BATAVIA — Community members enjoyed a drink of lemonade Thursday at Centennial Park to support the distribution of diapers to the more than 500 babies born at United Memorial Medical Center each year.
This marked the fundraiser’s first year and Lori Aratari, senior development officer for UMMC, said she hopes it will become an annual event.
The idea for the lemonade stand began with the son of Peter Casey, a longtime UMMC supporter. Patrick donated $4 from his piggy bank to the cause.
Aratari said UMMC knew they wanted to involve families to help support the hospital, and they thought what better way to sell lemonade.
“It’s the last day of school for the kids, so what a great way to start the summer,” she said. “To teach them how to give back to the community, volunteer and fundraise for a good cause.”
Jay Balduf, health educator for UMMC, said the hospital was leading a safe sleep initiative. She said it was good to teach parents how to sleep safely.
Swaddling helps keep baby warm and maintain warmth, while keeping baby comforted and secure.
UMMC offers sleeping bags that have their own swaddle. that are offered to new parents. The nappies close but the closure is at the bottom. Then the baby is wrapped like a cocoon.
“Safe sleep is really important. In fact, 93 babies in New York alone each year by loose bedding or being rolled over by another person,” Balduf said. “So it helps that cause by keeping their sleep zone safe.”
There were 12-15 lemonade stands selling lemonade for $2 a glass. They hoped to raise over $4,000 to help support UMMC.