Jennifer Lopez supports “putting your money where the miracles are” at Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital


Thank you

Thank you for helping thousands of sick and injured children treated at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. Every penny of your generous donations in 2015 stayed right here to help and comfort children and their families. This year you helped fund 20 projects along with research in the area of pediatric gastroenterology.



Syracuse University students hold 2nd dance marathon. Watch their video.


Syracuse Sync

Syracuse’s premier lip sync charity event – SYRACUSE SYNC – was held May 30 at the Palace Theatre to benefit the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital Spina Bifida Clinic at the Center for Development, Behavior and Genetics. Event organizers presented proceeds of $3,851 to The Upstate Foundation.
The event was held in honor of third grader Julia Wilsch, who is a patient at the center. Julia is pictured in front with (from left) Barb Lindenmayer, NP; Sherry Nuffer, Empower Federal Credit Union; event emcee & coordinator Scott Lombardo, M&T Securities Inc.; Judy Hodge, RN; Kellie Gingold, Showoffs Boutique Armory Square; and Neinke Dosa, MD, Medical Director, Spina Bifida Clinic. Not pictured is event coordinator Marie Paul, James Chevrolet. 


Upstate ‘Peds Pals’ enjoy a special day at Paige’s Butterfly Run

“Little Pal” Eliza Juma, center, with graduate assistant Heather Potts, left, and Upstate medical student Kethia Eliezer, right, at Paige’s Butterfly Run in Syracuse. Kethia said the best parts of the event were hanging out with Eliza and introducing her to friends along the course.

Medical students in Upstate’s “Peds Pals” program raised more than $400 at Paige’s Butterfly Run this month, but their efforts brought even greater rewards.

Two “little pals” and five “big pals” took part in the annual event named for Paige Arnold, an 8-year-old who died of cancer 21 years ago.

Her parents started the Butterfly Run in 1997, and it now generates more than $200,000 each year for Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. Paige’s has raised more than $2 million overall for treatment, research and family assistance.

“Peds Pals” matches Upstate medical students with young patients at the Waters Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders, and is funded by Paige’s Butterfly Run.

“This is the first year they have had a team, but several of the big pals ran the 5K last year,” said Kristi Griffin, Education Specialist at the Waters Center. “Paige’s donates over $20,000 for my Champions Again Fund that includes Peds Pals. This fund is also used for support for neuropsychological evaluations and educational advocacy for our patients.”

Medical students Gabby Izzo, Joe DeMari, Kethia Eliezer and Victoria Fairchild (Peds Pal team organizer) took part in Paige’s Butterfly Run, as did Griffin’s graduate assistant, Heather Potts.

Gabby, Joe and Kethia shared their thoughts on sharing the event with their “little pals.”

“To me, taking part in Paige’s Butterfly Run is a chance to give back to and to stay involved with the SUNY Upstate Medical University community,” said Kethia, who walked the 3K with little pal Eliza Juma. “I explained to Eliza what the walk was all about and what it meant. She just smiled and said, ‘OK.’ She is a girl of few words and it was her first time ever participating in something like that, but I saw how excited she was to be part of it and be around all those people.”

Gabby and Joe composed the following after running the 3K with little pal Connor Licamele:

“Paige’s Butterfly Run is about honoring the children who have had to endure the fight against pediatric cancer.  The opportunity to participate in the race with Connor, the survivor we have grown to know and love, was truly a special experience for both of us.  Although in the past Connor would walk the race with his loved ones, this year he decided he wanted to run.

“Words cannot express how excited Connor was to run the race, and we were equally thrilled that he wanted to run it with us, his Peds Pals.  As we neared the finish line, we decided that we would sprint to the end.  Connor got tired but he didn’t give up; with his eyes closed, he could not have been more determined to finish.  As we crossed the finish line, Connor’s tongue out and breathing hard, he broke into a huge smile and we could tell how accomplished he felt having run the whole race.

 “Connor’s determination to run was not unlike his determination to beat cancer, and we were so honored to have been able to participate in Paige’s run with such a wonderful and inspiring young man.”

Upstate medical students Gabby Izzo and Joe DeMari flank “Little Pal” Connor Licamele at Paige's Butterfly Run June 6


It touches the deepest corners of the heart to see children helping each other. Inspired by a karate classmate's sister who is being treated for a rare blood disorder, Kirstin raised money to help the kids at Upstate by holding raffles and collecting donations from friends and family. Her donation was accepted by child life specialist Maggie Zick. Thank you, Kirstin!


Upstate Golisano benefits from 12 hours of dancing by SU students

One of the Upstate Foundation’s largest gifts this year comes not from a leading business, charitable foundation or philanthropist, but from Syracuse University students who danced the night away this winter to raise $84,013.13 for Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital.

