Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Wolfson Patients Find Way; Board Game Informs Kids

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Wolfson Patients Find Way; Board Game Informs Kids

Article excerpt

Byline: Maggie Toburen, River City News correspondent

There's a new game in town that helps young patients figure out where they are and where they may need to go next at Wolfson Children's Hospital.

Toy people, wheelchairs and ambulances maneuver through the colorful kid-friendly floor plan of the Treatment Center with a magnet control under the table.

"The game absolutely helps the kids," said Pat Newell, child life coordinator at Wolfson. "It orients them, provides a focus to relieve anxiety, and it's a great learning tool. The detail is amazing."

Fruit Cove resident Sandy Adams and her sister, Gloria Kivipelto of the Westside, who are members of the Decorative Artists of Jacksonville, designed and hand-painted the game. It's all part of the greater design of the artists group, a 24-year-old non-profit that educates members in painting techniques but also works via art and fund-raising to help children facing health problems.

The 76 area members form one of 300 chapters of the International Society of Decorative Painters founded in 1973, with more than 36,000 members.

"I feel an even greater, almost overwhelming, sense of purpose and usefulness when I visit Wolfson and see children playing with something we created," Adams said.

Yvonne Gladden Pittman, president of the local chapter, said the new game gives the artists a chance to see the impact of their work.

"The look on a child's face when they play with or just enjoy looking at the artwork done for them leaves me at a loss for words," she said. "You just want to reach out and wrap them in your arms."

Members of the artists group say they have a heart for children and focus on projects like Wolfson's. They also give monetary gifts to several local charities, including Hubbard House, a shelter for battered women and children.

Their art decorates many local hospitals and churches, and they provide infant memory boxes for several area hospitals. …

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