Swim-A-Thon For Child Life Program

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Take the plunge and enjoy a fun-filled morning while raising funds for a worthy cause at NYU Winthrop Hospital’s 16th annual swim-a-thon on Sunday, April 23, from 7 to 11:30 a.m. at Hofstra University’s Swim Center.

Open to swimmers of all ages, the swim-a-thon will once again raise vital funds for the hospital’s Child Life Program, through which certified Child Life specialists utilize play and education to improve children’s understanding of medical procedures; teach relaxation techniques to help young patients cope with illness or surgery; and provide emotional support for the entire family. To date, the event has raised more than $400,000 to benefit the Child Life Program since it was first conceptualized by Ron Marino, DO, associate chairman of Pediatrics at NYU Winthrop Hospital, in 2002.

Marino, an avid swimmer himself, wanted to come up with a fundraiser that would connect a healthy physical activity with giving back to the hospital and young patients he adores. Thanks to his passion to help and the growing support of community members, local businesses and staff, the event has flourished each year. Marino is particularly excited about all this community-driven and supported event has helped to achieve for the benefit of young patients.

“Community collaboration strengthens the fabric of community well-being. The annual swim-a-thon not only supports the mission of the hospital in so many ways, it also fosters the personal growth of all those who participate,” said Marino. “It’s a win-win that is fun for everyone!”

Schools are invited to come in groups, and community members are invited to swim or support a swimmer through a sponsorship pledge. In addition, students can earn community service hours by participating either as swimmers or as volunteers.

Each year, the swim-a-thon is enhanced by an outpouring of support from the community who donate their time and services to make this a fun, family-centered event. Participants will enjoy swim coaching by Rob McKeown from South Shore Tri Coach; massage therapy by licensed massage therapist Denise Cooke, RN; live music by the Mineola High School Jazz Ensemble and Central Beat rock band; crafts provided by Cathy Grossfeld of All About Kids; yoga by Donna Dragani and more. Saf-T-Swim, Winthrop’s proud affiliate in swim training, raising funds and safety, will also join poolside. Each swimmer receives a towel and swim cap with registration.

The registration fee for adults is $20 and $10 for children ages four to 17 and students with a valid school ID. For more information, to sponsor a swimmer, to register or volunteer, visit www.winthrop.org/events or call 516-663-8275.

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