Press Release > Starlight Gown

Starlight Children’s Foundation, Niagara Cares, and Scholastic Announce the 2019 'Design-A-Gown' Contest Winners

All seven winning designs will be added to the Starlight Gown collection to help deliver happiness to hospitalized kids

Los Angeles (June 19, 2019) – Starlight Children’s Foundation, in partnership with Niagara Cares, the philanthropic arm of Niagara Bottling, and Scholastic is pleased to announce the winners of the second annual My Starlight Gown Contest. The winning designs will be added to the organization’s Starlight Gown collection, which is delivered to seriously ill children at more than 800 children’s hospitals and other healthcare facilities across the U.S.

Twelve-year-old Addison from Richmond, Virginia and fifteen-year-old Matilda from Ashland, Oregon created two of the winning designs. Addison’s is a colorful abstract design and Matilda’s is a fanciful under-the-sea hospital gown. The winners are also Starlight kids themselves. Addison lives with a congenital heart defect and Matilda is battling an inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor (IMT); both have experienced extended hospital stays at Starlight hospital partner facilities.

“I made a paint splatter gown because I wanted to make kids in the hospital feel like there is a little color in their lives,” Addison said. “Winning this contest makes me super happy, not just for me, but for the kids in the hospital. I’m excited that they can have a nice colorful gown to wear.”

“As someone who has spent a lot of time in the hospital, and received a Starlight Gown during that time, I know how much of a difference it can make to someone having a really, really awful day to know that there are people out there who care and are rooting for you,” Matilda said. “It feels amazing to have something I created play a part in helping other kids who are going through something really hard.”

Starlight is also pleased to announce the five winning designs in the Scholastic Design-A-Gown Contest, sponsored by Niagara Cares: Ashlyn from Lake Asbury Junior High in Green Cove Springs, Florida created a mermaid and sea creatures gown; Evy from Carl Junction Junior High in Carl Junction, Missouri imagined an intricately flowered ribcage gown; Jaida from Biloxi Junior High in Biloxi, Mississippi designed a sloth gown; Rory from Albertville Middle School in Albertville, Alabama made a musician gown; and Sophia from Lake Park Audubon in Lake Park, Minnesota produced a design featuring baby dragons.

“The power of individuals working together as a community to make a difference is breathtaking, and the results of this year’s Design-A-Gown Contest are no exception,” said Adam Garone, CEO of Starlight Children’s Foundation “Congratulations to all seven winners whose beautiful and creative designs are an inspiration and will bring smiles to seriously ill children. We’re so grateful for the continued generous support of Niagara Cares in helping us bring this contest to life for the public and to tens of thousands of schoolchildren, teachers, and parents in communities across the U.S. through Scholastic.”

“We are grateful for the opportunity to support Starlight Children’s Foundation, and are inspired by all the creative Design-A-Gown Contest submissions received from across the country.” says Kristen Venick, Niagara Cares Director. “We are honored to be a part of this mission to help make hospital stays for kids a little brighter.”

The overall contest received more than 25,633 submissions from all 50 states. Thanks to the generous support of our contest sponsor, Niagara Cares is donating 7,500 books to Starlight hospital partners.

Starlight is proud to count on the support and action of the thousands of participants who stepped up to help deliver happiness to seriously ill children and their families. To donate a Starlight Gown for $25 to a child in need, please click here.

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Chris de Haan, Starlight Children’s Foundation:, 213-309-1867

Farah Jad, Starlight Children’s Foundation:, 858-337-6882


Starlight Children’s Foundation® delivers happiness to seriously ill children and their families. For 35 years, Starlight’s programs have positively impacted more than 60 million critically, chronically and terminally ill or injured children around the world. With your help, more kids and their families will enjoy Starlight Virtual Reality, Starlight Hospital Wear, Starlight Gaming mobile entertainment units and other Starlight programs at a children’s hospital or facility near you. Take action by visiting and by following Starlight on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.


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


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