NEW BRUNSWICK — Children’s Specialized Hospital’s 2012 Walk n’ Roll, sponsored by Kohl’s Department Stores, raised a record $150,000 to benefit the nation’s largest pediatric rehabilitation system dedicated to treating children affected by brain injury, spinal cord injury, premature birth, autism, developmental delays, and life-changing illnesses. This year’s funding will help support the new pediatric outpatient therapy centers.
Nearly 2,000 supporters filled Johnson Park in Piscataway on Saturday, May 19. C. Vivian Stringer, head coach of the Rutgers University women’s basketball team, started each walk as the honorary chairperson. Coach Stringer shared why she has special connection to Children’s Specialized Hospital and the families it serves, being the mother of two children who have been affected by serious health complications – she can relate and truly has a passion for supporting children with special needs.
“I am really honored to help Children’s Specialized Hospital. Being a mother of a child with special needs and having gone through a very tough recovery with my son, I know what it’s like for families with the same situations,” said Stringer. “I am proud to be part of this event to help the hospital, which is known as one of the best pediatric rehabilitation hospitals in the country.”
This event welcomed thousands of supporters to enjoy a 1, 2.5 or 5 mile walk or roll around Johnson Park. Immediately following the walk supporters enjoyed the free Kohl’s carnival where families listened to live music, played games and prizes, enjoyed food, and learn about children with special needs all for free.
The day would not have been possible without the generous support and major sponsor Kohl’s Department Stores. Additional sponsors included PSEG, L’Oreal USA, Flying Horse Foundation, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance and the 100 volunteers who donated their time and efforts to pull off such a big event, as well as in-kind donors Snapple, Jimmy Johns, New Jersey Family Magazine, Games2U and Mr. Cupcakes.
Walk n’ Roll chairwoman Kim Hanemann, vice president – delivery projects & construction of PSEG, was instrumental in leading the committee to a record setting year.
“We were thrilled with the support from our employees, vendors and all of the PSEG community as we fundraised for Children’s Specialized all year,” said Hanemann. “It was such a special day. Joining my team mates and actually getting to meet the patients that will benefit from our efforts – made all extra hard work worth it. We look forward to next year.”
Honors were awarded for various achievements. This year’s top individual fundraiser was Jennifer Weil, of Morristown, who raised an astounding $7,000, just a portion of what her team, Super Cooper, that raised $13,000. Top fundraising team and largest team awards were given to PSEG for raising $21,000 and bringing 125 walkers. Children’s Specialized Hospital employees were also a large part of the fundraising raising close to $20,000 for the cause. The largest team and most money raised by a Children’s Specialized Hospital team awards went to the Children’s Specialized Hospital at Mountainside team and raised $9,000. The most money raised by a Children’s Specialized Hospital employee was awarded to Joanne Hunt, occupational therapy supervisor, for raising $5,700.
Last year’s Walk ‘n Roll drew in over 1,500 community members that were able to raise over $125,000.
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