Stroll for Strong Kids Breaks Records and Touches Hearts
Attendees of the 19th annual Stroll for Strong Kids Walk and 5K filled Genesee Valley Park with the same goal: To run and/or walk in honor and celebration of a child treated at UR Medicine’s Golisano Children’s Hospital. The Park was full of vibrant colors May 30 for the “Growing Strong” themed event. Thousands of people, including children’s hospital staff and area community pediatricians, dressed in a child’s favorite color – or character – and had their own personalized team t-shirts. With a record-breaking attendance of close to 10,000 participants (with almost 840 runners) and more than $400,000 raised, the outpouring of support for the children’s hospital and what it means to the community was clear.
The sun was beaming down as 5K runners took their marks to kick off the day at 8:30 a.m. and it continued shining throughout the walk and into the afternoon as families enjoyed food and more than a dozen activities. Subway, a Stroll favorite, provided more than 6,000 sandwiches for participants and Zweigle’s offered an abundance of its tasty samples. Abbott’s Frozen Custard, the event’s presenting sponsor for the fourth consecutive year, was the perfect cool treat.
Families munched on more goodies, including KP’s Kettle Corn and Fruit Vines® candies from the American Licorice Company, as they made their way through the activity tents and bounce houses. In correlation with the “Growing Strong” theme, Wickham Farms provided hay bales and a wooden cow that kids could take turns “milking.” A kid favorite, AP Enterprises provided bulldozers, tractors, and more. Kids also had the rare opportunity to color a Lexus IS 350 F SPORT, complete with color-in flowers and butterflies, which will be included in the live auction of this year’s Golisano Children’s Hospital Gala, Oct. 24.
The Stroll for Strong Kids continues to get bigger and better – and its participants play such a large role in its success! With the help of the community, over the years it has planted the seed for a new $145 million, eight-story children’s hospital that has been serving our region’s children and families for just over one month. Many of the spaces in the new Golisano Children’s Hospital were funded by Stroll teams, including patient rooms and two beautiful healing gardens.
“Lauren’s Garden serves as a symbol of the support that exists within the community,” said Andy Olander, father of Lauren, a vibrant nature lover who passed away at the age 5. “It is our hope that those who spend time in Lauren’s Garden know that they are not alone.”
With a total of $30,274 raised at this year’s event, Lauren’s Legacy was the top fundraising team for the fourth year in a row. Other top teams included Team Addy ($11,040), Mia’s Marchers ($9,938), Craig’s Cookie Monsters ($8,222), and Amanda’s Purple Minions ($7,365).
“The Stroll is made up of individuals and teams, both large and small, who are all strolling for a reason – for a child,” said Stephanie Sheets, assistant director of community fundraising at Golisano Children’s Hospital. “Thank you to our participants, volunteers, sponsors, and the Stroll committee who make this an outstanding event for our families, year after year. It’s a picnic in the park with our closest friends.”
Special thanks to all of our sponsors:
Presenting Sponsor – Abbott’s Frozen Custard
Level 2 – AP Enterprises, Bonadio Group, Cheshire AV, Conifer Realty, DeBergerac Productions, Elmwood Pediatrics, Fruit Vines, Genesee Wyoming, Genesis Pediatrics, Hairzoo, Marshall Farms Group, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, Subway, Team One Lexus, The Siewert Family, Tim Horton’s, Tops Friendly Markets, Zweigle’s
Level 3 – Amiel’s, AP Professionals, Byrne Dairy, Chase Bank, Cooley Group, Inc., DAACare, Datto, Flaherty Salmin CPAs, French Hills Spring Waters, Glamour Ride, KB Graphics, Lakeside Roll Off Services, LeChase Construction, M/E Engineering, Medved Running and Walking Outfitters, More than a Game Foundation, New York State Apple Association, Nuttal Golf Cars, Postler & Jaeckle, Palmer Foods, Picraft Pizza, Roberts Wesleyan College, Strong Memorial Hospital Food & Nutrition Services, The DiMarco Group, 100.5 The Drive, Wickham Farms