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Stormtroopers and Jedi land at Florida Hospital for Children for Star Wars celebration

ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 15, 2016 — The Force was strong at Florida Hospital for Children today, where staff and volunteers “trained” the next generation of Jedi as part of a Star Wars celebration filled with fun, games and of course costumes.

The Disney- and Lucasfilm-sponsored event was equal parts an afternoon of excitement for the hospital’s young patients and a celebration of nearly four decades of joy and wonder inspired by the ongoing saga of Star Wars. The eighth Star Wars movie, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” opens in theaters nationwide tomorrow.

The afternoon included activity tables, photo opportunities and special “Jedi training.” Costumed volunteers also went room to room for private patient visits.

“I think this is the first time he’s smiled since he got here,” said Nadia Datoo of her son, a patient in the hospital. “It’s absolutely wonderful to see how they’re interacting with all the kids, all the activities that they have. I think it’s really great.”

Members of the 501st Legion — a collection of Star Wars fans who dress as Stormtroopers and other Star Wars characters to promote interest in the movie series — even made a special visit for the afternoon.

“Disney is a longstanding supporter and partner of our organization, and we are honored that they, along with Lucasfilm, selected for Florida Hospital for Children for this very special day,” said Marla Silliman, the hospital’s senior executive officer. “Having their very own Jedi training and unique Star Wars activities will provide these children and their families with wonderful memories.”

For media inquiries only, call Florida Hospital Corporate Communications at 407-303-8217.