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Where’s Waldo Takes on Deeper Meaning for Construction Worker

For Jason Haney, he believes he’s more than just helping to construct the new home for Beacon Children’s Hospital, he’s building a better future for children around the region.

A labor foreman with J.J. White, general contractor of the $50 million-dollar expansion, Jason takes this project personally.

“My daughter needed special care when she was 3 years old and we took her to a children’s hospital,” says Jason, 41, of Walkerton.

Now 14 years later –– his daughter Taylor, a recent graduate of John Glenn High School who is soon headed to Ball State University –– Jason is filled with both pride and excitement for her future. It’s the kind of future that he hopes for other kids, especially those receiving care at Beacon Children’s Hospital.

In addition to using his construction skills five days a week at Beacon, Jason has been gladly applying his exceptional artistic skills to the delight of our pediatric patients. Ever since he was a kid, Jason has loved drawing portraits of everything from people to animals, and he’s quite good at it.

So when co-worker Bob Taylor suggested the idea of a life size Where’s Waldo cutout around the children’s hospital construction area for patients to see, Jason knew it was something he had to do. Using a 4-by-8 sheet of plywood at home, he cut out the outline of Waldo. With the help of his daughter Taylor, the father-daughter duo painted the wooden creation. With it completed by early April, Jason began the fun of randomly placing the figure in various locations that were visible to pediatric patients from the sixth floor.

It quickly developed into a game –– once a child six floors up found Where’s Waldo amid the construction work, Jason was notified and he would then move it to another location. It’s become so popular that Jason even created a Facebook page.

Tracy Byler, coordinator of the Child Life Program at Beacon Children’s Hospital, says the kids really enjoy the challenge of looking for Waldo. But even bigger than the seven-foot-tall Waldo is the amazing bonds being forged between the construction teams and the staff and patients.

“I have been pleasantly surprised by their interest,” says Tracy. “I had no idea that the construction crews would want to do anything extra special like this, outside of their typical work responsibilities. They have even come up to participate in our Bingo games.”

Even if Where’s Waldo means only a momentary respite from the pain a child is being treated for at Beacon, Jason says the work he put into it is more than worth it.

“I’m glad the kids are enjoying it,” he says. “Being part of this construction project that is going to help kids means a lot to me and the others on the construction teams. It’s going to be a great thing for our community.”

What’s the next artistic project for Jason at Beacon? Can anyone say Minions?

Thank you to Jason and the construction teams for their ongoing dedication to the construction of the 116,000-square-foot expansion as well as their kindness in giving of their time and talents to our patients.