Jumanji Film Premiers to Benefit Michigan Children’s Hospice Programs

William Monroe has been hustling this fall, picking up extra chores in and around his house to earn money.

But the 12-year-old won’t be spending it on himself. Instead, he’s generously contributing it to help a cause near and dear to the heart of his mom, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan employee and Hospice of Michigan Foundation board member Cindy Monroe. Together the family is financially contributing to simultaneous statewide movie premiers of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which will benefit Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice Pediatric Care.

William wanted to raise the money because he understands how much Hospice of Michigan’s mission means to his mom and because he wanted to help children in need of hospice care. He wanted to “do something” when he learned about the premier.

Cindy Monroe said her parents instilled philanthropic values early in her life and she’s working hard to raise William the same way.

The statewide premiers will take place at Ann Arbor’s Michigan Theater and Grand Rapids’ Celebration! Cinema North on Tuesday, Dec. 19. Find detailed event and ticket information here. The events will benefit the Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children at Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice.

Anchors Programs for Children offers a full continuum of pediatric services to support families facing the unimaginable. As the only statewide pediatric hospice and pre-hospice program, Anchors serves families with specially trained staff that provide medical, social, spiritual and emotional support to help navigate difficult situations. Since the inception of the pediatric programs, Anchors has served thousands of children and families across Michigan.

The statewide Jumanji premiere is made possible through the longtime friendship the organizations enjoy with world-renowned children’s author and illustrator Chris Van Allsburg, who penned Jumanji, and more than a dozen other books.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a brand new adventure adapted from the Caldecott author’s original 1981 book.  Directed by Michigan native Jake Kasdan, the movie features Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Nick Jonas and Karen Gillan.

Chris VanAllsburg with a tiny dog perched on his shoulder.
Grand Rapids native Chris VanAllsburg is the author of Jumanji, and more than a dozen other books. Courtesy image.

Van Allsburg, a Grand Rapids native, will attend the Ann Arbor premiere as a guest of honor alongside his wife Lisa.

The Jumanji screening follows the highly successful Michigan movie premieres of The Polar Express in 2004 and Zathura in 2005, both based on Van Allsburg books, which raised more than $1.5 million for end-of-life pediatric care.

“When Hospice of Michigan approached me to host benefit movie premieres of The Polar Express and Zathura in my home state of Michigan; my response was immediate, ‘What can I do?’ said Chris Van Allsburg. “When it comes to supporting a worthy cause such as the Anchors Programs for Children at Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice, I’m all in. Our whole family is excited to return to the jungle at the new Jumanji movie premieres in Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor. Please join us, it’ll be a great ride.”

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is a sponsor of the Ann Arbor premier.

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Courtesy photos

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