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Give happiness this Starlight Day

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Happiness matters.

That’s the mantra of the Starlight Children’s Foundation, which, on Starlight Day this Friday 3 May, is hoping to raise $1.3 million to brighten the lives of seriously-ill children and their families.

The annual fundraising drive will support 33,000 children nationwide who visit the foundation’s in-hospital Starlight Express Rooms and benefit from the Captain Starlight program.

Last year, almost 1,800 of these were at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital, where 10 Captain Starlights brought a world of fun to almost 900 kids in their Starlight Express Room and another 900 in wards, the emergency room and outpatient clinics who were unable to visit the room.

The Starlight Express Room is open seven days a week and provides an escape from humdrum hospital life.

“It’s a medical-free zone where kids can just be kids,” Newcastle Hospital Programs Manager Alicia Johnston said.

“They’re being poked and prodded in a smelly hospital, but here, they’re being distracted by love and laughter.”

While Starlight Day will support the work of Captain Starlight nationwide, the foundation is also hoping to raise separate funds to refurbish Newcastle’s Starlight Express Room.

The goal is to redecorate and replace ageing equipment.

“The room hasn’t had a facelift in a decade,” Ms Johnston said.

“It’s red and white at the moment, which is cool, but sometimes you need that lower sensory stuff.

“It’s also not your usual foot traffic that goes through, there are a lot of large art projects – all that glitter!”

All donations made before the close of Starlight Day will be doubled by corporate partners.
Visit starlightday.org.au

Donors interested in supporting the Newcastle Starlight Express Room upgrade can reach out through starlight.org.au

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