St. John’s ICARE Foundation hosts annual community and back-to-school wellness event

St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway.
Courtesy of SJEH

The St. John’s ICARE Foundation hosted its seventh annual community and back-to-school wellness event Aug. 18 at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital. The event was attended by students, parents, community members, healthcare organizations and elected officials.

Through the community and back-to-school wellness event, kids received new backpacks filled with notebooks, folders, markers, crayons and more. In total, about 600 backpacks with school supplies were distributed to kids. Additionally, health screenings, pediatric wellness appointments, information on health insurance and mental health services information for parents were available at the event.

There were also fun activities available for the kids in attendance, including the basketball throw, story time with Donna’s Hope, featuring the book “I Want to Be,” and spinning a wheel for additional school supplies and copies of the book. The kids were also treated with snow cones.

Many of the event’s sponsors, including National Grid and Peninsula Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, handed out backpacks and other supplies throughout the event. Coloring books on gas safety were given out by the Department of Public Service. In addition to providing health screenings, the EHS Mobile Unit also gave out information pamphlets.

“We are so grateful to our sponsors and the numerous individuals who have supported our 7th annual community and back-to-school wellness event,” St. John’s ICARE Foundation Executive Director Nancy Leghart said. “With each passing year, an increasing number of people demonstrate their deep concern for education, health and wellness by contributing to the young students in the Rockaway community. Thank you to the generous individuals who purchased backpacks through our ‘Buy a Backpack’ campaign. We are thrilled with the outcome of this beautiful event.”

The sponsors for the event included Peninsula Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Healthfirst, the Church of the Ascension – Rockville Centre, Annette and Daniel Kasle, National Grid, Kitty and Ed Lynch, the Episcopal Church of Grace and Resurrection, St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in Lynbrook, Karyn and Gerard Walsh, South Shore Pulmonary Medicine, the DeMatteis Family Foundation, ICON Contracting, St. David’s Episcopal Church, Beacon Rehab and Nursing, Donna’s HOPE, Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York Helping Hand Ministry and the Department of Public Service.

Created in May 2021, the St. John’s ICARE Foundation fosters a culture of philanthropy to secure, manage and distribute gifts to support the mission and vision of Episcopal Health Services and St. John’s Episcopal Health Services. The ICARE Foundation, stands for Innovation, Compassion, Respect, and Empathy. It raises awareness and funds to support equipment, capital projects, special programs and community initiatives. To donate, visit sjicarefoundation.org or call (718)-869-8062 for more information.