Families will don bathing suits and splash in the pool at Hofstra University’s Swim Center in Hempstead on Sunday, April 10, to raise money for the Child Life Program at Winthrop-University Hospital during its 15th annual Swim-a-thon.
In 2002, Dr. Ron Marino, associate chairman of pediatrics at Winthrop and an avid swimmer, wanted to connect a healthy activity with giving back to the hospital. “I wanted children to get involved with a health-care facility in their community,” Marino says.
The event now draws 150 participants a year and has raised more than $350,000 for the Child Life Program. Child Life Specialists use play to improve children’s understanding of medical procedures; teach relaxation techniques to help young patients cope with illness or surgery; and provide emotional support for the family.
Participants can choose to do laps (no minimum amount required) or simply play in the pool. Each swimmer receives a towel and swim cap with registration, and events around the edge of the pool will include a jazz band playing, massage therapists giving free massages and more. Students volunteering or swimming can earn community service hours by participating either as swimmers or volunteers. Advance registration preferred. To register, get more information, make a donation without swimming, or volunteer, call 516-663-4423 or visit Winthrop.org/events.