LOS ANGELES, September, 2023
Starlight Children’s Foundation, the nonprofit with a mission to deliver happiness to hospitalized kids and their families facing serious illness or injury, is proud to announce the 2023 Starlight Golden Hero Award honoree. With a vision that every hospitalized child experiences the happiness of Starlight programs, including Starlight Gaming, Virtual Reality, modernized Hospital Gowns and Toy Deliveries, the nonprofit recognizes the 501st Legion, The Rebel Legion, Saber Guild, The Dark Empire, Droid Builders, Mando Mercs Costume Club, and The Galactic Academy – for their continued dedication to the mission.
The 501st Legion and the Galactic Senate Costume Clubs have been around for more than 25 years. The groups have supported Starlight’s mission through character visits with hospitalized kids, fundraising, and much more. Last year, members across all chapters of the group joined forces at the Star Wars Celebration where they hosted fundraising events like the Dark Side vs. Light Side competition. In total, the group raised more than $30,000 in just a few days.
Justin Sonfield, Legion Commanding Officer of the 501st Legion said, “The Star Wars Costuming groups exist to put smiles on faces. Children and adults alike light up with pure joy when they see their favorite characters jump off of the screen. Be it your favorite villain, scoundrel, princess, droid, or even an amazing lightsaber performance, we believe that joy helps the healing process. At the heart of everything we do is charity. Not every child can visit a theme park or in many cases even leave a hospital. So we do our part to bring that experience to them all around the world. It is a privilege to partner with Starlight in these endeavors.”
The Starlight Awards are a testament to the unwavering commitment of these exceptional individuals and organizations in bringing comfort and joy to children and families facing challenging circumstances. Their unique contributions have brought smiles, hope, and positivity to many children when they need it most.
Adam Garone, CEO of Starlight Children’s Foundation, said, “Hospitalization can be scary and stressful experience for kids, often isolated from friends and families. We rely on many partners and donors to deliver vital programs that provide young patients with play, positive distraction and a sense of normalcy to help them feel more comfortable and supported during hospital stays. These annual awards are a way for us to honor and thank those who have demonstrated excellence, innovation and dedication in helping us transform hospital stays and improve kids’ wellbeing and health outcomes.”
Starlight was proud to present the Golden Hero award to the 501st Legion and the Galactic Senate Costume Clubs during their fundraising telethon that took place on September 9th. The 24-hour telethon featured a segment on their collaboration with Starlight Children’s Foundation where they were presented the award. The group aims to continue fundraising through September with a goal to raise $50,000 in total.
To learn more about the Starlight Awards, visit starlight.org/awards.
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