HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Harrisburg Senators hand-delivered fun custom gowns to children at UPMC Children’s Harrisburg on Wednesday, April 5.

Custom gowns are provided by Playgowns, a charitable organization that provides custom hospital gowns to children.

Playgowns collaborated with UMPC Pinnacle Foundation and First National Bank,  the largest subsidiary of F.N.B. Corporation to make this event possible.

The children met and interacted with Harrisburg Senator players before they were gifted a gown of their choice.

“Kids who are receiving treatment and recovering in the hospital may miss events that are important to them,” said Sandra Schreffler, child life specialist, at 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.”

The gowns will be able to be worn by the children while they are in the hospital.

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.”

While wearing the gowns children feel less fear and anxiety that is associated with being in a hospital.

“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.”

To donate to the Child Life Fund at UPMC Harrisburg visit their website.

UPMC Pinnacle Foundation provides resources for patients, promote health and lifelong wellness in our communities, and support our workforce.