Thursday, May 20, 2010

Montefiore's Spring Fling

Throughout the month of May, Children's Miracle Network's partners and friends are helping raise awareness about the important work of children's hospitals. I wanted to take part in this May is for Miracles campaign by visiting the children at The Children's Hospital at Montefiore. Unfortunately, I received an email from Paula Ammirato, Program Director for the Children's Miracle Network at Montefiore saying that the hospital was not currently taking visitors to see the children in the hospital because of infection control issues. However, I was not deterred by this news because as they say "when one door closes, another one opens." Ms. Ammirato told me that there were some volunteer opportunities I would be interested in. So, I took her up on her offer and became a volunteer for the hospital's annual event The Spring Fling.

Lili Beit, Senior Application Manager for the Professional
Services Department and Organizer of the Spring Fling

The Spring Fling is an event held to benefit Camp CHAM, a day camp for children with diabetes. The camp, which was originally named the Diabetes Support Group, was organized in 1993. The Spring Fling also honored Montefiore's dedicated and hard-working nursing staff. The event took place at the hospital's newest addition, the West Garden. Let me tell you, the weather could not have been any more perfect than today. We were truly blessed with this beautiful sunny evening. During the first hour of the event, I was in charge of selling Wish Lists to attendees. The Wish List helps support the wishes of Camp CHAM. Each contribution goes towards a specific item/event/sponsor that are necessary in having a successful camping experience for the children of Montefiore hospital. The wishes included:
  • $10 for Measuring Utensils to promote healthy eating skills with proper cups and spoons for nutrition class on carbohydrate counting.
  • $15 for Awards and Certificates to reinforce skills learned and goals reached in diabetes management.
  • $20 for Sports Equipment including basketballs, soccer balls, jump ropes, and exercise tapes to encourage physical activity while providing fun.
  • $50 for Swim Fund including bathing suits, swim caps, goggles, and swim shoes to promote healthy exercise habits and water safety skills.
  • $75 for Scholarship to send a child to Camp CHAM.
  • $100 for Coaches and Speakers to share their expertise and teach the children new skills.
  • $200 for Field Trips to expand the campers' horizons with outings to the Bronx Zoo, Playland, and more.

After my shift was complete, I mingled with the employees of the Montefiore Hospital and discussed the connection of the Children's Miracle Network with the Miss America Organization. Staff and children of the Camp CHAM thanks attendees for supporting the Spring Fling and for giving kids with diabetes the opportunity to forget about their disease and enjoy quality time with family and friends. Two of the Camp CHAM kids, Maxine and Jose, talked about how much fun they have at the camp each year and are excited to return again in the summer. These adorable kids are so inspiring!

Before the night concluded, I was asked to emcee the raffle drawings. Maxine, one of the Camp CHAM kids, was a great helper assisting me by handing me the winning tickets. This was Montefiore's most successful Spring Fling to date. The event grossed over $11,000, which is more than any of the previous three years of hosting this event. After deducting a few expenses, the Montefiore hospital will be able to donate $10,000 to Camp CHAM. This is the fourth year in a row the hospital has achieved this goal! It was a privilege to have been able to participate with one of the ten Children's Miracle Network hospitals in New York. I can definitely see why May is for Miracles.