Bringing a little Christmas magic to children’s hospital

By on November 23, 2016


Film producer Kevin Carvell will share a special presentation of the holiday family film “The Christmas Dragon” with patients at Penn State Children’s Hospital in Hershey.

“Penn State Children’s Hospital and Child Life very much appreciate Kevin reaching out to us and offering us a copy of “The Christmas Dragon” to share with our patients,” said Sarah Miller, a Child Life specialist at Penn State Children’s Hospital. ‘We truly appreciate when community members reach out to help us bring holiday joy to our patients.”

The film will be broadcast through closed-circuit television to each room throughout the month of December in an effort to bring some Christmas magic to the patients.

“As a teen, I too spent some of the holiday season in a children’s hospital having life-saving corrective back surgery,” said Carvell. “I imagine that’s really no fun at any age.  But I think it can be especially tough for the younger kids.”

An Ephrata native, Carvell is an independent film producer. He’s also a three-time Emmy honoree and a recipient of a Best Short Film award from the 2014 San Diego Film Awards for “Zero.”

More recently, he helped produce “The Christmas Dragon” in association with Arrowstorm Entertainment and MainStay Productions

The film, written and directed by John Lyde, is set in Medieval Europe, where Christmas is just a memory after several years without the holiday magic.

A young orphan girl named Ayden, played by actress Bailee Johnson, receives a magic crystal from a dying elf. The elf warns her that the North has lost its Christmas magic.

Ayden leads a group of orphans and a dragon on a perilous adventure with dragons, goblins, bandits, ogres and other fantasy creatures to save the Christmas spirit.

Carvell hopes the journey in the film will bring a little fantasy and Christmas magic to the children fighting their own battles at Penn State Children’s Hospital.

“We hope to bring a little holiday fun and distraction to these brave children battling everything from leukemia to brain tumors and more,” said Carvell. “I think it’s great that the good folks at Children’s Hospital share the same idea.”

In addition to the screening, Carvell and the cast and crew of “The Christmas Dragon” hope to raise money and awareness for children in need through the Christmas Dragon Friends campaign.

They have partnered with the Penn State Children’s Hospital and Children’s Miracle Network to bring this project together for the children of the Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and York region.

“Children’s Miracle Network and Penn State Children’s Hospital are thankful for Kevin’s passion and efforts. Money raised through the Christmas Dragon Friends campaign will provide funding for equipment that saves lives, programs that change lives and research that will transform the lives of children for generations to come,” said Katie Anderson, assistant director at Children’s Miracle Network.

The Children’s Hospital is part of the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and focuses on providing comprehensive support and specialized care to infants, children, and adolescents every day.

Penn State Children’s Hospital is one of 170 children’s hospitals across the globe that is part of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals organization. The network is an international non-profit organization that is charged with the mission to raise funds and awareness in an effort to save children’s lives.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $60 million to benefit Children’s Hospital patients since the collaboration began in 1984.

Carvell’s Christmas Dragon Friends campaign is one of many fundraising campaigns aimed at providing life-saving equipment, patient programs, and pediatric research for the children at Penn State Children’s Hospital.

“Helping to save even one child’s life can positively impact hundreds, thousands, or even millions. I’ve seen it time and time again,” said Carvell. “That’s a gift better than anything that comes under a tree.”

If you would like to bring the Christmas spirit to the children in the hospital this holiday season, you can contribute directly to Penn State Children’s Hospital through Children’s Miracle Network’s Christmas Dragon Friends campaign.

Ephrata locals who would also like to bring a little of the magic from “The Christmas Dragon” home this year will be able to access the movie on DVD, digital, and premieres this holiday season on the Starz premium cable and satellite service.

For more information or to make a contribution to Penn State Children’s Hospital through our Christmas Dragon Friends campaign through Nov 27, folks can visit

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