2016 Miracle Maker Award Recipients
The community works hand-in-hand with Golisano Children’s Hospital to offer the best possible care for this generation and the next. Community groups, companies, individuals and families rally together to support the children’s hospital. Every donation has a story behind it and every fundraiser started for a special reason.
This year, we’ve chosen four truly exceptional local members and groups to present with Miracle Makers Awards. The award-winners are our neighbors and our friends, our family members and our colleagues. Yet with a remarkably strong commitment to helping children and an immense amount of work, they’ve chosen to become real, live heroes. Our hope is that in reading these stories, you draw inspiration and comfort in the power and drive our community holds to improve the lives of our future citizens.
Miracle Maker Award: The Wegman Foundation
The Wegman Family Charitable Foundation has provided an exceptional level of support to the Golisano Children’s Hospital and our region’s children and families. The Foundation has given more than $21 million to The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester, $7 million of which directly supported Golisano Children’s Hospital.
While $6 million of the Foundation’s gift supported the construction of the new building, $1 million was used to establish an endowment to increase the quality of Child Life programs, services, and facilities. In recognition of this enduring gift, the hospital’s Child Life Program was renamed the Wegmans Child Life Program. Child Life specialists prepare and support children and their families for their medical experience in terms they can understand, and help to ease the fear and anxiety that a child often feels in a hospital. The generous support of the Wegman Family Charitable Foundation can be further seen on the seventh and eighth floors of the new children’s hospital, where the Wegmans Child Life Zone is named in recognition of their support.
Miracle Maker Award for Outstanding Commitment by Grateful Parents: The Milburn Family
Cory Milburn was born in 2009 weighing just 1 pound, 8 ounces, and his parents, Patti and Mike, were told that he likely wasn't going to survive. But after a long stay at Golisano Children’s Hospital, Cory pulled through, and his parents have spent the last seven years giving back.
In addition to speaking at several Golisano Children’s Hospital events, the Milburns have hosted a euchre tournament annually. They provide the prizes themselves and then donate 100 percent of tournament proceeds to the hospital. They also manage to drum up big contributions to the Stroll for Strong Kids every summer, where the “Cruzin for Cory” team is always one of the standouts.
Miracle Maker Award for Outstanding Commitment by a Community Group: Andy Yazwinski and the 100 Innings for Noah Softball Festival
In April 2008, Noah Passero passed away from complications from cardiomyopathy. He was 8 years and 4 months old. In celebration of the 100 months of his life — and in the hopes of helping to raise money to study the disease that Noah died from — his family began hosting the annual “100 Innings for Noah Softball Festival.”
For the past eight years, softball enthusiasts have come to Cobbs Hill Park to participate. Passero’s grandfather, Andy Yazwinski, the City of Rochester’s Softball Commissioner and vice-chair of the New York Amateur Softball Association, took the lead in organizing the game, which is split into ten 10-inning segments and runs for an entire day. Over 300 people participate each year, including Noah’s parents, Wendy and Dan Passero, and his brother Nick, who is now 19 years old.
To date, the event has raised nearly $100,000 for pediatric cardiomyopathy research and treatment at Golisano Children’s Hospital. Over the festival’s eight-year history, 327 people have signed up to be organ donors at the event.
Miracle Maker Award for Outstanding Commitment by a Children's Miracle Network Hospital Partner: Mark Goldberg and Steve Carl, Dairy Queen
Mark Goldberg and Steve Carl, business partners at three Rochester area Dairy Queen’s,
have provided tremendous support to Golisano Children’s Hospital since they opened up shop in Rochester in 2012. Dairy Queen has provided countless smiles for the kids at Golisano Children’s Hospital through many blizzard and ice cream donations. Dairy Queen, a supporter of the Children’s Miracle Network, holds Miracle Treat Day every summer, where $1 of every blizzard sold is donated to the Children’s Miracle Network.
To date, they have raised over $50,000 to donate to the children’s hospital, and are committed to a $100,000 pledge that will go toward naming rights in the new hospital.