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Fun Center Dedication at Metropolitan Hospital

Posted by Amit on

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We all love the scene in The Empire Strikes Back when Yoda raises Luke Skywalker's X-wing from the murky Dagobah bog – the music swells and as his starfighter is safely guided down to the ground next to him, the flabbergasted youth places his hand on the nose of the ship. He needed to touch it to make sure that what he had just seen was real – he needed something tangible.

Tangible. It's a great word. It's got that "g" as "j" sound, like 1.21 gigawatts. But I love the word for other reasons too.

When the NYLine endeavor began, it was with a very small group of people. Over the years we grew, making friends and partnerships, all with the promise of a good time and the knowledge that we were working for a cause that really was worthwhile. One might say that we became a huge alliance, rebelling against the notion of Star Wars fans as shut-ins who'd rather catalogue their Power of the Force Collector Coins than do something constructive in the real world. Forgive any sappiness, but I am proud of what we were able to accomplish, raising over $80,000 for the Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation. This past Monday afternoon we were able to get our collective hands on that metaphorical X-wing as the fine people at Metropolitan Hospital invited us to a dedication ceremony for one of the Fun Centers that was donated with money we raised during NYLine III.

Due to the small space on the Pediatric ward at Met, only a handful of staff members and top fundraisers were able to be at the ceremony, but we were still welcomed warmly. Dr. Mahrukh Bamji, Deputy Chief of Pediatrics, took us around the ward and the ICU, where we heard first hand from the nurses what a great benefit the Fun Centers have been. We then visited the play room, where our Fun Center is located, and ooohed and aaahed at the sleek new model with all of its special modifications. Finally it was over to the conference room for some refreshments and a few words. Dominique Doron from Starlight talked about all of their different programs and mentioned that out of the usual 50 units that are placed each year, the 12 that we donated made up a significant percentage. Suzanne then explained who we were and how you raised all of this money, which is always an entertaining story. I had the opportunity to say a few words too, which I was really grateful for. As someone who worked on that Pediatric ward as a medical student, I could tell everyone at the hospital just how hard all of the line members, staff, and sponsors worked, and then turn around and let you all know that our efforts were going to a fantastic hospital with patients who will really benefit. Also, I was able to say a few words about the dedication of the Fun Center in honor of my mother, relay what an amazing person she was, and thank all of you for guiding me through the rough times with hands that were soft and smooth.

It was a little bit overwhelming, but once we were able to touch that fun center, all of the work, all of the effort and fundraising by our amazing line members became fantastically real. Here are a couple of pictures from the event, I'm sure Spell will have an album up soon!