Families with seriously ill kids enjoy a day at the ballpark

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- There are many families that have kids that are seriously ill, and medical visits take up a lot of their time. The Starlight Foundation helps the children take their mind of their illness by providing entertainment, education and family activities.

On Sunday, about fifteen families got to sit back and watch America's favorite pastime.

Long before the game even started, families lined the outside of Coveleski Stadium and kids fled onto the field.

Some of these young baseball fans are kids that are part of the Starlight Children's Foundation.

"We have a whole group of kids and families here today, and our local volunteer team as well as Starry, to have some fun at the ballpark, and give the kids a break from being at the doctor or at the hospital, and give them a chance to meet other kids and the families a chance to get to know each other as well," says Joan Steltmann, Executive Director of Starlight Children's Foundation, Midwest.

The Starlight Children's Foundation helps seriously ill children and their families by giving them opportunities for family outings, like the Silver Hawks game, that are about an entertaining get-away for the whole family.

"It's an escape. These kids are going through so much, on a day in and day out basis," says Peter Delneky, President of the Starlight Board. "It's an opportunity for them to enjoy a day at the ballpark, or a day at the zoo, or just spend time with their family outside of a hospital room or in their home, it's a great outlet for them."

And for the Sollars family, whose daughter, Mia, spends a lot of time at the doctors, they say days like this are a gift for all of them.

"We have so much of our time that is occupied by doctor's appointments and therapy and so much time has been spent with attention on her, it's kind of nice for the whole family to be included and have some fun time where we don't have to worry about anything other than just spending time together," says Cindi Sollars, mother.

After the game, the kids got the opportunity to meet some of the players.

If you would like to volunteer, Starlight's information is on their website at www.starlight-midwest.org.

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