On July 31, AdventHealth Daytona Beach will open a Timmy’s Playroom with the Tim Tebow Foundation. Within a hospital, Timmy’s Playroom serves as an oasis for pediatric patients, visiting children and their families.
"From personal experience, I know how valuable healthy play can be during an extended hospital stay. With the premature birth of my son, Alex, I had the opportunity to understand first-hand how a place like this can provide a welcome distraction and a stress-free time-out when a family is enduring challenging health issues,” said Jill Simpkins, a member of the AdventHealth Daytona Beach Foundation board of directors and a driving force behind the project. “This, coupled with the extraordinary infant and pediatric care provided by AdventHealth Daytona Beach, can produce miraculous results. Children have a special place in our hearts and we are committed to their health and wellbeing.”
Timmy’s Playroom has a colorful, relaxing environment that encourages children to play. The fun, football décor is reminiscent of Tebow’s days as a star football player at the University of Florida and in the National Football League. It has customized turf floors, wall wraps, custom lockers and more. A verse from the Bible (Philippians 4:13) reminds children, their families and visitors of what is possible: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
This is the first AdventHealth hospital to open a Timmy’s Playroom within the system of nearly 50 hospitals in almost a dozen states. At AdventHealth Daytona Beach, Timmy’s Playroom will be located on the hospital’s fourth floor, the same floor for services specifically designed for women and children, including pediatric services, birth care, and the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
This is the 10th Timmy’s Playroom, each one custom designed for children and their families. Timmy’s Playrooms have opened hospitals in Tampa, Jacksonville, Gainesville, Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana and the Philippines.
The Timmy’s Playroom at AdventHealth Daytona Beach will be the most technologically advanced playroom yet, featuring interactive play that’s gender-neutral and accommodates children with special needs.
"We are thrilled to open our newest Timmy’s Playroom at AdventHealth Daytona Beach to be able to share faith, hope and love with pediatric patients and their families," said Steve Biondo, president of the Tim Tebow Foundation. "It is an honor to partner with the AdventHealth Daytona Beach Foundation to bring this room to life so that children receiving treatment and children visiting patients can have a place of respite to find strength, encouragement and community... and a chance to just be kids for a while."
The vision for Timmy’s Playroom began to develop when Tebow was a student and football quarterback at the University of Florida and visited hospitalized children at UF Health Shands Hospital. That is what led him to create Timmy’s Playrooms, one of several outreach programs of the Tim Tebow Foundation, which he formed to serve the needs of children who cannot fight for themselves.
The cost of designing, building and maintaining Timmy’s Playroom is funded through generous donations to the AdventHealth Daytona Beach Foundation and by the Tim Tebow Foundation.
The AdventHealth Daytona Beach Foundation and Auxiliary’s fashion show in April raised more than $62,000 to fund the design and construction of the local Timmy’s Playroom. Fundraising is underway to furnish and equip the playroom. Donor support is critical in funding necessary wheelchairs, wagons and in-room gaming systems for the children.
Gale Lemerand, an early contributor to the project, is excited to see the new children's area and the families whose burdens will be lifted for a time while in the hospital.
"We are hoping many will join our team by contributing to kids’ health here in the Daytona Beach area, and so proud to have the Tim Tebow Foundation as a partner too!" Lemerand said.