Astellas Pharma Returns to 'Give Kids The World' and Expands Partnership with Starlight Children's Foundation to Brighten the Lives of Young Patients & Their Families - CW Richmond WUPV |

Astellas Pharma Returns to 'Give Kids The World' and Expands Partnership with Starlight Children's Foundation to Brighten the Lives of Young Patients & Their Families

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SOURCE Astellas Pharma

Special Patient-Focused Event Kicks Off Astellas' Fifth Annual Changing Tomorrow Day Initiative

KISSIMMEE, Fla., June 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- About 1,400 Astellas Pharma employees will be descending on Give Kids The World (GKTW) for the second time to tackle projects ranging from landscaping to assembling furniture as well as resurfacing parking lots and roads. This year, Astellas is bringing an even bigger volunteer group than the record-breaking Astellas team that volunteered in 2012 (pictured). GKTW is a 70-acre resort that provides free weeklong vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

Astellas Pharma employees break 2012 volunteer record at Give Kids the World during company's annual Changing Tomorrow Day event.

"We are so excited to have Astellas return to Give Kids the World," said Beth Whitmire, Director of Volunteer Services at Give Kids the World. "It means so much to the thousands of kids and families that visit us each year. We couldn't believe what the crew accomplished in 2012 and can't wait to see the many projects that will get done this year."

"Patients are the reason we come to work every day and the reason we're returning to volunteer at Give Kids The World," added Jim Robinson, President of Astellas Pharma US, Inc. "Our missions are closely aligned, that's why we're so thrilled to be partnering with them again this year."

In addition, Astellas is again partnering with Starlight Children's Foundation ("Starlight"), a leading global charity that partners with experts to improve the life and health of kids and families around the world through a unique blend of family-centered services from hospital to home. Astellas employees will be invited to shop online at the charity's proprietary Starlight Wish List website and make donations to purchase a wide range of products for use by hospitals and other health care facilities to improve the hospital experience for pediatric patients and their families. Astellas will match dollar-for-dollar all employee Wish List purchases and donations to Starlight.

"We are so grateful to the employees of Astellas for the kind welcome and generous support during your National Sales Forum this past weekend in Orlando," said Jacqueline Hart-Ibrahim, Starlight Global CEO. "Your donations to Starlight Children's Foundation will help ensure that we are able to continue supporting kids and families from hospital to home. It's a delight to work side-by-side with Astellas in enhancing the quality of pediatric patient care in local communities."

This event launches the fifth year of Astellas' Changing Tomorrow Day, a global volunteer initiative that empowers Astellas employees to make a difference in their local communities. Through the Changing Tomorrow Day initiative, Astellas employees throughout North and South America and around the world commit an entire day to community service. The employees volunteering at GKTW will join more than 800 other Astellas employees at affiliate locations throughout the Americas who will hold their Changing Tomorrow Day activities later this fall.

About Astellas

The Astellas culture and brand is committed to building community, helping others, encouraging integrity and inspiring people to make a difference, today, tomorrow and every day. Astellas Pharma US, Inc., located in Northbrook, Illinois, is a U.S. affiliate of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc. Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. The organization is committed to becoming a global category leader in focused areas by combining outstanding R&D and marketing capabilities. For more information about Astellas Pharma US, Inc., please visit our website at www.astellas.us or follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/AstellasUS.

About Give Kids The World

Give Kids The World Village (GKTW) is a 70-acre, non-profit resort in Central Florida that creates magical memories for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. GKTW provides accommodations at its whimsical resort, donated attractions tickets, meals and more for a weeklong, cost-free fantasy vacation. With the help of many generous individuals, corporations and partnering wish-granting organizations, Give Kids The World has welcomed more than 130,000 families from all 50 states and over 75 countries. For information about GKTW and its mission, visit www.givekidstheworld.org.

About Starlight Children's Foundation

Since 1982, Starlight Children's Foundation has been a leading global charity that partners with experts to improve the life and health of kids and families around the world. Collaborating with innovators in pediatric healthcare, entertainment and technology, Starlight provides a unique blend of family-centered programs and services from hospital to home. Starlight partners with more than 1,750 healthcare facilities in Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, serving millions of children every year. To learn more, visit www.starlight.org, or follow us online at Facebook.com/StarlightChildrensFoundation and on Twitter @StarlightOnline.

Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140611/116872

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140416/84970

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