Join St. Mary’s 18th annual Big Hearts Walk at Crocheron Park in May: Honoring local heroes and supporting critically ill children

St. Mary's
Hundreds participated in last year’s Big Hearts walk-a-thon to raise money for critically ill and injured children.
Photo courtesy of St. Mary’s

Update: Due to predicted rain, this event is being rescheduled to a later date this Spring. It will not take place on May 5. 

St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children’s 18th annual Big Hearts Walk is returning to Crocheron Park in Bayside on Sunday, May 5. 

The charity walk-a-thon is geared towards cultivating support for some of the most critically ill and injured children in New York, who rely on St. Mary’s for healthcare services, regardless of the family’s ability to pay. Last year, the event raised $125,000 for the system, an increase from the $98,000 raised in 2022. 

This year’s event is also honoring two local community members for their contributions to St. Mary’s. 

One of the honorees, Bridget Klein, started as a volunteer at St. Mary’s in 2016 and has since joined the team as a senior therapeutic activities assistant. In addition to her responsibilities of providing care for patients and facilitating recreational activities, she also devotes her time to organizing special events such as holiday visits from the FDNY that bring joy to the children. 

Top real estate broker Maureen Folan, another long-time supporter of St. Mary’s, will also be recognized at the walk-a-thon in May. Since 2017, The Maureen Folan Real Estate Group, which operates in Queens and Long Island, has contributed over $40,000 to St. Mary’s. Folan herself has also taken the initiative to lead holiday toy drives for the children. 

“Maureen and Bridget exemplify the very best the St. Mary’s community has to offer and we are grateful for the invaluable contributions they have made to our organization to help us continue to provide the highest level of care to our unique patients,” said Dr. Edwin Simpser, President and CEO of St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children.

We are proud to present them both with this special recognition and we encourage all members of the Bayside community to sign up to participate in this year’s walk today,” added Simpser. 

Last year’s Big Hearts walk honored Mark Boccia, the owner of Bourbon Street restaurant on Bell Boulevard in Bayside, for contributing meals during the pandemic. Long-time St. Mary’s Hospital employee Christine Duffy was also honored last year for contributions since 2008. 

Rain or shine, the annual walk will begin at 10 a.m. on May 5 in Crocheron Park. As in past years, hundreds are expected to participate in support of St. Mary’s children. Following the walk, there will be arts and crafts, music, and carnival games for families to enjoy. 

Those looking to participate in the walk can register online beforehand or on-site the day of starting at 9 a.m. Tickets are $25 for adults and $5 for children. To sign up and for more information, click here.

Note: This article was updated on May 3 to reflect cancellation.