Children's Hospital Mascot Joined by Two Newly Named Friends

November 07, 2006

Steven Campione Jr. and Olivia Spence with Sandy Strong and her friends

Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong announces new names for two of mascot Sandy Strong’s cartoon friends.

The names were submitted by local kids in response to a naming contest the children’s hospital announced in a special section in the Democrat & Chronicle on Sept. 5.  Children were invited to suggest names in hopes of leaving a mark on the region’s only children’s hospital – not to mention winning a hefty prize package: an iPod nano, a one-year family membership to Strong – National Museum of Play, and a doll of the named friend sewn by local artist Shanna Murray, who creates boutique children’s’ clothing and toys centered on character development (visit

Almost 600 suggestions later, a team of hospital faculty and staff thought long and hard to pare down the pool. The winners are:

  • Olivia Spence, 4, of Fairport, who named the girl friend “Anna Wellagain.” She says it gives hope and meaning to “why we go to the hospital.”
  • Steven Campione Jr., 9, of East Rochester, who named the boy friend “Michael Miracle,” in honor of his brother, “whose name is Michael, is autistic, and has really come a long way.”  Stephen says his brother’s progress is nothing short of a miracle.

Sandy Strong was originally designed by area artist John Kuchera in the ‘70s. Although she has evolved since – much like renderings of Mickey Mouse have – she, along with her friends, still stand for state-of-the-art healthcare and a symbol of children’s wellness for Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region on whole.

For more information of Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong or the naming contest, visit

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