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Harrisburg Senators Visit Kids Recovering at UPMC Children’s Harrisburg


April 5, 2023

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Playgowns, a charitable organization that provides custom hospital gowns to children, recently collaborated with UPMC Pinnacle Foundation, the Harrisburg Senators baseball team and First National Bank, the largest subsidiary of F.N.B. Corporation, on a visit to UPMC Children’s Harrisburg to hand deliver fun custom gowns for children currently receiving treatment in the hospital.

The Harrisburg Senators players met and interacted with the children before they gifted each child a gown of their choice. Several kids who were baseball fans were delighted to see their favorite players show up in their hospital room.

“Kids who are receiving treatment and recovering in the hospital may miss events that are important to them,” said Sandra Schreffler, child life specialist, UPMC Children's Harrisburg. "Having special visitors like the Harrisburg Senators come to UPMC Children’s Harrisburg can help kids cope with missing those activities and events. It gives them a break from thinking about medical things to engage in a fun activity."

Playgowns was founded by Pete Hayden when a child close to him was hospitalized. “My friend’s son, Josh, was suffering from a rare disease that would eventually take his life in his teens,” said Hayden. “During his stay in the hospital, Josh’s mother wished out loud that he didn’t have to pass in a hospital gown. Josh was a huge sports fan, so that night I turned a regular gown into a football jersey, and Playgowns was born.”

Each child who received a gown will be able to wear it during their time at the hospital. The gowns have been known to help ease the fear and anxiety associated with being hospitalized.

"A hospital stay for a person of any age can be scary, but that’s especially true for a child," said Matt Connors, major gifts officer, UPMC Pinnacle Foundation. “The UPMC Pinnacle Foundation is thankful for our generous donors like Pete who make moments like these possible. We are so thrilled to have dedicated community partners like Playgowns and the Harrisburg Senators to join us in bringing smiles to the faces of our youngest patients."

The UPMC Pinnacle Foundation exists to provide resources to meet the needs of our most vulnerable patients, promote health and lifelong wellness in our communities, and support our workforce so we can attract, train, and retain the best and brightest talent at UPMC in Central Pa.

To make a difference, you can donate to the Child Life Fund at UPMC Harrisburg at Every dollar is helpful in elevating the experience of our patients and families at UPMC Children’s Harrisburg. 

Harrisburg Senators with Liam

Harrisburg Senators with Liam – From left to right - Jackson Cluff, Jackson Rutledge, Liam Aquino and Jarrett Gonzales.

Harrisburg Senators with Abhiram

Harrisburg Senators with Abhiram – From left to right: Abhiram Vijay, Jarrett Gonzales, Jackson Rutledge, Jackson Cluff.

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Malini Mattler

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