Before the renovations, the pediatrics room at Lansing’s Sparrow Hospital was bleak — white walls and cabinets, no decorations and not much room for families to wait with their children.
Thanks to renovations funded by a $25,000 donation from former Spartan quarterback Drew Stanton, the room is friendlier.
Hand-painted murals grace the walls. Televisions and games keep children entertained. A larger space allows families to stay with their children. And specialized equipment is available in case children have to stay in the room longer.
“It looks like an underwater sea in there,” said Carol Mahaney, director of Women and Children’s Services at Sparrow Hospital. “Kids never like to have to go to the treatment room and have to have a procedure done, but they really appreciate the TV distraction.”
Stanton, who is currently a quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, funded the donation with the help of his foundation, High 5ive, and Lansing dealership Lexus of Lansing.
“It was just a matter of setting a realistic goal,” Stanton said. “We wanted to help Sparrow Hospital, and raising all of the money here in mid-Michigan, we wanted to keep it here. They identified their needs, what we thought was realistic from the get-go, and doing it in one year and trying to make a change.”
Stanton established High 5ive in 2008 to raise money toward improving the quality of life of people with various disabilities. Recent fund-raising events the foundation hosted include the Fifth Annual High 5ive Celebrity Dinner and Golf Outing and the High 5ive Kickball Tournament, which took place in Battle Creek, Mich.
“We have a foundation here at Sparrow, and they actively work with the entrepreneurs in the area,” Mahaney said. “We’re aware of Drew’s foundation, High 5ive, and began talks with them last year. Donors come to us through the Children’s Miracle Network.”
Mahaney said the renovations have been well received. Sparrow receives donations from other MSU athletic teams as well, according to Mahaney.
“We have a lot of donations every year or visits from various athletes throughout the Michigan State campus,” she said. “We have posters that were donated by the tennis team recently and the hockey team comes up, the basketball team comes up.”
For Stanton, supporting children is a main goal.
“I think it’s important to get involved with as many things as possible,” he said. “The kids are the people we really need to focus on, and I think that’s where our passion is, coming out and supporting as many causes as possible. I’ll never say no if it involves children.”