In the spirit of the season, enormous goodwill was displayed towards pediatric patients as thousands of toys and gifts poured in to the Child Life program, which helps young patients and their families understand and cope with being hospitalized, both in the Hospital setting as well as at the Cancer Center for Kids. Among the many generous community contributors were:
- Matthew Fetzer Foundation
- New York Islanders
- Assemblyman Ed Ra
- Toys for Tots
- Williston Park Rotary Club
- Michael Magro Foundation
- Children’s Heart Foundation
- Nassau County EMS
- ... and many more!
Here are just a few of the heartwarming highlights:
New York Islanders Mathew Barzal, Cal Clutterbuck, Jordan Eberle, and Nick Leddy took time from their busy schedules on the ice to score big with patients and their families at the Children’s Medical Center and the Cancer Center for Kids. The players spent time visiting with patients, delivering toys and gifting Islanders’ memorabilia. But the greatest gift of all was the ear to ear smiles they provided to all those they came in contact with.
Paramedics, police officers and even the Nassau County Executive and Police Commissioner brought the North Pole to NYU Winthrop on December 18, sliding up to the hospital’s front entrance in a musical sleigh filled with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, helpful elves and colorful friends like Mickey Mouse, Captain America, Winnie the Pooh, and more. After taking photos and handing out gifts to young visitors in the main entrance, the first responders raced up to the pediatric unit to meet and greet children of all ages to brighten their holiday with special gifts.
Heartfelt thanks to Assemblyman Ed Ra who delivered tons of toys generously donated by Elmont Memorial Junior – Senior High School, New Hyde Park Memorial, Hampton Street School in Mineola & Rushmore Avenue School in Carle Place to benefit the Child Life Program at NYU Winthrop. Their most generous donation will help bring smiles to pediatric patients throughout the year.
NYU Winthrop was once a second home to the Fetzer family of Bayville, NY, for many months while their son, Matthew, underwent cancer treatment. In honor Matthew, who lost his battle with cancer in 2005, the Fetzer family created the Matthew Fetzer Foundation, fulfilling their son’s wish of helping other children with cancer. Ann Fetzer, pictured right, visits the Hospital several times throughout the year to deliver toys and brighten the days of children and their families. The Foundation also hosts parties and other events and provides financial and emotional support to those affected by childhood cancer.
Andrew J. Diaz, Sergeant, United States Marines Corps, and volunteers from NYCB LIVE delivered more than 500 toys from the Nassau County Toys for Tots chapter to young patients at NYU Winthrop. The toys were collected during one of the nation’s largest one-day collection of toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program held at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum to benefit children throughout Nassau County during the holiday season.