Gracie Weber, 6, of Imlay City, shines a flashlight up toward young patients at Beaumont Royal Oak in December 2018. There will be no gathering in person at the hospital this year.

Gracie Weber, 6, of Imlay City, shines a flashlight up toward young patients at Beaumont Royal Oak in December 2018. There will be no gathering in person at the hospital this year.

File photo by Donna Dalziel


‘Moonbeams for Sweet Dreams’ goes virtual

By: Kristyne E. Demske | Royal Oak Review | Published December 8, 2020

 Elijah Mikols, 6, of Farmington Hills, shines bright with a message of love during Moonbeams for Sweet Dreams at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, in December 2018. There will be no gathering in person at the hospital this year, as the event has gone virtual amid the pandemic.

Elijah Mikols, 6, of Farmington Hills, shines bright with a message of love during Moonbeams for Sweet Dreams at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, in December 2018. There will be no gathering in person at the hospital this year, as the event has gone virtual amid the pandemic.

File photo by Donna Dalziel

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ROYAL OAK — As with many annual in-person events, Beaumont Royal Oak’s fourth annual “Moonbeams for Sweet Dreams” has gone the way of 2020 — digital.

Instead of big crowds gathering below to direct lights and cheery signs up at pediatric patients’ windows, Beaumont Royal Oak encourages families to submit videos, which the hospital will compile and post weekly on social media.

Being in a hospital has always been hard for young patients and their families who can’t be home for the holidays, but this year, organizers said the need for community support to let them know they are not alone has never been stronger.

The hospital invites community members to upload videos and photos at beaumont.org/moonbeams. Click “Share Your Story” and select “Share a Video” or “Share a Photo.” Participants can also record or upload from the page.

“You’ll be asked to add a brief description and then your submission will be added to the gallery and available to share on social media channels,” according to a hospital press release. “Every week, Beaumont will compile some of the videos to create a video that will be shared with pediatric patients and on Beaumont’s social media channels.”

The hospital asks that participants keep videos to 30 seconds or less and follow four guidelines: identify yourself, wish children sweet dreams and happy holidays, shine a flashlight, and consider sharing some of your holiday decorations and lights.

Children admitted to pediatrics or the pediatric intensive care unit in December will receive backpacks containing supplies to brighten up their rooms, including fairy lights, glow sticks, light-up toys and a flashlight.

“Moonbeams for Sweet Dreams is always incredibly meaningful to our patients and families,” Kathleen Grobbel, child life supervisor at Beaumont Children’s, said in a prepared statement. “We are all looking forward to seeing the crowds outside the hospital again next year. However, I’m thrilled we will be able to continue the program virtually this year.”

The Royal Oak Fire Department, along with many others in the area, have participated in the program since day one.

“We send one of our two ladder trucks over there as often as we can, which is usually a couple of nights a week, and if we can’t get our ladder truck, we try to get an engine there from the station right at 13 Mile and Woodward,” Royal Oak Assistant Fire Chief Jim Cook said last year, prior to COVID-19. “The guys love doing it. This isn’t something we have to push to motivate the guys.”

With the risk of COVID-19 exposure potentially taking out a unit, local first responders must be careful with how they engage with the public. So far, Royal Oak Assistant Fire Chief Jim Cook said, the Royal Oak Fire Department has not had staffing issues that have plagued school districts, restaurants and other industries.

As far as Moonbeams for Sweet Dreams, it remains to be seen exactly how first responders will participate, but participation in some form, whether via video or a visit from a fire engine with activated lights and sirens, is likely in the cards.

The program will run through Dec. 31.

For more information, call (248) 898-5000.

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