $25, please visit starlight.org.
ABOUT STARLIGHT CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION
Starlight creates moments of joy and comfort for hospitalized kids and their families. For 35 years, Starlight’s programs have positively impacted more than 60 million critically, chronically and terminally ill or injured children in the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK. With your help, more kids and their families will enjoy Starlight Xperience, Starlight Gowns, Starlight Fun Centers and other Starlight programs at more than 800 children’s hospitals and other health facilities in the US. You can support Starlight’s work by visiting www.starlight.org and by following Starlight on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
ABOUT NIAGARA CARES
Niagara Cares, a philanthropic arm of Niagara Bottling, is committed to supporting local and national community initiatives serving children and families in need by engaging stakeholders and investing its resources. Niagara Cares efforts include national strategic partnerships, local community grants, employee engagement, volunteerism, and the Andrew D. Peykoff, Sr. Scholarship Program. For more information, visit www.niagarawater.com/niagara-cares.