MLS Visiting SickKids Hospital Wednesday

TORONTO (Tuesday, November 16, 2010) - MLS W.O.R.K.S., Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative, has teamed up with Starlight Children’s Foundation to unveil a new Starlight Fun Center mobile entertainment unit at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in downtown Toronto. The hospital visit is part of the MLS Cup trophy arrival celebration kicking-off the 2010 MLS Cup festivities and will provide an opportunity for children in hospital and their families to enjoy a unique experience and a renewed sense of strength and hope.  

For children who may be facing surgery, enduring long outpatient treatments or fighting loneliness after hospital visiting hours have ended, Starlight Fun Centers provide a comforting break. Each Starlight Fun Center features a LCD TV, DVD player and gaming system to provide hours of fun and distraction.

In addition to the Fun Center, MLS will also provide tickets to MLS Cup 2010 for outpatients and their families on behalf of Toronto FC and the competing clubs in the championship game. MLS Cup 2010 will be played on Sunday, Nov. 21 at 8:30 p.m. ET at BMO Field in Toronto. 

Past MLS Cup winners Dwayne De Rosario and Jon Conway of Toronto FC will be in attendance. Former MLS player Geoff Aunger -- the first Canadian to win MLS Cup (1999) -- will also be on hand to play Fun Center games with young patients and participate in other activities prior to the unit’s dedication. SickKids patients will be able to get autographs and take pictures with the Philip F. Anschutz championship trophy.

MLS is committed to creating sustainable programs that leave a lasting legacy. The hospital visit falls under the MLS W.O.R.K.S. Community Service Program, which is a collaborative effort to combine sport and service, promote good will and improve lives and communities at the grassroots level.  

For more than 25 years, Starlight Children’s Foundation has been dedicated to helping seriously ill children and their families cope with their pain, fear and isolation through entertainment, education and family activities. Starlight’s programs have been proven to distract children from their pain, help them better understand and manage their illnesses, and connect families facing similar challenges so that no one feels alone. Through a network of chapters and offices, Starlight provides ongoing support to children, parents and siblings in all U.S. states and Canadian provinces with an array of outpatient, hospital-based and Web offerings. Programs are also delivered internationally through affiliates in Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom.

The hospital visit will provide an excellent still and video opportunity for journalists. For more information please contact Sean Dennison with MLS Communications at sean.dennison@MLSsoccer.com or (917) 658-4159.

WHAT:
MLS W.O.R.K.S./Starlight Children’s Foundation Hospital Visit

WHERE:
The Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue (Elizabeth Street Entrance), Toronto, ON M5G 1X8
*check in at the information desk in the Atrium

WHEN:
Wednesday, November 17
3:15 p.m. Media Arrival
3:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. Interview opportunity with players          
3:45 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Fun Center® Dedication Ceremony 

Note:
All times approximate

WHO:                          
MLS players Dwayne De Rosario and Jon Conway
Former MLS player Geoff Aunger
Representative from Starlight Children’s Foundation       
Representative from the Hospital for Sick Children