For the Kids, UF Health Shands Children's Hospital eNewsletter

February 2017

Through Child Life, a different approach to care

Through Child Life, a different approach to care

It was a Wednesday afternoon on Unit 45, a general pediatrics unit at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, when Chelsie Thomas prepped for her next round of patient visits. Equipped with her usual items – a pager for emergencies and an ID badge clipped with an IV catheter in the event of an impromptu demonstration – she wheeled a giant bubble machine with fiber optic lights and ceiling projector down the hall and into a patient’s room.

Chelsie is a Certified Child Life Specialist. Every day, she works with patients ranging in age from  2 days old to 21-year-old young adults, as well as their families, to provide tools and resources for coping with serious illness.


Dance Marathon season has arrived

After months of planning, two more organizations will hold their annual Dance Marathons in the coming months. (Scroll down for DM at FSU's results.) It’s not too late to get involved! Here are the basics for Dance Marathon at UF and OwlThon at FAU:

What:              Dance Marathon at the University of Florida

Where:            Stephen C. O’Connell Center, Gainesville, Fla.

When:              March 25-26, 2017

Who:                Anyone interested in participating! Find out how to get involved.

What:              OwlThon at Florida Atlantic University

Where:            FAU Recreation and Fitness Center, Boca Raton, Fla.

When:              April 8, 2017

Who:                Anyone interested in participating! Find out how to get involved.

DM at FSU shatters goal

DM at FSU held another incredibly successful event on Feb. 24-26, raising $1,830,167.28, shattering their public goal of $1.7 million. Congratulations to the students, and thank you for all you do in supporting pediatric care!

Mark your calendar, get set, hike!

Please join us for the inaugural Celebrity Gridiron Challenge on Sunday, April 9 at the Diamond Sports Complex (24880 NW 16th Ave., Newberry, FL 32669).

This two-day event will feature:

• Flag football gridiron challenge

• VIP Celebration

• Family friendly tailgate with food trucks

• Celebrity appearances and autographs

• Free admission for spectators

Sponsorship and team opportunities available!

All funds raised will support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. So get out your jersey, lace up those cleats, field a team and let’s score some points for the kids! Get more information at

Ride for Miracles happening March 4

For those in the Tallahassee area (or anyone who is interested in a fun, outdoor event), the annual Ride for Miracles ATV Trail Ride and Poker Run takes place Saturday, March 4 at the Amsterdam Tree Farm in Amsterdam, Ga.

The Ride for Miracles is a wonderful opportunity to get together for a day of fun, fellowship and a worthy cause — helping community children in need of specialized pediatric care. Click here for event details and tickets.

Events and Campaigns Calendar


Feb. 1-March 7

IHOP CMN Balloon Icon CampaignTake part in one of the largest balloon icon campaigns in the country this February. Every donation benefits your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Here is a list of IHOP restaurants supporting UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital.

March 4

Log-A-Load Ride for Miracles | The 2017 Ride for Miracles is a 26-mile +/- ATV ride through the beautiful terrain of the South Georgia Amsterdam Tree Farm, featuring a "Poker Run" along your way.

March 7

IHOP National Pancake Day | Last year, IHOP raised more than $3.9 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals — the most successful National Pancake Day ever! Yum!

March 25-26

Dance Marathon at UF | Now older than most of its participants, the 22nd annual DM at UF was the most successful student-run philanthropy in the southeastern United States. Join the movement as they work to make bigger and better miracles for the kids!

April 8

OwlThon at FAU | As the fastest-growing Dance Marathon program in the country, OwlThon is proud to hold its fourth annual event this spring. Get involved in the movement!

April 9

UF Health Celebrity Gridiron Challenge | We are pleased to announce our inaugural Celebrity Gridiron Challenge benefiting Children's Miracle Network Hospitals at UF Health Shands Children's Hospital. This two-day event will feature a flag football tournament with celebrity appearances and a VIP celebration.

Planned gifts can leave a legacy

There are many options for making a charitable gift to support UF Health that won’t leave you worried about your financial security. We want to help you discover how gift planning can benefit you.

Planned gifts in support of UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital provide hope for the young patients in our care and their families, and ensure that your legacy continues in perpetuity by helping others who experience the most difficult circumstances imaginable.

Find out more by visiting, or give our office a call at 352-265-7237.

UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital Wish List

We want to make the most of your donation efforts. Here is a list of year-round items that support our patients while in our care. Your contributions make a difference! Read the wish list.