VALHALLA, N.Y. – A one-mile walk on Sunday in Valhalla can go a long way toward helping children deal with critical health issues.
The Go the Distance Walk steps off Sunday at 9:30 a.m. at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center. The event also includes a Family Fun Day. Proceeds benefit the most critically ill and injured kids in the Hudson Valley and Fairfield County.
“There are thousands of people that come out and support the cause,’’ said Andrew LaGuardia, director of communications for the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center. “Some years are better than others because of the weather, but the families enjoy it. There are community groups, church groups and patient groups. You’ll see grandmothers and grandfathers, and babies being wheeled around in strollers. It’s a celebration of people who are supporting health care for children.”
Many participants create teams to raise funds for the hospital, LaGuardia said. After the walk, families enjoy children’s activities, including bounce house, interactive games, face painting, a disc jockey and dancers.
Jaimie Ferretti, an 8-year-old third-grader at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in Yorktown, will be the grand marshal for the parade. Ferretti, of Mahopac, has made a full recovery after undergoing surgery last year to remove a brain tumor at Maria Fareri.
“There are number of factors that go into the selection of the grand marshal,’’ LaGuardia said. “Jaimie’s story is a heart-warming one, and it exemplifies the level and type of care that we provide. She was a very clear choice.”
Sunday’s event is in its ninth year, and it has grown to become one of the most successful fundraisers for the hospital. “I’m inspired by the support that the community has shown and continues to show,’’ LaGuardia said.
"The children that are cared for are very ill, or very seriously injured. They need life saving care. Families who are supporting the hospital are supporting their own communities.”
Registration begins at 8 a.m. Details and registration information is available online .