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SIMPLY JESSICA: Starlight Children’s Foundation launches design-a-gown contest

Starlight Children’s Foundation kicked off its 2018 Design-a-Gown contest with an event at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center Feb. 1.

Cheyenne Jackson, Dan Bucatinsky and Angelique Cabral were on site to help children design their gowns and even made special hospital room visits. YouTube stars The Martinez Twins also joined in on the fun, visiting with children and designing gowns in a teen-helping-teen moment.

The Starlight Design-a-Gown contest is the newest initiative of the Starlight Children’s Foundation, an organization dedicated to creating moments of joy and comfort for hospitalized kids and their families. It offers kids of all ages the opportunity to create a new design for Starlight’s line of revolutionary children’s hospital Starlight Gowns.

Starlight Gowns replace ugly and uncomfortable traditional children’s hospital gowns with ones that are soft and comfortable, tie down the side instead of open in the back and feature brightly colored fun designs that transform kids into astronauts, deep-sea divers or their favorite movie characters.

Originally launched in fall 2016, the program has already provided more than 145,000 Starlight Gowns to hospitalized children across the United States thanks to the generosity of partners and grassroots supporters who have donated a $25 gown.

Starlight’s Design-a-Gown contest is now open through Feb. 20. Kids and their families can visit starlight.org to download, create and submit a #MyStarlightGown. Finalists will be revealed on March 6, and the public voting period will last two weeks.

The winners will be announced on March 21, and thousands of Starlight Gowns with the winning designs will be produced and distributed to Starlight’s network of more than 800 children’s hospitals and other health care facilities nationwide.

“We’re making it fun and easy for kids to get involved in the largest ever public effort to design and distribute better hospital gowns,” said Chris Helfrich, CEO of Starlight Children’s Foundation. “We are so grateful to have the support of our amazing corporate partners, celebrity ambassadors and every-day kids and families who are rallying to create and help us deliver tens of thousands new Starlight Gowns to hospitalized children.”

The Michaels Companies, Inc., a longtime supporter of Starlight, has signed on as the national retail partner for the Design-a-Gown contest. For every design submitted between Feb. 1-20, Michaels will donate a $25 gown up to a maximum of 10,000 gowns or $250,000.

Additionally, beginning Feb. 4, Michaels invites kids and families to visit their in-store classrooms to create their own Starlight Gown design using complimentary arts and crafts supplies.

“A mission as worthy as Starlight’s deserves the utmost support,” said Michaels CEO Chuck Rubin. At Michaels, our goal has always been to inspire and enable creativity. It is our hope that the Design-a-Gown contest provides an opportunity for anyone, nationwide, to share their creativity while uplifting the brave patients and their families. We look forward to seeing designs go from sketch to sample and are proud to be a part of that creative journey.”

Starlight’s Design-a-Gown All-Stars, a prominent team of more than 50 actors, athletes, musicians, fashion icons, tech leaders and business gurus such as Coldplay front man Chris Martin, actor and director Elizabeth Banks, actors Neil Patrick Harris, Melissa Joan Hart, Noah Schnapp, Adam Devine and Bryce Dallas Howard, comedian Patton Oswalt, fashion designers Lauren Conrad and Monique Lhuillier, model McGrady, Hunter Mc Grady, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and cast members of “Modern Family,” among many others, have signed on as ambassadors to support Starlight’s contest.

Entrants can visit starlight.org to download, create and submit a design for the next custom Starlight Gown. Entrants can also visit starlight.org/DDJoy to download, create and submit a design for the next Joy in Childhood Foundation custom Starlight Gown.

The Design-a-Gown Contest offers two separate opportunities to win. Each entry is eligible for both opportunities. One winner will be selected by the Starlight Children’s Foundation and he/she will have the opportunity to have his/her design featured on a custom Starlight Gown.

Another winner will be selected by the Joy in Childhood Foundation and have the opportunity for his/her design to be featured on a Joy in Childhood Foundation Custom Starlight Gown. Contestants are eligible for both the #MyStarlightGown Contest and the #DDJOYContest.

Starlight will select three finalists among eligible entries to be chosen as the Design-a-Gown winner.

The public is invited to cast their vote for the #MyStarlightGown winning design March 6-20 , by visiting Starlight.org. The Joy in Childhood Foundation will select three finalists among eligible entries to be chosen as the Joy in Childhood Foundation Design-a-Gown winner.

The public is invited to cast their vote for the #DDJOYContest winning design April 16-27.

Be yourself! I’m Simply Jessica JcAden. You can reach me at jess.gosnell@gmail.com.

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