POP Brings Pinball Machines to Children at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital

Pinball Outreach Project (POP) brings pinball machines to children at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, CA

Pinball Outreach Project, known as POP for short, was invited to spend the afternoon in the All Star Room at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. Patients and their siblings played Transformers and X-men pinball machines. The children ranged in ages form 5 to 17 and were given the opportunity to have one on one instruction from PAPA 14 World Pinball Champion Andrei Massenkoff. “I was really honored to be a part of the event and witness how much everyone was enjoying the games,“ said Massenkoff, who is also a credentialed teacher in the hospital's school program for children in kindergarten to 12th grade. “From the halls of the hospital floor you could hear the games being played and the laughter from the children coming from the All Star Room,” said Nicole Anne Reik, Executive Director of Pinball Outreach Project who started the organization with the following mission: To improve the lives of children by sharing the history and excitement of the game of pinball. “An older sibling of a patient was overheard saying, “I feel like a kid again,” shared Reik. “This is our first of what we hope to be many visits for the traveling POP program.” "One of the goals of our Child Life program is to normalize the hospital experience for patients and their families through play. The traveling POP program brought a dose of fun to our patients and families, and the patients couldn't believe their teacher is also a world pinball champion!" said Audrey Muntz, Community Liaison for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital