In May, pupils from Manorhaven Elementary School in Port Washington participated in Walk to Fitness. This event was part of a celebration that featured Kohl’s Department Stores donating $333,855 to Cohen Children’s Medical Center.
Kohl’s commitment to Cohen Children’s is made possible through the Kohl’s Cares cause merchandise program. Through this initiative, Kohl’s sells $5 books and plush toys in which 100 percent of the net profit benefits children’s health and education programs nationwide, including hospital partnerships like this one.
The Walk was made especially poignant because the school and students dedicated it to 9-year-old Seraphina O’Brien of Port Washington, a student at Manorhaven who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in October 2014. Seraphina is in remission, thanks to the care she received at Cohen Children’s.
The event celebrated Seraphina’s remarkable progress and her eventual return to school. Hundreds of students gathered on the athletic field to complete the last lap of their Walk to Fitness. Dressed in purple (Seraphina’s favorite color), the children circled a field to pass by a victory flag hoisted by Seraphina, her sister and her proud parents.
Cohen Children’s Kohl’s Cares Keeping Kids Healthy Program organized the Walk to Fitness at the Port Washington school. Pupils were provided with pedometers and other support materials through the Kohl’s Cares program to conduct a virtual walk from the school to various locations across the country.
Following the check presentation from Kohl’s to the hospital, Debbie Riccardi, DNP, director of Community Outreach at Cohen Children’s, said, “These wonderful children have together walked over 11 million steps — more than 5,000 miles — in honor of Seraphina.
“We know that walking is the easiest way to achieve fitness. We thank Kohl’s for their partnership since 2000, which has resulted in over $4 million in support to help us keep our children healthy.”
Also moved by the vision of hundreds of purple-clad children was Michael O’Brien, Seraphina’s father, who thanked Kohl’s for developing programs to help children and their families lead healthy lifestyles.
Watch the video below to see Manorhaven students participating at the event.