Arcade Game Fanatic Donates Game to Philadelphia Based Children’s Hospital
While patients and families at children’s hospitals are focused primarily on recovery, it never hurts to have a little bit of fun in the meantime. At St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, a single benefactor made hundreds of children smile just before Christmas. The donation came from a local resident named Joe Newhart. Although Newhart enjoys classics such as the original Pacman arcade machine, he also understands that newer titles are alluring to kids. The game that Mr. Newhart donated to the St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children is titled the Wizard of Oz, and it features vivid animations rendered on a large LCD screen. Needless to say, both the staff and patients at the children’s hospital was astounded to receive such an amazing gift from an independent party.
Joe Newhart’s connection with St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children started almost 20 years ago. Mr. Newhart’s now teenaged son wasn’t born at St. Christopher’s, but he did have numerous medical treatments there as a child. It is thanks to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children that Newhart’s son is now living a happy and fulfilling life. In fact, it was Newhart’s sons’ love of arcade gaming that got him started in the first place. Over the years, the Philadelphia resident began building a collection of arcade and pinball games. Today, he has nearly 150 fully restored arcade and pinball games in his collection.
While the newly gifted pinball machine will be used by patients being treated for serious childhood illnesses, Newhart is hoping that a few people will discover the therapeutic qualities of arcade gaming. Members of staff at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children also remarked on patients may be more inclined to building relationships and find joy no matter their prognosis.
Newhart plans on making more arcade and pinball game donations in the future. He and another son have joined forces in an effort to turn what was formerly a fun pastime into a viable business. Although it has been many years since Newhart has needed to take his adolescent son to a hospital, he is still aware of how it feels to have a sick child. Hopefully, more games like the new Pacman arcade machine will find their way to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in the future.