The Child Life Program of Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach hosted its annual Beach Day bash for many patients who are too sick to leave the hospital. More than 40 members of the Long Beach Fire Department attended to walk the children through the event crafts and game booths.
This year’s event was equipped with stations for patients to dress up in tutus and pirate costumes, face painting for all ages, a shark-tooth necklace craft booth, and a visit from Kip and Cruz, the Miller Children’s pet therapy dogs. Held inside the hospital, a giant auditorium is transformed into a seaside escape with beach balls, carnival booths and summer snacks specially created by the chefs of Miller Children’s. Sponsors, including the Aquarium of the Pacific and Home Depot, created interactive games and learning booths for the patients and their firefighting partners.
The highlight of the event entertainment was the bubble show, during which a bubble artist created massive bubbles. After making countless shapes and sizes of bubbles, he placed several patients (as well as a fireman) inside the bubbles.
The bash has been supported in part by the Michele Rae Crane Foundation for more than 10 years. The Michele Rae Crane Foundation is a family foundation set up to honor Michele Rae Crane, who died as a young woman after being struck by a drunk driver. Through the foundation, her family supports countless programs within Child Life, such as the hospital grandparent program and literacy programming with patients.
“It is always exciting to see the amazement on the kids’ faces when they walk into the room on Beach Day,” says Rita Goshert, child life manager at Miller Children’s. “They are so happy to spend time at the ‘beach’ and play summer games that they have not been able to play.”