Written by Christy Hinko Friday, 20 January 2012 00:00
Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., with the help of dozens of local schools and organizations helped put smiles on the faces of Winthrop Hospital’s pediatric patients by delivering carloads of toys collected through the annual “Extend the Holidays” toy drive.
Representatives from the Nassau County Sheriff Officer’s Association, Laborers Local 66, and Local 1298, all of whom participated in the program, joined Senator Fuschillo in delivering the toys to the hospital.
“Our members look forward to this event every year because it’s a way to give back to the community, to give back to the kids, and to the less fortunate,” said President of the Nassau County Sheriff Officers Association (NCSHOA) John Jaronczyk. The officers, more than 1,000 members of NCSHOA, run their individual toy drive throughout the month of December. They have been participating in cooperation with Senator Fuschillo’s drive for more than five year.General Building Laborers Local 66 of Meville, Mike Labate, Bob English, and Sal Speziale said they have been participating in this toy drive since its beginning. They brought nearly three carloads of toys to the hospital. They agreed, “What’s better than giving a kid a toy to bring a smile?”
“Extend the Holidays” is Senator Fuschillo’s 14th annual toy drive, organized for the benefit of children in Winthrop’s Pediatric Center. This was Fuschillo’s largest collection to date, with more then 2,000 collected, to be distributed to Winthrop’s three pediatric units throughout the upcoming year.
“When you’re a child, there’s no better feeling than getting the gift of a new toy. For children in the hospital who are going through tough times, a new toy can really help brighten their spirits. Thanks to the generosity of all the schools, unions, and local residents and businesses who participated in this program, we collected enough toys to help give that feeling to children in Winthrop Hospital throughout the entire year,” said Senator Fuschillo.
“On behalf of Winthrop’s administration, staff, and patients, we are once again extremely grateful to Senator Fuschillo for continuing his annual ‘Extend the Holidays’ toy drive. This is a wonderful tradition, which brings so much joy and happiness to so many children and families. We thank Senator Fuschillo and everyone who participated in this toy drive for their overwhelming outpouring of generosity for our child patients,” said John Broder, Vice-President for External Affairs and Development at Winthrop-University Hospital.
Broder explained that these toys really take the edge off for the kids while they are here, while their parents may be dealing with the reality of why the child has been admitted.
The following labor unions and schools helped Senator Fuschillo collect toys for the “Extend the Holidays” program:
- Baldwin Middle School (Baldwin School District)
- Berner Middle School (Massapequa School District)
- Birch Elementary School (Merrick School District)
- Centennial Avenue School (Roosevelt School District)
- Chatterton Elementary School (Merrick School District)
- East Lake Elementary School (Massapequa School District)
- Fairfield Elementary School (Massapequa School District)
- Fayette Elementary School (North Merrick School District)
- Forest Lake Elementary School (Wantagh School District)
- Laborers Local 66
- Laborers Local 1298
- Levy-Lakeside Elementary School (Merrick School District)
- Lockhart Elementary School (Massapequa School District)
- Massapequa High School (Massapequa School District)
- Massapequa High School-Ames Campus (Massapequa School District)
- McKenna Elementary School (Massapequa School District)
- Mepham High School (Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District)
- Nassau County Sheriff Officers Association
- Old Mill Road Elementary School (North Merrick School District)
- William Rall Elementary School (Lindenhurst School District)
- Winthrop Avenue School (Bellmore School District)
On the day of the toy delivery, Winthrop had 20 admitted children suffering from things like respiratory illness, injuries and oncology problems. Fuschillo was able to meet many of the children and help them pick out toys for themselves. One young patient asked if he could choose a toy for his sister instead. The generous amount of toys is distributed throughout the entire year, to Winthrop’s three pediatric units. Winthrop Pediatrics served 2,850 patients last year, in addition to 5,000 newborns.