UC Davis Medical Center and School of Medicine received a surprise recently that has brightened the faces of its young patients: a Nintendo Fun Center, thanks to Sam’s Club #6622 on Stockton Blvd., the Starlight Foundation International and Nintendo of America, Inc.
“I’m amazed at how excited children become when they realize we’re wheeling into their rooms something they can play with instead of a piece of medical equipment,” said UCDMC child life specialist Janie Grantham-Carlson. “And when they find out it’s Nintendo, their fears and anxieties associated with being in the hospital melt away. They’re ready to play!”
The Nintendo Fun Center, equipped with a videocassette recorder, television monitor, videocassettes and a Nintendo video game system with a library of games, can be wheeled directly to pediatric patients’ bedsides or can be used in the playroom. The center offers hours of audiovisual interactive entertainment.
“We’re glad the local Sam’s Club folks, along with Starlight and Nintendo, thought enough of us and our patients to honor the medical center as the only hospital in the area to receive a Nintendo Fun Center,” said Grantham-Carlson.
Started in 1992 by Starlight and Nintendo, the Nintendo Fun Center Program has brought entertainment to more than 18,000 hospitalized children nationwide each month. The Wal-Mart Foundation joined in 1994 to support the program by contributing $750,000 as part of a three-year commitment.
“At Sam’s Club, we value the family--especially children,” said Chris Uderman, Sam’s Club Store #6622. “We have warm hearts knowing that we’ve been able to bring a little fun into the lives of young patients at UC Davis Medical Center through the Nintendo Fun Center Program.”
The Starlight Foundation International enhances the lives of seriously ill children through programs such as wish granting and recreational activities. Nintendo Co., Ltd., Kyoto, Japan, is a leader in the worldwide $15 billion retail video game industry.