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Starlight gaming units bring smiles to Southlake pediatric patients

Nintendo hand-held units bring a bit of normalcy and distraction to Newmarket hospital's littlest patients, thanks to Starlight Children's Foundation and Ardene Foundation
Starlight Children's Foundation Canada and the Ardene Foundation are providing Nintendo Switch hand-held gaming devices to Southlake Regional Health Centre's pediatric unit.

The gift of Nintendo Switch hand-held gaming units is bringing smiles to pediatric patients at Southlake Regional Health Centre, thanks to Starlight Children's Foundation Canada and the Ardene Foundation.

Portable and accessible in all areas of the hospital, the Starlight Nintendo Switch Handheld devices "give a bit of normalcy and needed distraction to pediatric patients, helping them cope with their fears and ease interactions with hospital staff," according to Starlight Foundation.

“Many of our Starlight children are not only bravely coping with a serious illness but also with the fear and isolation that can accompany regular or extended hospital stays,” said Brian Bringolf, CEO of Starlight Canada, in a news release. “We hope programming like the Starlight Nintendo Switch Handheld can give kids a chance to decompress and unwind in an extremely high-stress situation. We’re eternally grateful to our partner the Ardene Foundation for helping to make this available to countless ill children in hospitals across Canada.”

The Starlight devices were recently delivered to Southlake, as well as Toronto’s St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Trillium Health Partners - Mississauga Hospital, Humber River Hospital and North York General Hospital. Ardene has sponsored a total of 54 devices for sick children to use in hospitals all across Canada.

After more than 30 years of helping kids cope with serious illnesses, Starlight Canada has witnessed first-hand the power of distraction as a sick child copes with stress on both their physical and mental health. Pre-loaded with hours of endless entertainment, the devices are infection-control friendly, with all surfaces wipeable.

Starlight Canada arranged for 50 of "fun centres"  — mobile entertainment units, featuring flat-screen televisions and a variety of multimedia options — to be delivered to 29 children’s hospitals across Canada in 2021. The new Starlight Nintendo Switch Handheld program aims to be an even more portable and flexible solution for patients and health-care providers.

“Ardene and Starlight have partnered together for many years now, and we continue to be honoured to support these incredible programs that uplift the lives of sick kids and teens across Canada,” said the Ardene Foundation. “Through our work together, we hope to continue to do good by delivering distractive entertainment – and moments of joy – to those who need it most.”

For more information on Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada and its in and out-of-hospital programming, visit

Debora Kelly

About the Author: Debora Kelly

Debora Kelly is the editor for AuroraToday and NewmarketToday. She is an award-winning journalist and communications professional who is passionate about building strong communities through engagement, advocacy and partnership.
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