The Medical College of Georgia's eighth annual Children's Medical Center Carnival will be held today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at a new location: the new hospital's Harper Street campus.
The five hours of family fun, food and games will kick off with University of Georgia cheerleaders and mascot Hairy Dog, said Pam Wilkins, organizer of the annual fund-raiser. A number of local celebrities will make their faces available to throw pies at several a shot. Other fun activities cost less, but it all goes for a good cause.
The most important attraction will be the 220,000-square foot CMC facility itself, open to public tours for the first time -- though it will not officially open until later in the year.
In an innovative "welcoming" twist, children may bring along their favorite doll or stuffed animal to be "admitted" to the new hospital. This will include taking their toy through admissions, to a patient's room, a playroom, an operating room, a rehab area and the 16-bed pediatric intensive care unit.
"This gives the children a chance to see the hospital, hospital equipment and hospital people in a non-threatening way," says CMC nurse manager Ruth Wilson.
We all hope our children will never need to go to the hospital, but in case they do, this carnival -- combining fun and education -- will make the experience a lot less traumatic for them.