10/29/09 3:17 PM EST
Yanks, MLB bring 'Fun' to ill children
Along with Starlight, center donated to Bronx-Lebanon
By Brittany Ghiroli / Special to MLB.com
"We have a World Series here every day," said hospital spokesperson Errol Schneer. "Our staff is constantly faced with challenges."
But thanks to the continued partnership of Starlight Children's Foundation and Major League Baseball, the daily rigors of hospitalization and treatment promises to be a little more fun for the hospital's fourth-floor patients. MLB and the American League champion Yankees teamed up with Starlight Children's Foundation to donate a "Fun Center" to the newly renovated children's floor at Bronx-Lebanon on Thursday afternoon.
The "Fun Center" is a mobile entertainment unit featuring a Nintendo Wii, Sharp AQUOS LCD TV and DVD player, and is specially designed to accommodate bedridden patients.
The four-foot-tall center was unveiled with the help of Vera Clemente, the widow of baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente, who died in a plane crash on Dec. 31, 1972, while en route to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
"Roberto used to say, 'If you aren't doing anything for your community, you're wasting your time,'" Vera said.
"We bring laughter and smile to kids," Starlight's executive director Elaine Siver said. "And that's really what our goal is, to provide spiritual healing."
While MLB has donated a "Fun Center" in every World Series city, this year's Fall Classic is unmatched in its commitment to community service.
World Series Game 1 celebrated Welcome Back Veterans, while Thursday's event at Bronx-Lebanon was in conjunction with Game 2's theme of community service. Saturday's Game 3 will focus on Stand Up To Cancer and Sunday's spotlight will be on Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI), presented by KPMG and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Brittany Ghiroli is a contributor to MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.