Starlight Children’s Foundation Announces 2018 Design-a-Gown Contest Winner

Photo Credit: Brigid Gallagher – Starlight Children’s Foundation

Niagara Cares to donate 30,000 of the winning design; Starlight to fund an additional 10,000 each of the runners up for a total of 50,000 Starlight Gowns for hospitalized kids across the US

CHICAGO (April 12, 2018) – Starlight Children’s Foundation is pleased to announce the winner of Starlight’s first-ever Design-a-Gown Contest. Six-year-old Jack of Crystal Lake, Illinois created the winning design, complete with hearts and tons of glitter, to help his litter sister Everly, seven months, who was born with a congenital heart defect. Jack’s colorful design will be featured on 30,000 Starlight Gowns, including the gown that will be worn by his sister Everly before her lifesaving surgery this summer, that will be distributed to Starlight’s network of hospitals and healthcare facilitates thanks to generous funding from Niagara Cares, the philanthropic arm of Niagara Bottling.

Starlight is also pleased to announce that the organization is donating an additional 10,000 gowns for each runner-up, siblings Maxwell and Ava of Orange County, California who co-designed a colorful space-themed Starlight Gown, and Kimberly of San Louis Obispo County, California, who created a whimsical design featuring an elephant on the front and back of the gown. Starting in May, Starlight will begin distribution of the 50,000 Design-a-Gown Starlight Gowns to its network of more than 800 children’s hospitals and other health facilities in the US.

“Congratulations to our grand prize winner, Jack, who created a beautiful and inspirational Starlight Gown design to bring joy and comfort his little sister, Everly, and to each of our finalists – all of whom we’re excited to announce are also contest winners. We’re incredibly grateful to all of the kids, families, schools, hospitals and others who submitted a design for consideration, and to the thousands of people who voted. Thanks to the support we received, Starlight is able to bring more smiles to hospitalized children and their families,” said Chris Helfrich, CEO of Starlight’s Children’s Foundation.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to have been part of this effort and are thankful to all who participated,” said Kristen Venick, Director of Niagara Cares.  “We can’t wait to help distribute Jack’s design to children across the country and bring joy and smiles to their faces.”

Additional support and funding has been provided by The Michaels Companies, Inc., the national retail partner for the Design-a-Gown contest who provided a matching donation of one $25 Starlight Gown for every design submitted, as well as The Joy in Childhood Foundation, the charitable foundation supported by the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins brands.

Starlight’s Design-a-Gown All Stars, a prominent team of more than 50 actors, athletes, musicians, fashion icons, tech leaders and business gurus such as Coldplay front man Chris Martin, personalities Martha Stewart, Rick Reilly, Kristin Cavallari, actor and director Elizabeth Banks, actors Neil Patrick Harris, Melissa Joan Hart, Noah Schnapp, and Bryce Dallas Howard, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and cast members of Modern Family, among many others, have all supported Starlight as ambassadors throughout Starlight’s Design-a-Gown contest.


Media Contacts: Lauren Kenyon, APA PR for Starlight Children’s Foundation: [email protected], 917.536.2117
Chris de Haan, Starlight Children’s Foundation: [email protected], 213.309.1867


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 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 and by following Starlight on Facebook, Instagram 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


A Fortune 500® Company, The Michaels Companies, Inc. is North America’s largest specialty provider of arts, crafts, framing, floral, wall décor, and seasonal merchandise for Makers and do-it-yourself home decorators.As of October 28, 2017, the Company owned and operated 1,371 stores in 49 states and Canada under the brands Michaels, Aaron Brothers and Pat Catan’s. The Michaels Companies, Inc., also owns Artistree, a manufacturer of high quality custom and specialty framing merchandise, and Darice, a premier wholesale distributor in the craft, gift and decor industry. The Michaels Companies, Inc. produces a number of private brands including Recollections®, Studio Decor®, Bead Landing®, Creatology®, Ashland®, Celebrate It®, ArtMinds®, Artist’s Loft®, Craft Smart®, Loops & Threads®, Make Market®, Foamies®, LockerLookz®, Imagin8®, and Sticky Sticks®. Learn more about Michaels at


The Joy in Childhood Foundation, the charitable foundation supported by the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins brands, provides the simple joys of childhood to sick and hungry kids. The Foundation brings together a wide range of stakeholders — including franchisees, crew members, employees, partners and guests — and partners with food banks, children’s hospitals, and nonprofit organizations directly committed to serving sick and hungry kids to fund joyful environments, joyful experiences and joyful expressions to ensure that children whose lives are compromised by hunger or sickness have the support and essential services to find joy in their daily lives. Since launching in 2006, the Joy in Childhood Foundation, has granted more than $16 million to hundreds of national and local charities across the country.

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