ILION – Kinney Drugs in Ilion will be hosting its fourth annual Spring Fling, a children’s event benefiting The Children’s Miracle Network, Sunday, March 25. The event kicks off a two-month campaign of fundraising for the store.
“The calendar may say spring, but Mother Nature clearly has other ideas,” said Maureen Westervelt, a shift supervisor and CMN Champion at Kinney Drugs. “We hold the Spring Fling about this time every year to get people out after a long cold winter to have some fun and celebrate the season that will be coming, eventually, and doing it for a good cause.”
While most are familiar with the name, many don’t know exactly what The Children’s Miracle Network is or does. Meanwhile, living in the Mohawk Valley, most people know someone who has had a baby at St. Luke’s Hospital in Utica and may even know a child who has needed care at St. Luke’s. In that case, many unwittingly know someone who has benefited from the services of The Children’s Miracle Network.
The Children’s Miracle Network is responsible for numerous programs, amenities and pieces of medical equipment at St. Luke’s Hospital geared specifically toward newborns, children and families. From the play room in the pediatric unit, transport incubators for newborn babies and lactation consultants for breastfeeding moms, to effective distraction methods such as buzzing, vibrating toy bees and colorful murals for children receiving shots and other unpleasant treatments, The Children’s Miracle Network is responsible for them all.
And all of those programs, amenities and pieces of medical equipment are entirely paid for by donations from our community, said Andrea MacDiarmid, CMN coordinator at Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare.
The Spring Fling fundraiser will take place 12-4 p.m. Sunday, March 25, inside the Ilion Kinney Drugs, located at 40 First St.
The event will include games and prizes, crafts and activities, face painting, refreshments and more, Westervelt said. A $5 donation per child is asked and will allow kids to participate in all the activities, she said.
And every penny raised goes directly to CMN at St. Luke’s Hospital.
“The money we raise doesn’t go to corporate for redistribution,” Westervelt said. “And there are no operating costs or overhead for us. We don’t take anything out of the money raised. We ourselves are donating our time and resources toward the campaign.”
Throughout the store’s two-month campaign to raise money for CMN, employees will be holding a number of fundraisers including bake sales, photo contests and raffles. Those interested in participating are encouraged to contact or visit the store, Westervelt said. “Children’s Miracle Network is a great cause that does a lot for our kids,” said Rich Barr, store manager. “We’re happy to help make that happen. And our customers have always been great to us and CMN. We’d like to thank them for their generous support over the years.”
Kinney Drugs has been partnering with CMN for more than 25 years.
“The partnership between Kinney Drugs and CMN has been very successful and continues to grow and strengthen each year,” MacDiarmid said, adding that the Kinney campaign is among CMN’s four top fundraisers every year, along with the $100,000 Miracle Drawing and campaigns run by Walmart and Rite Aid.