NEW YORK, Jan. 26, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, January 26th -- what would have been actor and founder Paul Newman's 90th birthday -- SeriousFun Children's Network has launched 'Give a Moment of #SeriousFun,' a celebration to honor Paul's legacy of worldwide SeriousFun camps and programs for children with serious illnesses. Inspired by the simple belief that taking fun seriously can transform lives, the nonprofit will devote this year to spreading joy and laughter to children living with cancer, HIV and other illnesses through their 'Give a Moment' tribute.
"This year-long celebration is such a wonderful way to honor my father and his legacy," says Clea Newman, daughter of Paul Newman and Senior Director for SeriousFun Children's Network. "No one gave of himself more selflessly than my Dad, so it couldn't be more fitting to honor his legacy by giving the best gift of all – a moment of SeriousFun to children with serious illnesses."
Commemorating Paul's birthday, SeriousFun will kick off 'Give a Moment' by inviting people around the world to give their birthday by donating their age or $90 (in honor of Paul's birthday). Birthday celebrators will also be encouraged to create a Birthday Fun-raiser, asking their friends to help "Give a Moment" and donate to the cause. The opportunity is available on SeriousFun's web site at www.seriousfunnetwork.org/giveyourbirthday.
The nonprofit will also throw star-studded galas in New York, Los Angeles and London to honor and continue Paul's legacy. The shows with feature musical performances, special celebrity appearances, stories and talents shared by SeriousFun campers and reflections on Paul Newman from those whose lives he touched.
"Paul Newman's incredible legacy helps children coping with illness find fun, friendship and confidence that lead to fuller lives," said Mary Beth Powers, CEO, SeriousFun Children's Network. "'Give a Moment' is our opportunity to celebrate his vision and inspire others to follow Paul's example."
The 30 camps and programs in SeriousFun Children's Network, always offered at no cost to children and their families, are made possible through the support of generous and caring donors and volunteers. Facilities and programming at SeriousFun camps are skillfully adapted to fit the medical conditions of campers, ensuring that all campers can participate in activities, such as soaring down a zipline, exploring ropes courses, cultivating creativity with arts and crafts and bonding over music and s'mores at campfires.
The experience of a SeriousFun camp has been demonstrated to have a lasting impact on campers. A 2012-2013 evaluation conducted by the Yale Child Study Center, examined the impact of SeriousFun member camps on the lives of children with serious illnesses and their families. Parents were surveyed about the attitudes and behaviors of their children before, one month and six months following camp. The results were resoundingly positive showing improved confidence, higher self-esteem, a greater sense of independence and increased interest in social activities among the majority of children.
As Paul once said at camp, "It's not that the children say, 'Thanks for a wonderful time.' It's that they say, 'Thank you for changing my life.'"
About SeriousFun Children's Network
SeriousFun Children's Network is a growing global community of 30 camps and programs serving children with serious illnesses and their families, always free of charge. Founded by Paul Newman in 1988 with the first camp, The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp SeriousFun has served more than 518,000 children and families from more than 50 countries. Each member camp is an independent, not-for-profit organization dependent upon private funding to serve all children at no cost to their families. A Support Center raises funds and provides central standards and services for all SeriousFun camps and programs. To learn more about SeriousFun, visit www.seriousfunnetwork.org.
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