PISCATAWAY, NJ—Over 2,200 people raised over $300,000 dollars for children with special needs at the Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation’s tenth annual “Walk ‘n’ Roll.” 

The walk took place at Johnson Park in Piscataway on May 21.

Many participants wore hats to commemorate the theme, “Hats Off!” and all enjoyed a free carnival following the walk.

The event is a fundraiser and a way to honor the founders, physicians, staff, and supporters at Children’s Specialized Hospital, which treats children recovering from brain and spinal cord injuries, children with autism, and children with other complex medical needs. 

“This marks the tenth anniversary of the Walk n’ Roll, and the walk will also serve as the kick off for Children’s Specialized Hospital’s 125th Anniversary celebration,” says Kim Hanemann, a Children’s Specialized Hospital Trustee.

“PSE&G’s employees and vendors fundraise for Children’s Specialized throughout the year, and we had 197 employees participate in the Walk n’ Roll, too. It’s great to meet the patients and families that will benefit from our efforts, and we say ‘Hats Off’ for breaking new fundraising records in 2016. ”

This year is the hospital’s 125th anniversary.

The hospital began as Children’s County Home in Westfield, New Jersey in 1891 as a “summer haven” for children living in urban tenements. 

In 1942, with the polio epidemic in full force, Children’s County Home admitted its first child with the disease. Even when the polio vaccine was discovered in the 1950s, the Home continued to take in ill and disabled children. In 1962, it officially became Children’s Specialized Hospital.

In 1988, the Pediatric Long Term Care Unit, New Jersey’s first hospital-based pediatric skilled care facility, was launched to provide 24-hour care for children with complex needs. In the decades since, about a dozen facilities have been opened throughout the state.

Children’s Specialized Hospital became affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson in 1999 (now RWJBarnabas).

The sponsors of Walk ‘n’ Roll included:

  • PSE&G (presenting sponsor)
  • IEW Construction
  • NJM Insurance
  • Open Road
  • Furino & Sons
  • J Fletcher Creamer
  • Burns & McDonnell
  • Ferreira Construction Co Inc.
  • Haugland Family Foundation

Children’s Specialized Hospital has thirteen locations throughout New Jersey, including one in New Brunswick.