|New Fun Centers Unveiled Across Nintendo of America's Home State|
For 13 years Nintendo and the Starlight Children's Foundation have eased the pain of hospitalized children across America. This summer, Nintendo and Starlight offer a new prescription to promote a speedier and happier recovery for children in hospitals throughout Washington state with the rollout of newly designed Fun Centers.
Equipped with a Nintendo GameCube(TM) video game system, Nintendo video games, a Sharp(R) AQUOS(TM) Liquid Crystal Television and a DVD player, each Fun Center is designed specifically to provide the ultimate bed-side entertainment to hospitalized children. These state-of-the-art mobile units will be welcome visitors to young patients in Swedish Medical Center in Seattle; Deaconess Medical Center, Ronald McDonald House and Sacred Heart Children's Hospital in Spokane; Kennewick General Hospital in Kennewick; and Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland.
"Fun Centers are tremendous tools for alleviating the stress and anxiety children typically associate with being in the hospital and for helping to create a sense of normalcy," says Rebecca Bratcher, child life specialist, Sacred Heart Children's Hospital in Spokane. "For patients who have limited mobility, and those who are preparing for or recovering from surgery, Fun Centers are a welcome diversion that make time in the hospital pass more quickly."
In 1991 the first Fun Centers were introduced nationwide, featuring the Super Nintendo Entertainment System(R). Updated Fun Centers were introduced in 1998, featuring the new Nintendo(R) 64. In October 2002 Nintendo and Starlight Children's Foundation celebrated their partnership of more than a decade by rolling out the first of 500 new Fun Centers nationwide, featuring Nintendo's next-generation console, Nintendo GameCube. Once the rollout is complete, more than 118,000 hospitalized children across the nation will benefit from these Fun Centers each month.
Nintendo contributed more than $3 million for the development of the new Fun Centers. Over the past decade, Starlight has placed more than 3,000 Fun Centers with Nintendo game systems in more than 1,000 hospitals across the country. Caregivers report important quality-of-life benefits for patients who use the Fun Centers, such as reduced need for pain medicine and lower levels of stress, boredom and loneliness.
"Nintendo is steadfast in its commitment to this program, which has brought happiness to so many children," says Don James, senior vice president, operations, Nintendo of America Inc. "Through this continued partnership with Starlight, we hope that Fun Centers soon will be a part of nearly every hospitalized child's experience."
Starlight Children's Foundation is an international organization dedicated to providing an escape from the pain and suffering seriously ill children and their families endure by offering fun and entertainment throughout their difficult journey with illness. Through a variety of in-hospital, like the fun-center, and outpatient programs, as well as many key corporate partnerships, Starlight is able to restore some of the smiles, laughter and companionship taken away by stressful, long and painful medical procedures. The Washington chapter of Starlight Children's Foundation provides these services in hospitals and communities throughout the state.
"Armed with Nintendo's innovative manufacturing and wealth of knowledge about kids, we began a brilliant partnership that endures to this day as a shining example of corporations leading with their hearts, as well as their heads, to benefit those in need," adds Kip Crennan, president, international board of directors, Starlight Children's Foundation.
The worldwide leader and innovator in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its popular home and portable video game systems. Each year, hundreds of all-new titles for the best-selling Game Boy(R) Advance and Nintendo GameCube(TM) systems extend Nintendo's vast game library and continue the tradition of delivering a rich, diverse mix of quality video games for players of all ages. Since the release of its first home video game system in 1983, Nintendo has sold more than 1.8 billion video games globally, creating enduring industry icons such as Mario(TM) and Donkey Kong(R) and launching popular culture franchise phenomena such as Metroid(TM), Zelda(TM) and Pokemon(R). A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere.
For more information about Nintendo, visit the company's Web site, www.nintendo.com.
Starlight Children's Foundation is an international non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for seriously ill children and their families. Working with more than 1,000 hospitals worldwide, the foundation provides an impressive menu of both in-hospital and outpatient programs and services. A leader in delivering distractive entertainment, over 100,000 children benefit from Starlight's programs each month. To learn more about Starlight, visit the foundation's Web site, www.starlight.org.