Our History

Starlight has a rich history as an innovator responding to the critical needs of partner facilities in local communities around the world. Today, we partner with more than 600 hospitals, specialty clinics and camps, respite houses and hospices in the United States and Puerto Rico that collectively support more than 27 million pediatric visits every year. Worldwide, Starlight supports kids and families in 11 countries and territories in a growing network.

1982 

First Starlight wish granted by Peter Samuelson and Emma Samms.

1983 

Starlight Children's Foundation incorporated on February 2.

1986

Starlight opens in London.

1988

Starlight opens in Sydney.

1989

Starlight opens in Toronto & Montreal.

1990

Starlight opens its first Starlight Express Room.

1991

Starbright Foundation is founded by Peter Samuelson and Steven Spielberg to harness the power of technology and the entertainment industry to create projects that empower seriously ill children and teens struggling with prolonged illness.

 

The Starlight Fun Center mobile entertainment unit is launched in pediatric facilities to provide distractive entertainment and therapeutic play.

1995

The Starbright World community, a free, fun and supportive environment tailored to the needs of teens and young adults ages 13-20 affected by chronic or critical medical conditions, their own or a sibling’s, is launched by Steven Spielberg, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf and Peter Samuelson.

1996

Starlight Center opens at Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel.

2001

From 2001 to 2004, Starlight launches a series of interactive and multimedia programs that educate children about medical procedures and illnesses, including Mysteries of Bone Marrow, Blood Tests, Coping with Chemo, Cystic Fibrosis, Living with Kidney Disease, Quest for the Code, Secrets of Spinal Fluid, Sickle Cell Slime-o-Rama, Spotlight on IVs, Radiology Center and
X-Men in Life Lessons.

 

PC Pals® is launched, providing laptops for pediatric patients.

2004

Starlight Children’s Foundation merges with Starbright Foundation.

2007

Get Fit, Get Right® is launched as an online program designed to reduce obesity in teens and help prevent type 2 diabetes.

2011

The Starbright World community goes global inviting children to become members from countries where Starlight operates around the world.

2013

Starlight launches the world’s first technology platform that brings together donors to fund unmet needs of healthcare facilities to improve pediatric care.

2014

Starlight Giving Card enables individual donors and companies to give the gift of giving to friends, family and colleagues. Recipients redeem the Giving Cards to help fulfill critical unmet needs at hundreds of facilities across the US.