May 3, 2015 was the 11 Annual “Go the Distance” Walk and Family Fun Day for Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center and it was a great day!
I am proud to say that our team “From Hope to Joy” raised almost $11,000 for the hospital that we love!
I suppose it is weird to say you love a hospital, but there are no other words for an establishment that gave me my daughter.
Joy Margaret Degl was born at 1 lb 4 oz (575 grams) on May 12, 2012 and she was a 23 week micro preemie. The excellent doctors and nurses at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital are the reason she is with us today and why we will always be in debt to them.
Joy woke up on the morning of the walk saying, “It’s My Day” to everyone who would listen to her. She knew we were on our way to celebrate her life and give back to the hospital that gave it to her.
This year was our second year walking and we had more walkers than we could have imagined. So many people came out to support us and donated their time and money to Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in the name of Joy.
We are blessed to have so many wonderful people in our life!
Bill and John Swertfager of AIA Team Sports gave us an excellent price on our team shirts and that was great because we ordered so many of them!
Extra special thanks go to the top Team Honor Roll Donors- Stephen and Katherine Realbuto, Lee and Stephanie Speigel, and Paul Santuro.
The hospital gave me vendor table to display and sell my book and that became our meeting place in the morning. Once everyone arrived we took a team photo and then we were ready to walk, although a handful people missed our group shot due to late arrival or a bathroom break.
Joy was happy to sit in her stroller for the majority of the walk, but then she wanted to get out and socialize. Below are some of my favorite photos of the day:
The “Go the Distance” Walk was the perfect distance! It only took about 30 minutes to complete the 1-mile walk and this was great because all of the children could enjoy the other activities when they got back to the start. There were bounce houses, obstacle courses, games, dance competitions, characters walking around mingling with the children and so much more! Plus, all walkers were given bagels, snacks and drinks so everyone was happy.
I have participated in many fundraising walks in recent years and this is my favorite by far.
Joy got to visit with one of the NICU nurses who took care of her a a lot during the last 2 months she was in Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital (she was there for 4 months!).
It is also very exciting for us to spend time with one of Joy’s first friends- fellow micro preemie- Desmond and his sister Sydney, who was also born premature at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.
I am really looking forward to next year’s walk and I hope to have even more donations and walkers in Joy’s name.
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital saves lives and will put all of our money to good use. I can assure you of that!
Thank you to everyone who walked and/or donated to Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center in the name of Joy.
GO TEAM FROM HOPE TO JOY!