Vail, CO, Feb. 23-President's Day weekend was more than just a long one in Vail, CO this year. On Saturday Feb. 19, the Starbright Foundation and Sprint joined together for the First Annual Starbright Foundation Day at Vail featuring US Ski Team champions Jonny Moseley and Michelle Roark.
The day was highlighted when Sprint and Starbright brought hospilized children on the mountain with Moseley and Roark via video conferencing on Starbright World, a private and secure interactive computer network that connects children and teens in more than 50 hospitals nationwide.
The children were able to join Moseley and Roark at the top of Vail Mountain at the Sprint Communications Center at Eagle's Nest. From the 10,350 summit, Moseley and Roark were able to chat face-to-face with young patients from The Children's Hospital in Denver, The Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA in Los Angeles, and the Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, OR.
"I talk to kids about skiing all the time, but never quite like this," said Moseley, who is a Sprint-sponsored U.S. Ski Team athlete. "From the top of a mountain, Starbright World allowed me to bring the world of skiing directly to some kids who may otherwise not have been able to experience it."
Other activites for the day included Moseley setting the pace on the NASTAR race coarse for hundreds of skiers to beat. For the cost of a nickel, instead of the regular $20 charge, skiers could try to beat his time on the coarse. Moseley also conducted a skiing clinic for the public in Vail's Black Forest Race Arena.
As a major telecommunications contributor to Starbright World, Sprint donates their system to allow thousands of children to simultaneously email eachother; to see and speak with their peers anywhere on the network through real-time video conferencing; to play together in real-time through interactive computer games; and to understand more about their illnesses though multi-media educational programs.
"Sprint's involvement with the Starbright Foundation reflects a commitment to use our expertise in technology to help people," said Sue Sentell, President of Marketing and Operations of Sprint Business and Starbright Foundation Board Member. "Sprint is proud of its relationship with the Starbright Foundation and our role in bringing Starbright World to so many deserving children."
A total of $30,000 was generated through lift ticket sales and donated by Vail Resorts to the Starbright Foundation. Chaired by Steven Spielberg and General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, the Starbright Foundation is dedicated to the development of projects that allow seriously ill children to fight the medical and emotional challenges they face on a daily basis.
"The weekend was a complete success," said Amy Federman of the Starbright Foundation. "Jonny Moseley and Michelle Roark were not only a hit for the Starbright kids, but for everyone who came to Vail on Saturday."
For more information about the Starbright Foundation, log onto their website at http://www.starbright.org/.