6th Annual Walk for St. Mary’s Kids & Family Fun Day
Threatening weather, high winds, and even the nation’s economic woes were no match for the enthusiasm and hope exerted by thousands of New Yorkers at the Walk for St. Mary’s Kids and Family Fun Day, a major grassroots event to raise funds and awareness for children with special needs.
Hosting the event for the second year in a row, historic Belmont Park in Elmont was filled with an all-star line up of sports figures on Sunday, May 17, including New York Jets Defensive Back Darrelle Revis and top Jockeys Ramon Dominguez, John Velazquez, Maylan Studart, Javier Castellano, and Rudy Rodriguez who helped lead the walk with St. Mary’s Grand Marshals – five patients who were chosen to represent the 4000 children St. Mary’s cares for each day – followed by over 2000 participants and hundreds of entertainers. To showcase St. Mary’s ongoing partnership with The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA), the first race of the day was once again named the Race for St. Mary’s Kids.
But the real superstars of the day were community members who came out in full force to support the vital programs and services of St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children, the region’s leading provider of intensive rehabilitation and care for seriously ill and injured children who are battling complex medical and life-limiting conditions.
Today 1 in 5 children has a special healthcare need. To show their support, corporate teams, family teams, and mega community teams joined together to walk in honor or in memory of a very special child. For many teams, Walk day is a celebration of year-long awareness and fundraising activities that include carnivals, bake sales, barbeques, bowling parties, fashion shows, and more, where enormous support is generated from friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. Even after the event, supporters continue to donate online where they can also credit their favorite Team!
St. Mary’s free Family Fun Day following the Walk had activities for kids of all ages, including autographs and pictures with Darrelle Revis, a visit by Mr. Met, clowns, NY Islanders inflatables, arts and crafts, bowling, child fingerprinting stations, live entertainment, and giveaways.
St. Mary’s is thankful for the overwhelming support from patient families, friends, and staff, and especially grateful to event sponsors, including The New York Racing Association, UFCW Local 1500, Long Island Board of Realtors, Cardiovascular Associates, Cord Meyer Development, Hamilton Cavanaugh & Associates, NY Mets, TD Bank, 106.7 Lite FM, AriZona Beverages, Charles Schwab, Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation, Grassi & Co, Panera Bread, and Royal Waste Services.
Those unable to attend the Walk for St. Mary’s Kids may still participate in a Virtual Walk by making a donation online at www.stmaryskids.kintera.org/walk09.