‘Tis the season to Give Happiness, and now, you can bring joy to seriously ill kids and families with something totally new and fun: introducing the Starlight Nintendo Switch gaming station!
On December 11, Starlight and Nintendo of America unveiled the newest addition to our longtime Starlight Gaming program at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma, Washington, where patients joined kids and families from the community for an event celebrating the 27-year partnership between Starlight and Nintendo.
Dozens of kids and families were joined by hospital staff and Nintendo team members for an awesomely fun time playing Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart 8, and Super Mario Maker 2 on a variety of Switch gaming stations, taking photos with Mario himself, goodie bag giveaways provided by Nintendo and Starlight – and of course, playing on the brand new Starlight Nintendo Switch.
Guests even got a sneak peek at a new line of Nintendo Starlight Gowns coming out in 2020!
“Over the years, Starlight Gaming stations have provided millions of seriously ill children with the healing power of play, entertainment, socialization, and emotional support, and have helped to normalize an otherwise scary situation or setting for families,” said Adam Garone, Starlight CEO. “We’re excited to unveil the new Starlight Nintendo Switch gaming station and celebrate our 27-year partnership with Nintendo of America,”
The new Starlight Nintendo Switch comes in four fun designs, each featuring a popular Nintendo character – Mario, Princess Pea, Yoshi, and Donkey Kong – and offers pediatric patients mobile access to their favorite video games and streaming content right from the comfort of their hospital beds or in a playroom with a group of other kids.
“The gaming stations are important distraction tools that normalize the health care environment and help kids through difficult experiences,” said Julie Hertzog, CCLS, child life supervisor at Mary Bridge. “They provide choices for kids, motivate them, and give them the opportunity to have fun when it is needed most.”
Starlight Gaming is so important to kids like 10-year-old, Jay “Roc,” who visits Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital on regular basis for his non-Hodgkins lymphoma treatments. As a Nintendo “superfan,” Jay loves to play Super Mario Maker 2 during his frequent visits.
“We wouldn’t have missed this event for the world,” said Jay’s mom, Angela. “We’re so grateful for all that Starlight and Mary Bridge have done for us, and we’re just so excited to be a part of it!”
Since launching the partnership in 1992, Starlight and Nintendo have delivered more than 7,200 Starlight Gaming stations to hundreds of hospitals across North America bringing smiles to an estimated 11.6 million seriously ill children. Previous versions of the Starlight Gaming program include the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube, Wii, and Wii U systems.
Every year, donations from individuals and corporations fund the delivery of approximately 300 Starlight Gaming stations to Starlight’s network of more than 800 children’s hospitals and other health care facilities.