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Contact: Carolann Martines

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Present at the check presentation were (l.-r.) Linda Sweeney, Practice Manager of the Cancer Center for Kids at Winthrop; Thomas R. Howell, North East Director of Seasonal Stores for Spirit Halloween Superstores; Philip Scimeca, MD, Associate Chief of Winthrop’s Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology; Dawn Martin, Long Island Zone Manager for Spirit Halloween Superstores; Nicole Almeida, MS, CCLS, Director of the Child Life Program at Winthrop; Donna Axelowitz; Allan Axelowitz; Warren Rosenfeld, MD, Chairman of Winthrop’s Department of Pediatrics; and Gloria Petralia, Administrative Director of Winthrop’s Department of Pediatrics.
Mineola, NY – Thanks to the generosity of the Spirit of Children Program, which is devoted to bringing the fun and fantasy of Halloween to pediatric patients, the Child Life Program at Winthrop-University Hospital’s Cancer Center for Kids (CCFK) recently received a grant for more than $24,000.

The Spirit of Children Program raises funds through the generous donations of Spirit Halloween customers and partners, as well as from the sale of exclusively designed eco-friendly trick-or-treat bags which are sold in Spirit Halloween stores. What’s more, employees volunteer to bring Halloween celebrations to pediatric patients with costumes, pumpkin painting, games and crafts to offer them a temporary diversion from the hospital experience. At Winthrop, a special celebration was held in the Hagedorn Pediatric Inpatient Center, bringing smiles to all of the children who participated in the festivities.

The Spirit of Children Program’s recent donation also includes a generous matching grant from Donna and Allan Axelowitz of Huntington, who son Ryan was a patient of Mark Weinblatt, MD, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Winthrop and Director of the CCFK – bringing the Spirit of Children Program’s total contributions to the CCFK’s Child Life Program to over $69,000.

“Thanks to the Spirit of Children’s ongoing generosity, and the kindness of the Axelowitz family, child life activities at the Cancer Center for Kids continue to blossom and thrive, fostering health and healing among patients and families alike,” said Linda Sweeney, Practice Manager of the CCFK.

Winthrop-University Hospital together with its affiliated practitioners have collaborated to create the Cancer Center for Kids. The Cancer Center for Kids’ services are provided by both the Hospital and Pediatric Hematologists/Oncologists affiliated with Winthrop Pediatric Associates, P.C. (“WPA”) who utilize both the state-of-the-science facilities of the Hospital and WPA’s new outpatient practice.

Diagnosing and treating the range of cancers and blood disorders in children is the focus of specialists in Winthrop's Cancer Center for Kids. Staffed by pediatric hematologists/ oncologists with decades of experience, the Center is a unique regional resource that caters to children's medical needs and also addresses the psychosocial issues they and their families face.

For more information about the Cancer Center for Kids at Winthrop, visit or call 1-866-WINTHROP.

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