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“Splash into Summer Bash” to Benefit Picture Me Happy

Hospital staff and health care workers become special friends to hospitalized children.

In celebration of five years of service to seriously ill hospitalized children in Southern California, Picture Me Happy is holding a fundraising pool party at the ACE Hotel in Palm Springs. The event will take place on Sunday, May 20th and is open to the public.

Anyone who has ever spent extended time in a hospital knows that the days drag on, optimism shrinks, and boredom and depression can often set in. For approximately one million children in the United States, this is every day real life. These children are seriously ill with progressive medical conditions and reliant on the hospital for daily care and activities. Communication is limited to visits by family and friends. Excitement and hope can be a tall order.

Picture Me Happy brings smiles to hospital beds offering excitement, joy and a brief distraction for the normal routine of needles, nurses, doctors, tests and treatments by providing these children with a photography-based creative program. The Southern California program is quickly growing and includes UCLA’s Mattel Ward, Los Angeles Children’s Hospital and Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach.

Picture Me Happy adds smiles to hospitalized children who desperately need them.

It is an ‘Arts in Medicine’ program that collaborates with the hospitals’ Child Life Specialist. The program has engaged over 300 children since its inception in 2007. This year’s goal is to extend the program to include a monthly visit to Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital.

“Our goal is to introduce the charity to a greater public and raise much-needed funds for our 2012 programs,” states co-founder Timothy Courtney of Palm Springs.

Picture Me Happy gives the children full control of their photographic work and the creative process. They travel about the hospital taking pictures of anything they wish and then collect the photos to create a magazine journal. “Since hospitalized children have so little control over their day, we place emphasis on inspiring and supporting each of them to take complete charge and ownership of their creativity. They are the photographer, designer, and creator of their own personal magazines,” adds Courtney, “While in the creative process of Picture Me Happy, our participants seem to forget about their personal illness and discomforts.”

The artistic freedom encouraged allows children to be anything they want to be in their personal magazine journals.

The Splash into Summer Bash will feature celebrity guests including Reza Farahan from The Shahs of Sunset, Estelle Harris from Seinfeld and Project Runway All Star, Michael Costello, with more to be announced. Past celebrity hosts include Melissa McCarthy, Marcia Cross and Ben Affleck. Guests will enjoy food and beverages and raffle prizes, and the opportunity to meet and speak with families who have benefited from the program.

There are a limited number of tickets available. General admission is $30 in advance and $40 at the door. Ticket sales and VIP ticket packages can be found on the Picture Me Happy website.

For more information or to make a donation to the program, visit PictureMeHappy.org. Your contribution truly helps make a brighter day for these children.

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