All Walks of Life Unite to Make a Difference

St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children Find Generosity and Giving in the Hearts of Celebrities, Athletes and High School Students

Bayside, NY June 19, 2008 – They say it takes a whole village to care for a child, so imagine how many it would take to care for an entire healthcare system of children. St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children doesn’t have to imagine. In a heartfelt act of support and generosity, athletes, corporations, high schools students and many more have come together to help care for the remarkable children of St. Mary’s and support the programs and services dedicated to treat children with special needs and life-limiting conditions.

They have each left an imprint that demonstrates anything is possible when people from all walks of life unite to make a difference in the world.

The tale of humanity began on Sunday, May 18th at Belmont Park. The sky was blue, the sun was shining, and the horses couldn’t wait to greet all the smiling faces. The 5th Annual Walk for St. Mary’s Kids and Family Fun Day at Belmont Park drew close to 3,000 friends, families and teams joining the New York Racing Association to help raise funds and awareness to support the St. Mary’s children.

The Walk was led Dr. Burton Grebin, St. Mary’s President and CEO, and two of St. Mary’s patients along with NY Jets Defensive Back, Darrelle Revis. Revis was greeted eager children and parents as they patiently awaited his return to join the Jets Quarterback Toss. Also on hand were Mr. Met, Sparky the Dragon from the NY Islanders and other animated characters. Special guests included Karen Carsen from 106.7 Lite FM, elected officials, Senator Frank Padavan and Councilman Tony Avella, who all offered sincere words and encouraging thoughts. The day culminated with face painting by Holy Cross High School students, performances by NYC Twirlers, IMPACT Theatre Group, Andean Music Performance and much more.

Marty LyonsOn Wednesday, June 4th, at Shea Stadium St. Mary’s hosted a Children’s Healthcare and Philanthropy Symposium at The Diamond Club. The symposium’s expert panel provided insight to the healthcare needs of children, exemplifying the benefits that philanthropy provides to both patients and donors, and knowledgeable advice on how a donor’s charitable giving can actually protect and enhance their assets. Each member of the panel had been touched by the children of St. Mary’s, and each spoke highly about its innovative programs and extraordinary staff.

In attendance were former New York Jet Marty Lyons and Hockey Hall of Famer Pat LaFontaine, two stellar athletes who have devoted themselves to providing a better quality of life for seriously ill and injured children. Through their stories about their encounters with medically-fragile children and how those moments compelled them to help, the athletes urged audience members to join the enriched and rewarding act of giving back and supporting the cause St. Mary’s fights for every day.

The infectious display of compassion, care and immeasurable support was topped off with an unforgettable event showcasing the dedication of St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children’s Teen Committee, comprised of 60 students representing 15 high schools across Queens and Nassau. On Friday, June 13th, the teens presented “Couture for Community,” a fashion show held at Francis Preparatory High School where models and St. Mary’s patients dazzled the audience as they modeled the latest summer fashions. The night showcased some patient styles or “adaptive clothes” that were designed particularly to accommodate the conditions of special needs children. Talented bands, dancers and singers gathered to entertain audience members.

Over the past month, thousands of individuals came together from different backgrounds and walks of life, but yet they have all united in support of a cause greater than fame, power, money and success.