Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+)

Press Releases

NYU Winthrop Announces 21st Annual "A Cause to Celebrate" Benefitting the Child Life Program
February 26, 2018

Event set for March 22, 2018 at The Garden City Hotel

Mineola, NY – The Children’s Medical Center at NYU Winthrop Hospital is pleased to announce the 21st Annual “A Cause to Celebrate,” benefitting the Child Life Program. Honoring life-long Garden City residents Richard and Patricia Nessler and their family, the event will take place on Thursday, March 22, 2018 at The Garden City Hotel.

NYU Winthrop Hospital's 21st Annual Cause to Celebrate honorees, the Nessler Family of Garden City | NYU Winthrop HospitalNYU Winthrop Hospital’s 21st Annual Cause to Celebrate honorees are the Nessler Family of Garden City.

The Child Life Program at NYU Winthrop Hospital utilizes certified Child Life Specialists who use play and education to improve the understanding among pediatric patients of medical procedures, and teaches relaxation techniques to help patients cope with illness or surgery. The Specialists also provide emotional support for a patient’s entire family.

For the Nessler family, being a part of an event that raises essential funds for the Child Life Program at NYU Winthrop Hospital is personal. A visit to the emergency room with their daughter, Ashley, in 2002 resulted in an extended admission to the Hospital when difficulties from asthma infringed on her immediate recovery. It is then that the family experienced the importance of personalized care and the coordination of services within the Hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit.

When Ron Marino, DO, Vice Chairman of Pediatrics, encouraged the Nesslers to make swimming a part of Ashley’s daily exercise program to address respiratory complications of asthma, they were immediately on board with his recommendation. Dr. Marino invited them to participate in the annual Swim-a-thon event at Hofstra University (which also raises funds for the Child Life Program). This sparked the beginning of a rewarding relationship between the family and NYU Winthrop Hospital that continues today.

The Nessler family has attended the Swim-a-thon for many years, both as participants and as fundraiser coordinators. The Swim-a-thon also inspired Ashley to implement a “Dollars for Dolphins” activity at the event, which encourages swimmers to purchase a toy dolphin that is tossed into the pool to be “saved” by a child. Ashley’s brother, Richard, has been a participant in the Swim-a-thon for over 15 years and produces the official Swim-a-thon T-shirt for the annual event. In addition, Ashley works on behalf of children as the President of a local chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, a service fraternity dedicated to advocating for services to adolescents in distressed school districts and communities.

“Nessler family members took their personal experiences with the Hospital and our Child Life Program as inspiration to go above and beyond in giving back to a program that is so vital to families faced by the challenges of childhood illness,” said Leonard Krilov, MD, Chairman of Pediatrics at NYU Winthrop Hospital. “We are honored to recognize them for their tremendous efforts.”

The 21st Annual “Cause to Celebrate” will feature A Salute to the Cinema, which will celebrate some of the greatest songs and scores of all time written by a diverse collection of composers. Individual tickets, journal pages and sponsorship packages are available. For more information or to make a reservation, please call NYU Winthrop's Office of Development at 516-663–8275. To make reservations online, visit