Region’s Leading Provider of Home Care Services for Children with Special Needs Spreads Holiday Cheer to Hundreds of Kids and Their Families
The crowds poured in, the DJ kept spinning holiday favorites, and the kids couldn’t stop smiling. On Wednesday, December 10th, the cheers and laughter of children along with the sounds of Santa’s bells echoed throughout the halls of Leonard’s of Great Neck.
Over 500 children and their families gathered at the festive Long Island hall for an afternoon of dining, dancing, presents, and a special visitor from the North Pole at St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children’s annual Home Care Holiday Party.
This annual tradition helps spread holiday cheer to children with special needs and life-limiting conditions who receive ongoing healthcare services from St. Mary’s in the comfort of their own homes. For many families, the event is the highlight of the holiday season. It’s the one day each year when children who are battling complex illness and serious injury forget about their conditions for a while and celebrate in grand fashion. Patients and siblings meet Santa, receive gifts, and have a great time dancing and singing with friends and family.
“The Home Care Holiday Party gives children and their families an opportunity to laugh, eat, and be merry together. Children rip open their presents, parents meet other families who are experiencing many of the same journey’s as themselves, and it’s really just a time of sharing the precious and joyous moments of the holidays,” said Burton Grebin, MD, President & CEO.
As the region’s largest provider of intensive rehabilitation, specialized care, and education for children with special needs, St. Mary’s believes home is the most appropriate care delivery setting for most children to heal and thrive and pioneered the first Home Care program for children with special needs in New York over 25 years ago. Today, St. Mary’s remains the largest and most comprehensive provider of home care services for kids.
The Home Care Holiday Party is funded through the collaborative efforts of individuals, businesses, and community groups throughout the metropolitan area. Contributors for this year’s party included Utopia Home Care, Inc, Knights of Columbus #430, Temple Beth Sholom Sisterhood, V.F.W. #4787, Hamilton Cavanaugh & Associates, I.S. 125, Queensborough Rotary Club, JetBlue Pilots for Kids, Bestcare, Inc., Rotary Club of Jamaica, Unlimited Care, Inc. Incredible acts of giving included: The Bubba Fund, who generously sponsored the DJ, photographer and videographer; The John Theissen Children’s Foundation donated nearly 600 toys, Little Saint Nick Foundation donated individualized goodie bags for each child at the party, and a visit from our Santa Clauses, also known as Art Merahn from St. Mary’s Queens/LI Leadership Council and Mike Lenton.