Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital patients and their families recently had a chance to see and feel a variety of animatronic creations up close at an event presented by the Garner Holt Foundation.
Garner Holt, founder and president of Garner Holt Productions Inc., which has designed and manufactured animatronics for clients including Disneyland and Universal Studios, was at the July 12 event, bringing two animatronic birds to entertain the young patients.
“It’s a great thrill for us,” Holt said in a news release. “The Garner Holt Foundation was created to work with underserved kids, foster kids and kids in hospitals, and it warms my heart to bring the excitement that kids see in theme parks and Chuck E. Cheese and bring our world to them.”
One of the highlights of the hospital visit was a STEAM workshop in which families could build a robotic creature called a BrushTronic Bug. There was also a video about the process of creating animatronics.
Among those who visited the hospital with the Garner Holt Foundation was 18-year-old Michael Burke, a former Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital patient. Burke was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, a form of soft tissue cancer, when he was 17 and underwent a year-long medical journey that included surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. He is now in remission and has joined his parents on the Garner Holt Productions team as a tour guide.
“I think the biggest thing I want to do is inspire kids going through the same thing as I was,” Burke said in the news release. “Keep a positive attitude and keep smiling, no matter how difficult the journey may be.”