LLUCH patient, Mia Capuano, 10, from Menifee, loads up on goodies during the Spirit of Children Fall Festival.

Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital (LLUCH) patients were treated to the annual Spirit of Children Fall Festival Wednesday, Oct. 18.  

As part of their annual Sprit of Children Week, Spirit Stores hosted celebrations in multiple hospitals across the United States and Canada.

LLUCH patients and their family members were treated to an afternoon of games, crafts, costumes and music during the event.

Mia Cupuano, 10, of Menifee, was one of many patients who enjoyed this year’s event. Escorted by her mom, Tonya, Mia was gifted a cat costume and matching accessories, as well as various crafts and activities to take up to her room and enjoy later.

The mission of Spirit of Children is to make hospitals less scary for kids and their families by providing fun during the fall season and raising funds year-round for child life programs within children’s hospitals.

Spirit of Children chooses to partner with and support child life departments whose main function is to provide developmental, educational and therapeutic support for children undergoing medical treatment. Trained child life specialists help children and their families cope with the many stresses involved when a child is in the hospital. These programs are instrumental to the healing process for children and help kids just be kids in times of fear and discomfort. 

Spirit of Children has raised more than $242,000 for LLUCH over the last seven years — not including funds raised this year — through donations made to Spirit stores in the Inland Empire.