Nearly two hundred excited kids and their families were on hand at Minute Maid Park last week for the 23rd annual Sunshine Kids party hosted by Craig Biggio and his wife Patty, along with the Houston Astros.
Jennifer Wisler, director of Children Services for the foundation says that the total turnout this year of children and their families was very strong.
“Well, Every year we invite 100 kids to come out and it usually ends up being about 175 people total including the parents, and its hosted of course by the Houston Astros and Aramark and of course Craig and Patty Biggio.”
The children were given the ultimate Astros experience as they were able to run the bases at Minute Maid Park and were given one on one time with the future Hall-of-Famer for batting practice. Afterwards, the kids ate lunch with Biggio and received autographs and goodie bags.
“They all swung the bat well, they all had fun, they all smiled, they all ran on the hill, they all ate well, got a goodie bag and that’s what it’s all about.”
Biggio, who has been a major supporter of Sunshine for Kids since joining the Astros in 1988, says that he and his wife have grown very close to the children and their families over the years.
“They’re family and I’m family and it’s really, in all honesty a lot of kids. I know these kids real well and I have some great stories with them and I have some really hardship ones to, so this is a personal thing for me and my wife and I and we feel very, very, lucky to be involved with them and look forward to events like this that we do every year.”
A non-profit organization that was established in 1982, Sunshine for Kids provides positive group activities and emotional support for young cancer patients nationwide.
According to the American Childhood Cancer Organization, there are approximately 13,400 children between birth and 19 years of age who are diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. About one in 300 boys and one in 333 girls will develop cancer before their 20th birthday.