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Winthrop University Hospital

Department of External Affairs
Office of Public Affairs
Contact: Carolann Martines

Associate Writer

(516) 663-2234


John F. Collins, Winthrop’s President and Chief Executive Officer, helps pediatric patient Savannah Peterson of Hempstead choose a favorite toy from the enormous collection that was gathered during New York State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr.’s annual “Extend the Holidays” toy drive.

Present (l.-r.) at New York State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr.’s “Extend the Holidays” toy donation were John F. Collins, Winthrop’s President & Chief Executive Officer; Imogene Harrington, Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS); Nicole Almeida, MS, CCLS, Director of the Child Life Program at Winthrop; Gayle Silverstein, CCLS; Melanie Bucholtz, MS, CCLS; New York State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr.; and John P. Broder, Vice President of External Affairs and Development at Winthrop.
It’s every child’s dream to walk into a toy store overflowing with goodies and be told they can take home any toy they want. On January 4, pediatric patients in Winthrop-University Hospital’s Hagedorn Pediatric Inpatient Center had the opportunity to do just that, thanks to Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr.’s annual “Extend the Holidays” toy drive, which provides a full year’s supply of toys for Winthrop’s Child Life Program. Representatives from the Nassau County Sheriff Officer’s Association, Laborers Local 66, and Laborers Local Number 1298, all of whom participated in the program, joined Senator Fuschillo in delivering over 1,500 toys to the Hospital.

“Extend the Holidays” is an annual toy drive Senator Fuschillo organizes for the benefit of children in Winthrop’s Pediatric Unit. The toys collected through the program are delivered after the holiday season, so that hospitalized children can experience the joys of receiving a holiday gift throughout the year.

“This is an event that I look forward to each and every year here at Winthrop,” said John F. Collins, Winthrop’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our pediatric patients will benefit from the Senator’s generosity throughout the entire year.”

“We cannot begin to express the depth of our continued appreciation to Senator Fuschillo and all of the community members who get involved in this event. We are so fortunate to be the recipients of this extremely generous donation every year,” added Nicole Almeida, Director of the Child Life Program at Winthrop.

The following labor unions, schools, and community organizations helped Senator Fuschillo collect toys for the “Extend the Holidays” program:

- Berner Middle School (Massapequa School District)

- Birch Elementary School (Merrick 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)

- Girl Scout Troop 909, Bellmore Association of Girl Scouts (Bellmore)

- Laborers Local Number 66

- Laborers Local Number 1298

- Levy-Lakeside Elementary School (Merrick School District)

- McKenna Elementary School (Massapequa School District)

- Mepham High School (Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District)

- Nassau County Sheriff Officer’s Association

- Old Mill Road Elementary School (North Merrick School District)

- Park Avenue Elementary School (North Bellmore School District)

- Roosevelt High School (Roosevelt School District)

- West Gates Elementary School (Lindenhurst School District)

- William Rall Elementary School (Lindenhurst School District)

“One of the best parts of the holiday season for children is the thrill and anticipation of receiving the gift of a new toy. We want to make sure that children in the hospital, who are going through tough times, can experience those same feelings throughout the year. The many toys that were donated by schools, unions, and local residents will help put smiles on the faces of many children. I thank everyone who participated in this program for once again making it a great success,” said Senator Fuschillo.

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