Over 400 people made the 5 kilometer trek on the scenic path around the park’s Field #5. Some came on their own or with their families, others banded together in large groups with matching t-shirts and team names (the largest collective, company team "Day & Nite,” was over 99 members strong). Some happy walkers even brought their dogs along (sources say the dogs were very cute).
The event was kicked off by our emcee, New York Islanders legend Mike Bossy. "I'm thrilled to be here today. I'm very glad I played in the NHL and did what I did, but you kids are the true stars," said the 4-time Stanley Cup champion in his opening remarks. Prior to the walk, Bossy conducted a Q/A session, answering questions from fans at the walk and on social media, which was conducted by MSG Networks host Arda Ocal.
Before the walk began, a Zumba class turned into a dance party on the lawn in front of the stage. Needless to say, the dancing children stole the show!
There were also refueling stations (with complimentary oranges, bagels, coffee and other snacks), face painting, a bouncy castle, and other games like a human-sized Jenga. It was a fun time for all and for a great cause.
“Events like Walk for Wishes allow for our communities to come out strong in support of the power of a wish," said Gina Florescu, Make-A-Wish Metro New York's Chief Marketing Officer. "It takes so many people to make wishes come true. At the Walk we had a team that was led by one of our top referring doctors. We had teams led by volunteers, the people who actually work with the kids to make wishes come true. And then we had teams of community partners like Northwell Health who raised thousands of dollars. All of these community members are essential for a wish to come true. So a big thank you to all of them.”
Walk For Wishes is an annual Make-A-Wish event that occurs in communities nationwide. The 2017 edition on Long Island raised over $125,000 for Make-A-Wish Metro New York. This money goes directly to helping grant the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses. Many wish kid “alums” were present at Sunday's walk (the stories of these kids and many more will be told in an upcoming blog series on our website).
Studies have shown that when a child with a life threatening illness receives a wish, it instills hope and positivity to heal. Our mandate at Make-A-Wish is to grant the wish of "every eligible child.” The average cost of a wish at our Metro New York chapter is $10,000. Your donations to events like these, and in general, help us get that much closer to achieving that goal.
Donate at our donation page.
View two photo galleries from #WalkForWishes 2017 on our Facebook page!
Our next big event is Toast For Wishes, an evening event on Thursday October 26 at Flash Factory in Manhattan.
Photo Credit: Ruth from Terri Diamond Photography