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The Pyle Center: To welcome pediatrics patients to their rooftop for fireworks show
6/8/2012

Safe, accessible lakeside venue opens its doors to kids

June 5, 2012 - Madison, Wis. - The Pyle Center on the UW-Madison campus is partnering with American Family Children's Hospital to make the upcoming Fourth of July more festive for pediatric patients and their families with the first "Rhythm & Booms® on the Rooftop" during this year's popular Rhythm & Booms® fireworks show June 30.

The Pyle Center, part of the UW-Extension Conference Centers, hosts educational classes and events, most of which take place during the work week - meaning their halls are typically quiet over holidays and weekends. But this year, the weekend before July 4 will be anything but quiet. On Saturday, June 30, The Pyle Center will welcome 400 children and their families to the Rooftop Terrace and lakeside Alumni Lounge for a front row view of Rhythm & Booms®. The Pyle Center is partnering with the American Family Children's Hospital to host an event for kids who are patients at the Hospital. Kids and their families have been invited to enjoy the fireworks from this lakeside location. Sunday, July 1, is set aside as a rain date in the event of inclement weather.

"We're just delighted to open our doors to the kids and their families," says Bill Mann, Executive Director of the UW-Extension Conference Centers. "We enjoy our beautiful location every day, and we knew it was a good spot to watch the fireworks from. We wanted to find a way to share it with the community, and we feel this is the perfect way to share what we have with a group that could really enjoy it."

Mann says The Pyle Center is exceptionally accessible and well suited to individuals with mobility issues. "As a conference facility that welcomes thousands of people here each year, we work hard to ensure we're as accessible and safe as possible. I'm proud of that, and we thought it would be a good fit for children who might not otherwise be able to attend a fireworks show at a park."

To make the event an even bigger party, The Pyle Center received generous donations of treats from area businesses for guests to enjoy that night. Madison's own Schoep's donated ice cream novelties for the event, Oscar Mayer donated more than 600 hot dogs, Copp's of Madison donated bottled water and hot dog buns, and The University Club is baking and delivering 400 chocolate chip cookies. And Bucky Badger - ever popular with kids - will make an appearance at 8 pm.

Children and their families who are patients at the American Family Children's Hospital coordinated involvement with Child Life Services Manager Julie Auenson. "The families we work with expressed such excitement about this opportunity," says Auenson. "I was so happy to be able to extend the invitation. We're so thankful to receive offers from the community like this."

For more information about this year's event, please contact Sheri Rice at 608-890-0392 or sheri.rice@ecc.uwex.edu. http://www.conferencing.uwex.edu/RhythmBooms.cfm.

Note to media: Permission to photograph and videotape will be secured with parents as part of the event
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