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Team effort helps renovate playroom at Children’s Hospital

Mar. 24, 2016, 8:37 AM

Team mascot Gnash was on hand for this week’s debut of the newly renovated Predators playroom at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. (photo by John Russell)

Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt cut the ribbon Tuesday on a newly renovated teen game room.

The transformation was made possible by Ladies of the Nashville Predators, which is comprised of wives and girlfriends of the team’s players and coaches, and the project was done in conjunction with Special Spaces, an organization that creates “dream bedrooms” for children with life-threatening medical illness.

“We wanted to update this room because we knew it would make an impact and make many sick children happy,” said Rhonda McCarthy, wife of Predators assistant coach Kevin McCarthy and director of Music City Special Spaces, Nashville’s Special Spaces chapter. “It was already a Predators room, but we wanted to make it really awesome and more up-to-date. We hope it will help children during their time in the hospital, and we are really happy to see this happen.”

The Nashville Predators have supported Children’s Hospital since 2000, when they made a gift to the capital campaign for the Predators playroom. The current refresh of the Predators-themed room includes a pool table with mascot Gnash on the felt, iPads at counters with Gnash-adorned stools, a karaoke machine, new furniture, framed Predators jerseys, Gnash paw prints on the ceiling and numerous board games and other activities.

“At Children’s Hospital we place a strong focus and emphasis on the psychosocial needs of children and teens,” said Stephanie VanDyke, director of Child Life and Volunteer Services for Children’s Hospital. “Through education, preparation and play, we are able to ease a child’s fear and anxiety through therapeutic and recreational activities. Having a dedicated teen room helps to foster an environment that incorporates emotional support while providing a much-needed space for emotional expression, distraction and socialization with others.

“The Ladies of the Nashville Predators, in collaboration with Special Spaces, are great partners in ensuring we have the most age-appropriate space with needed games, electronics and other activities that will empower patients and families with positive coping resources and space to experience normalization during stressful health care experiences,” VanDyke said.

In addition to wives and girlfriends of the Nashville Predators and Special Spaces, the new teen space was made possible by the Nashville Predators Foundation, Office Furniture, Werthan and Brand Imaging Group.

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