02.26.14 | Barbara Morgan
In the mid 80’s when I was living another life in Austin, I discovered Children’s Hospital. At that time, it was in Brackenridge Hospital on 15th and I-35. I wanted to volunteer for something in the community and I decided that would be a good place to start. As a volunteer I was assigned the day surgery area and scheduled to be there in the wee hours of the morning. In those days, it was way too easy to stay out past the witching hour at Antone’s or the Continental Club and my weekly volunteer stint was certainly helpful in the transition to a better time management skill set. Never a morning person, it was hard at the start to awake at such an early hour, but I loved the hospital staff and being able to comfort the children before and after they went in for surgery. Because of this, the grogginess wore off quickly. After a year, I became occupied with other endeavors and had to quit my volunteerism for a while. I spent a lot of years investing my energies on the Festival and my family, but I always thought about Children’s Hospital. One day, a dear friend, Mary Margaret Farabee, invited me to coffee to meet a friend of hers. It turned out to be Mary Frasher from Children’s Blood and Cancer Center at Dell Children’s Hospital In a recent staff meeting we had been talking about reaching out to Dell Children’s, it felt like kismet.
In 2007 Dell Children’s Medical Center opened its doors and we were honored to be able to sponsor the Teen infusion room in the Children’s Blood and Cancer Center. They sponsor a group called the Hungry Bunch, the members of which are children who have come through the clinic and are either in treatment or survivors. We went with them to camp over Labor Day in 2007 and 2008 and made films. One year America Ferrera and director Ryan Williams came with our Festival crew to participate in the filmmaking. It was a blast. The films we made were wonderful and the experience was thrilling and exhausting . What fun we had!
We continue to sponsor the Infusion Room and this spring break we will be hosting a claymation camp in the clinic. Our relationship with Children’s Blood and Cancer Center is an excellent opportunity to unite the film community with Austin’s healthcare network and facilitate a creative outlet to children who are enveloped in their treatment programs. We hope you will join us March 20th and 21st in donating to this incredibly worthy cause.