Shore Auxiliary presented the Mainland Recreation Association with the New Jersey Hospital Association’s Partnership in Volunteering Award. Pictured, left to right, is Auxiliary Chairperson Heidi Angelastro, of Seaville, along with original members of the MRA swim team: Steve Platt of Dorchester, NJ; Matthew Simpson of Linwood; Julia Mason-Lockhart, of Northfield; and Michael Schiavo of Longport.
Children on the Mainland Recreation Association’s (MRA) swim team have been swimming laps and raising funds for Shore Medical Center for 35 years. In April, the Auxiliary of Shore Medical Center recognized the MRA’s long-time commitment by presenting them with the New Jersey Hospital Association Partnership in Volunteering award for continuing the tradition and motivating young fundraisers to support healthcare in their community.
The Auxiliary-sponsored event, now known as the Carole Schiavo Kids Swim for Health, began in 1982 as the Kids for Kids Swim-A-Thon, which originally funded special pediatric projects at Shore Medical Center. The first year, swimmers raised $8,500, and to date, the group has raised nearly $300,000, with proceeds now going toward cancer care at Shore. In 1989, the event was selected as one of the top ten fund raising ideas in the United States by the American Hospital Association.
Original members of the swim team were on hand to accept the award on behalf of the MRA, including MRA swim coach Michael Schiavo, along with Steve Platt, Julia Mason Lockhart, and Matthew Simpson.
Upon accepting the award, Schiavo said, "I am very proud to be a part of something that has impacted so many people for the past 35 years. As a coach, it is really run for me to watch the kids embrace the challenge and responsibility of the Kids Swim. They learn a lot about themselves, and the longer distances motivate them to train harder and improve their performance. This event gives kids an opportunity that they would never normally have."
The Auxiliary of Shore Medical Center is Shore’s original fundraising organization. Part of the Shore Medical Center Planned Giving and Development Department, the Auxiliary is made up of dedicated volunteers who work throughout the year on initiatives that include the hospital gift shop, thrift shops, golf tournaments and other community events. Since the Auxiliary’s inception in 1940, the Auxiliary has donated more than $12 million to Shore Medical Center.