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28050 Grand River Ave.
Farmington Hills, MI 48336-5919
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Longacre Junior Optimists Donate Toys for Kids at Botsford Hospital

Farmington Hills, Mich. (December 23, 2011)---You expect kids to take toys seriously. What's unexpected are little ones who think beyond their own interests to do something significant for kids they've never met who may be in pain, fearful or lonely. This week, a group of kindergarteners through fourth-graders from Farmington Public Schools' Longacre Elementary delivered 10 large boxes and bags of toys to Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills. 
 
Staff from Botsford's Emergency and Trauma Center and from the Pediatric Unit will give the toys to children who come to the hospital as patients and to kids who accompany family members to the ER for treatment. 
 
"Having these toys to give to children who come to Botsford Hospital is wonderful," says Candice Templin, RN, Botsford's manager of maternal-child health. She was on hand to meet and thank the children in the hospital's lobby. 
 
“In a sterile hospital environment, these games, books, puzzles, and dolls are more than playthings,” Templin explains. “These toys donated by the Longacre Junior Optimists will help children at Botsford reclaim the simple joy of play and provide a much-needed distraction during a stressful time.” 
 
Brian Moore, RN, a supervisor in Botsford’s ER, told the kids how much it meant to his own young son when he received a special stuffed animal during a time when Moore himself was hospitalized: “That stuffed animal continues to be my boy’s favorite.” 
 
These kids are members of the Longacre Junior Optimist Club. Parent co-leaders of this group Colleen Ruff and Melissa Peura helped the kids select, plan and execute this community service project, which was dubbed “Leopards for Love.” The leopard is Longacre’s mascot. Longacre’s club was the first Farmington-Farmington Hills (F2H) Junior Optimists club to complete a project this school year.  
 
Led by local, longtime business owner and recently-elected Farmington Hills’ City Councilman Richard Lerner, the F2H Junior Optimists has grown from just seven students at East Middle School four years ago to be the largest community service organization in Farmington Hills. The F2H Junior Optimists has more than 220 active members in 14 schools volunteering their time for local charities. It is the largest Junior Optimist club in the Midwest. 
 
PHOTO CAPTION: The Longacre Junior Optimists delivered 10 boxes of toys to Botsford Hospital in December. The children are, from left, Quinn Felsner, 7; Kelsey Pettengill, 7; Madelyn Peura, 6; Isabella Rossi, 9; Anirudh Rao, 9; and Robert Ruff, 9. The adults are, from left, Brian Moore, RN, Colleen Ruff, Melissa Peura, and Candice Templin, RN.

Botsford Hospital is a multi-specialty 330 bed hospital and verified trauma center located in Farmington Hills, Michigan. The campus also houses an imaging center and a comprehensive care cancer center. Botsford Hospital is also home to an extensive medical education program and is part of Michigan State University's statewide campus system. Botsford Hospital each year cares for approximately 16,000 inpatients and more than 60,000 emergency and trauma patients with a team of 2,500 employees, 300 volunteers and more than 600 physicians. A not-for-profit hospital, Botsford provided almost $10.5 million in community benefit during its 2011 fiscal year.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Lynn C. Anderson, Director, Marketing & Public Relations or Beth Montalvo, Publications & Media Relations Coordinator

PHONE: (248) 442-7986

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