PISCATAWAY—Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation proudly hosted the fourth annual Walk n’ Roll and KidsAbilities Carnival presented by Kohl’s on May 22 in Johnson Park in Piscataway. Over 1,400 community members came out to walk and raised $140,000 to benefit the thousands of patients that Children’s Specialized Hospital serves each year.
As the nation’s largest pediatric rehabilitation system of its kind, Children’s Specialized Hospital provides outpatient therapy services, acute rehabilitation, and long-term care to children affected by brain injury, spinal cord injury, premature birth, autism, developmental delays, and life-changing illnesses.
The proceeds from this year’s Walk n’ Roll will fund services and programs at Children’s Specialized Hospital.
Tom Maresca, the Walk n’ Roll chairman, was joined by his daughter Kelly, a former hospital patient. Kelly was treated at the hospital following a car accident, and walked proudly along with her family and friends, just one week before graduating college from college.
“I really felt driven to help Children’s Specialized Hospital. I know Kelly wouldn’t be where she is today without the wonderful care she received at Children’s,” said Maresca. “It was truly an honor to be involved in this successful fundraising effort that brings much deserved recognition and support to one of the best pediatric rehabilitation hospitals in the country.”
The day would not have been possible without the generous support and major sponsor Kohl’s Department Stores. Additional sponsors included PSE&G, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance and the 75 volunteers who donated their time and efforts to pull off such a big event.
Honors were awarded for various achievements. This year’s top individual fundraiser was Jennifer Weil, of Morristown, who raised an astounding $10,000, and her team, Super Cooper, who won the top fundraising team award for raising $12,000. The team walked in honor of grade-schooler Cooper Weil, recently treated at Children’s Specialized. The largest team award went to Kohl’s with 60 walkers bringing Kohl’s A Teams from around the state. Children’s Specialized Hospital employees were also a large part of the fundraising. The largest team and most money raised by a Children’s Specialized Hospital team awards went to the PSE&G Children’s Specialized Hospital at New Brunswick team led by Laura Kompany, therapy supervisor of child life, had 92 walkers and raised $10,000. The most money raised by a Children’s Specialized Hospital employee was awarded to Joanne Hunt, occupational therapy supervisor, for raising $5,000.
Families gathered after the walk for a free carnival and enjoyed free fun games, prizes, food. Participants also learned more about children with special needs the services Children’s Specialized Hospital provides.
Since 2000, New Jersey Kohl’s stores have donated more than three million dollars to Children’s Specialized Hospital, mostly with the proceeds from the “Kohl’s Cares for Kid’s” merchandise. It’s through Kohl’s generous support that Children’s Specialized Hospital has been able to fund many community events, including the Walk n’ Roll and carnival and vital educational programs that have reached thousands of community members throughout New Jersey.
A family makes their way around the course at the 2010 Walk n’ Roll for Children’s Specialized Hospital.
Miss New Jersey USA 2009 Brielle LaCosta of Warren officially starts the walk at the 2010 Walk n’ Roll for Children’s Specialized Hospital.
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