3 Cheers: How Philadelphia’s ‘Fairy Godmother’ Of Bowling Helps Bring Joy To Children With Cancer

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Elaine Heather Brumberg brings bowling to children in the hospital, all while wearing a fluffy pink dress and silver crown.

“I am the fairy godmother, and I come here to the hospitals to bring joy to all the children that have cancer,” Brumberg said.

I met Brumberg — excuse me, Fairy Godmother Elaine — at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in North Philadelphia, where she not only grants wishes, she gets a bowling party started.

Bowling is very close to Brumberg. The Mount Laurel resident is the owner of Thunderbird Lanes in Warminster. For the past 20 years, she has opened up her center for special needs bowlers every Saturday. But it wasn’t until a friend’s son was diagnosed with leukemia that she realized not everyone can come to her.

“There is a need for this,” Elaine said, “Children with cancer can’t come to me. I decided I wanted to take my portable bowling center and hats and leis.”

This fairy godmother comes with all the necessities for a bowling party: balls, pins, ramps, rugs.

(Credit: CBS3)

“The carpet itself is as long as a lane,” she said.

Dr. Renee Turchi said “it’s incredibly special” for the hospital’s patients.

“Bowling is also something people don’t think about to be able to bring to the hospital. It’s pretty creative,” Turchi said.

At 79 years old, Brumberg says she has found her passion. She only hopes to continue her portable bowling parties, attend more hospitals and give more hugs to children.

Brumberg said, “You look beautiful” to a shy little girl who turned all smiles.

“The smile and the joy that I bring for that one moment of her life is just, it’s the most incredible feeling in the world,” Brumberg said.

For bringing the magic, we say 3 Cheers to Fairy Godmother Elaine.