Not Just Your Average Walk in the Park

Grateful Parents, Friends Rally to Gather $250,000 for Golisano Children’s Hospital

May 22, 2007

Thousands of grateful parents, friends and family members rally at the annual Stroll for Strong Kids, eager to support the hospital that supported them.

More than 2,000 community supporters will flock to Genesee Valley Park on Saturday, June 2, for the 11th annual Stroll for Strong Kids. Participants of this year’s time-honored family-fun walk have set their sight on raising $250,000 to help the region’s ill and injured children in their moments of need.

Many of those who walk have known these moments firsthand.

“My husband and I had decided to walk our first six years ago,” said Stephanie Sheets, a grateful parent and active member of the committee that plans the fundraiser each year. “Our son, James, had spent much of that year in the children’s hospital, and had died a week and a half before the event. Somehow, we decided to walk anyway.”

Now, the Sheets family walks faithfully each year.

“The Stroll falls around the time of James' ‘angel date,’ so it’s a blessing for our family to do this in his memory; it’s a way to give back to the hospital who loved and cared for us and our son during one of the hardest times in our lives.”

An admittedly poignant time for many participants – some who will celebrate now-healthy children; others who bear heavy losses, but find healing in remembering and championing the hospital and staff who gave them care – it is fitting that the Stroll will be led by this year’s Miracle Kids and their families. The Miracle Kids’ stories of trial turned triumph will appear on 10NBC’s 24th annual Children’s Miracle Network Telethon the same weekend (4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 2 and 7 to 10 p.m. Sunday, June 3).

Registration begins at 9 a.m. in the Roundhouse Pavilion, Genesee Valley Park; the 2-mile walk begins promptly at 11 a.m. The event features kids’ entertainment, ranging from outdoor bowling and face painting to “Dunk-a-Doc” and a lunchtime concert by Gary the Happy Pirate, along with swarms of  friendly costumed characters – Sandy Strong, of course, joined by Spikes, FINley (Rochester Razorsharks mascot), Stormtroopers, Jedi Knights and many more.

As in years past, Subway will provide thousands of free sandwich lunches to hungry fundraisers.

To raise additional funds for the region’s children, an online auction will also be hosted prior to the walk on www.mydrivefm.com beginning at noon on Friday, May 25; two Kodak digital camera and round trip plane tickets to anywhere in the United States are among the items up for bid. The auction ends at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 31.

For more information on Golisano Children’s Hospital’s annual Stroll or telethon fundraisers, please call (585) 273-5948 or visit www.gchas.org.

For Media Inquiries:
Becky Jones
(585)275-8490
Email Becky Jones