For 12 hours, from 6 p.m. Feb. 28 to 6 a.m. March 1, nearly 500 dancers danced for kids who could not.

Actually the dance marathon, called OttoTHON out of respect for Syracuse’s citrusy mascot, Otto the Orange, was the culmination of the students’ yearlong fundraising efforts, and it reached some impressive milestones. 

According to the organizers, the event raised more money than any other first-year dance marathon in the Northeast, had the most registered participants for a first-year dance marathon and become the largest philanthropy at Syracuse University. It also earned the Syracuse University’s Chancellor’s Award for Public Engagement, and the Outstanding Philanthropy Programming and Scholarship, which is given each year to Syracuse University students and groups whose work in partnership with organizations and citizens exemplifies meaningful and sustained engagement.

The fundraising for OttoTHON began in October 2014 with a social media blitz that raised awareness for the effort. Donations poured in and sponsors too—among them, numerous Central New York businesses that signed up to keep the students fed and hydrated during the overnight dance.

Early on, student organizers reached out to the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) with ideas to benefit a children’s hospital and discovered a CMN-affiliated hospital was located just at the end of campus. Before students could begin raising money for Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, they needed to be sanctioned as an official student group. Once this advance work was done, the fundraising began.

“This event did not just happen overnight,” said the Foundation’s Lorie Riedl. “The behind the scenes and advanced planning for this event was a significant undertaking; the students deserve a round of applause for making this a reality.”

“The overwhelming success of this first-year project was beyond anyone’s expectations, and we are overjoyed at this new relationship we have forged with this group of students,” Riedl said.

Syracuse University student Jillian Lynch, founder and director of OttoTHON, speaking on behalf of all the students who danced and those who gave, couldn’t be more pleased to have raised more than $84,000

“Together we are making an impact on the families of children treated at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital,” said Lynch who was also recognized by Syracuse University for her efforts.

Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital will also benefit from the second annual OttoTHON, which is set for this fall.

Caption: Child Life Specialist Beth Kinsley, left, took the E-board from members of Syracuse University’s OttoTHON on a tour of Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital last week when they delivered the $84,013.33 raised by their dance marathon held from Feb. 28 to March 1. Here, the students get a look inside the hospital’s multisensory room, which provides a variety of therapeutic interventions for pediatric patients during their hospitalization.

(Reprinted from Upstate Online 4/30/15)


Rite Aid

Children’s Miracle Network Hospital’s national partner, Rite Aid, made a visit to Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital in preparation for their annual fund raising campaign and annual golf tournament. Since their partnership began, over $500,000 has been raised to benefit the sick and injured children and their families cared for at GCH. Pictured in the photo are store managers from Syracuse district 22419 as well as district managers and members of the administrative team. Thank you, Rite Aid, for making a difference in our community.






Meet Some of the Children You've Helped

Addison, 2, from Utica

Addie is a happy, playful two-year-old from Utica! She came to Upstate Golisano when she was just 9 months old for cleft palate repair and bilateral ear tube surgery. Her family wants to thank everyone from the aides to Dr. Scott Tatum who treated their family with compassion and care.

Ashley, 13, from Fulton

Ashley spent the 2011 holiday season fighting for her life at Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital. Diagnosed that December with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, she immediately began rigorous chemo that required her to be isolated as she lost her hair and appetite. Ashley found strength in her family, and the Child Life Specialists at Golisano who work to make life as normal and enriching as possible for kids like Ashley. Today, almost three years later, Ashley is healthy and both her and her family credit the hospital for saving her life.

Davan, 8

Davan has Diamond Blackfin Anemia, which is a severe disorder of the bone marrow, which does not produce new blood cells. He loves to play with the dinosaurs (especially T-Rex!) and other toys while he is getting infusions at Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital.

Ethan, 7, from Canastota

Ethan is currently in treatment at Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital for acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He was diagnosed on his fifth birthday in June 2012 and continues treatment today with oral chemotherapy at home. He also comes into the hospital every 12 weeks for traditional chemotherapy, and spinal tap chemotherapy.

Zach, 15, from Marcellus
Zach is one of just five children worldwide with a form of Mucolipidosis that caused him to stop growing at age two. Today, he’s 15 and has surpassed the life expectancy for children with this disease. He comes into Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital for monthly infusions to help manage pain from severe bone deformities. He has had 10 surgeries over his lifetime, but still has a wonderful smile!



Stowell/Supermodified Racing, now known as the Stowell Bear Team, raises money to build bears at Build-A-Bear and donates them to the Pediatric Surgery Center.  Each bear come with a birth certificate, an x-ray and a scrub outfit that is custom made by one of  the 8 seamstresses on the team.   Children are given bears before they have surgery and they name the bear and it is written on it's birth certificate.  Upon awakening, the staff talks to the child about the bear.  Focusing on the bears helps the children be less afraid during their surgical experience. 

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