Spin Master Ltd and Toyota Partner to Bring Smiles to Children in Need
LOS ANGLES, Calif., SEPT 3, 2014 – The Celebrity Source announced today a quarterly event that will bring celebrities from film, television, music and sports, to area children’s hospitals and other pediatric medical facilities.
The inaugural “Stars 4 Smiles” event will take place in September at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif. The celebrities will visit the pediatric ward of the hospital as well as the pediatric outpatient clinic on a day when children going through chemotherapy, among other treatments for life-threatening illnesses will be present.
Founder and President of The Celebrity Source, Rita Tateel, said her motivation to create “Stars 4 Smiles” stems from the personal experience of being hospitalized as a child.
“I was hospitalized for almost two years due to a serious illness,” Tateel said. “My parents told me later in life that I was so traumatized from my hospital stay that I didn’t speak for an entire year.”
Tateel notes that while children’s hospitals and pediatric wards are much different today, the potential for trauma still remains and in “bringing a smile to the face of a child, or the family of a child, suffering a serious or life-threatening illness is what ‘Stars 4 Smiles’ is all about.”
“The children we care for at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center are all stars in our eyes,” said Carol D. Berkowitz, MD, Distinguished Professor and Executive Vice-Chair, Department of Pediatrics, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. “We are grateful that our pediatric patients will have a chance to meet their favorite celebrities to inspire them on their journey to recovery and good health.”
The program will have two main sponsors: Spin Master Ltd., a global leader in children’s toys and entertainment, which is donating toys and games for celebrities to deliver to the children at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center; and Toyota, which in addition to financial support is providing Sienna vans to transport the celebrities to the hospital.
“Spin Master prides itself on community engagement and ensuring that children everywhere can share the joy of play and the feeling of fun, regardless of their circumstances,” said Krista DiBerardino, Spin Master’s Chief Marketing Officer. “‘Stars 4 Smiles’ is a perfect fit for this mission and a delightful way to also help us celebrate our 20th anniversary year.”
Most recently, Spin Master shipped thousands of toys to children in need in Israel and Gaza. With a crew on the ground, Spin Master ensured that these toys made it to areas where thousands of children and families are currently seeking shelter. This is the third donation program for a war-torn area launched by Spin Master within the past eight years.
Toyota, to date, has donated over $2 million to children’s hospitals in Southern California. “This program very much keeps with Toyota’s vision to help enrich the lives of those in our local communities,” said Keith Dahl, corporate manager of motorsports & engagement marketing, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. “To be able to help put smiles on the faces of children is something that is very important to everyone associated with Toyota and we hope we can bring some joy to these children and their families dealing with such difficult circumstances.”
“It makes me feel so good to be in a position to give back to the community as a result of the relationships I’ve developed over the years with celebrities, as well as fantastic corporate clients like Toyota and Spin Master,” Tateel said.
The public is encouraged to follow @Stars4Smiles and @CelebritySource on Twitter for updates about which celebrities will be participating. In addition, the celebrities themselves will be interacting with followers during the event using the hashtag #Stars4Smiles.
- CELEBRITY SOURCE -
Director of Communications
Assistant Director of Communications
About The Celebrity Source:
Founded in 1988 by company president Rita Tateel, The Celebrity Source is a celebrity booking agency that matches celebrities with public relations, marketing and advertising campaigns and special events, for both corporate and non-profit clients. The company has established relationships in the celebrity community with access to thousands of celebrities from film, television, music, sports and fashion, in addition to experts and influencers from many different industries. The Celebrity Source utilizes its proprietary database of celebrity’s personal information to match the celebrities with client projects in order to ensure there is a credible, authentic connection with the brand or organization.
Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world’s top automaker and creator of the Prius, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. Over the past 50 years, we’ve built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 40,000 people (more than 32,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.5 million cars and trucks (more than 2.2 million in the U.S.) in 2013 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today.
Toyota partners with philanthropic organizations across the country, with a focus on education, safety and the environment. As part of this commitment, we share the company’s extensive know-how garnered from building great cars and trucks to help community organizations and other nonprofits expand their ability to do good. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.
Toyota Motor Sales, Inc. (TMS), based in Torrance, CA, is the U.S. sales, marketing, distribution and customer service arm for Toyota, Scion and Lexus.
About Spin Master Ltd.
A multi-category children’s entertainment company, Spin Master has been designing, developing, manufacturing, and marketing consumer products for children around the world since 1994 and is recognized as a global growth leader within the toy industry. Spin Master is best known for such popular brands as boy’s action phenomena and 2009-2010 Boy’s Toy of the Year winner Bakugan Battle Brawlers™, and award-winning brands Air Hogs®, Aquadoodle™, Flutterbye™, Spin Master Games™ including 2014 Game of the Year, Boom Boom Balloon ™ and the popular Hedbanz™, SpyGear™, Tech Deck™, and the 2014 Innovative Toy of the Year Zoomer™. The company has also marked an entry into children’s media with the launch of Spin Master Entertainment, a subsidiary focusing on the design, development and production of television and other media properties, including the hit animated preschool series, PAW Patrol™. Spin Master employs over 900 people with offices in Toronto, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Munich, and Milan. For additional information please visit: www.spinmaster.com.
About the Child Life Program at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
The Child Life Program at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center serves pediatric patients and their families in both inpatient and outpatient settings throughout the hospital. Child Life Specialists assist families in coping with illness and hospitalization by facilitating positive patient coping strategies through preparation and support for medical procedures; assisting families in dealing with grief and loss through bereavement interventions and the creation of legacy items; increasing awareness and understanding of the medical environment with diagnosis education and resources; and giving patients and their siblings opportunities for developmentally appropriate play and socialization.
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center has three full-time Child Life Specialists and a full-time Activity Coordinator that cover numerous Outpatient Clinics, the Inpatient Pediatric Unit, Intensive Care Units, a Level I Trauma Center, Adult Palliative Care and the Jim Seidel Expressive Art Garden and Play Area.
The main goal of a Child Life Specialist is to provide a comforting, safe environment for hospitalized children and their families. Preparation, diagnosis education, and procedural support are all integral components to coping positively with hospitalization and illness.