Starlight Children's Foundation Reveals Finalists For Design-a-Gown Contest

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Vote for Your Favorite Gown Design

Starlight Children's Foundation, an organization based out of Culver City that's committed to bringing joy and comfort to hospitalized kids and their families, announced the finalists for its inaugural Starlight Design-a-Gown contest.

Starlight Gowns are revolutionizing children's hospital gowns by replacing traditional, neutral colored gowns with ones that kids love to wear due to their fun, comfy and colorful designs.

Starlight received a blitz of more than 6,000 creative submissions from kids, families, hospitals, schools and supporters across the US. Participants created unique designs in hopes of having their art be featured on 30,000 Starlight Gowns in hospitals across the country. Many of the submissions were motivated by a person's desire to bring happiness to a hospitalized child in their life.

"We were blown away by all of the fantastic design submissions and went through a year's supply of tissues in just one month reading the inspiring stories that Starlight has received from the Design-a-Gown contest," said Chris Helfrich, CEO of Starlight Children's Foundation. "Thank you to the kids, families, All Star ambassadors and our generous corporate partners for the outpouring of support. We encourage America to vote for their favorite Starlight Gown and see the designs come to life."

The first finalist is six-year-old Jack of Crystal Lake, Illinois who wants to help his little sister, Everly, seven months, who was born with a congenital heart defect. Jack created his Starlight Gown complete with hearts and tons of glitter. He hopes Everly will be able to wear his gown for her life-saving open-heart surgery this summer.

Ava, 13, a determined Girl Scout, and brother Maxwell, 10, of Torrance, California are the second finalists who designed a cool, comfortable and out-of-this-world Starlight Gown for their cousin Benny, who lives in Redwood City, California outside of San Jose. Benny was diagnosed at six months with a rare form of cancer. They hope the fun space inspired gown will bring joy to Benny and other children who undergo frequent hospital visits.

The third finalist is Kimberly, 36, from San Luis Obispo County, California who is a wife and mother of three who dedicated her design to her six-year-old daughter, Violet, who suffers from three rare genetic conditions and faces many hospitalizations. Kimberly, a self-taught artist, drew a majestic elephant to symbolize strength. Her light-hearted design features elephant ears on each sleeve and an elephant's behind on the back to bring laughter to hospitalized kids and their families.  

Design-a-Gown celebrity All Star, Hall of Fame Sportswriter and media personality, Rick Reilly, traveled around the country to interview and produce short featurettes on each of the finalists.

Public voting is now open on starlight.org and will close at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 6. The winner will be announced on April 9. Starlight's generous partner Niagara Cares will provide 30,000 of the winning designs to children at Starlight's network of more than 800 children's hospitals and other health care facilities nationwide.

Families can watch the videos and vote for a finalist on starlight.org.