Kids Arrive in Costume to Honor Spirit of Children Contribution

Patients arrived in the central activity area of Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California dressed as princesses, storm troopers and adorable little monsters.  Child life specialists dressed as superheroes guided them in a cupcake decorating activity.  Even though it was the first Wednesday in February, Halloween was the inspiration.

The Therapeutic Recreation & Child Life team organized the Halloween party as a thank-you to the Spirit of Children Campaign, which raises money to support activities that allow hospitalized children to engage in play.

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Representatives from the Spirit of Children Campaign arrived for the party at the Northern California Shriners Hospital with a giant check for $82,384, representing the amount of money raised to benefit children in 2016.  The funds were raised by Spirit Halloween stores in the Sacramento area. In the weeks leading up to Halloween, Spirit of Halloween employees organized activities ranging from bake sales to face painting to support the Spirit of Children Campaign.  The donation to Shriners Hospital totaled $42,752. The UC Davis Children’s Hospital also was a beneficiary of the campaign.

“We are extremely grateful to Spirit of Children for supporting opportunities for play and self-expression so kids can be kids even when they are hospitalized,” said Melissa Grialou, manager of the Therapeutic Recreation and Child Life program at the Shriners Hospital in Sacramento.  “We have enjoyed working with the Spirit of Children team. Through their community service and fundraising activities they have brought a generous spirit of fun to the children here at Shriners Hospital.”

Shanda Pierce, who owns and operates 21 Spirit Halloween stores in Northern California, said the goal of the Spirit of Children Campaign is to help make a child’s hospital experience positive – not scary.

“It is important to us that every dollar raised by local Spirit Halloween stores stays right here in our community,” says Pierce. “It takes an immense amount of heart to ask strangers to donate to a cause. I am very proud of our Spirit employees. They have amazing hearts,” she adds.

Shriners Hospitals for Children is devoted to transforming the lives of children through excellence in treatment, teaching and research. Located at 2425 Stockton Boulevard in Sacramento, Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California provides care to children with orthopaedic conditions, spinal cord injuries, burns, cleft lip, scars from any cause and other complex surgical needs. There are no barriers to care as admission is based on age and diagnosis.   Care is provided regardless of the family’s ability to pay. For further information call (916) 453-2000 or go online here.

Media Contact: Catherine Curran | Public Relations (916) 453-2218 | ccurran@shrinenet.org

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a graphic of some silhouettes of children playing