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Annual Auction Raises $250,000 in Support of SIBSPlace

The 2011 SIBSPlace (Survivorship in Brothers and Sisters) Annual Auction held recently at The Seawane Club in Hewlett Harbor raised $250,000 in support of the program. An essential community service of South Nassau Communities Hospital, SIBSPlace is celebrating its 11th year of free service to families throughout Nassau County.

Ms. Rhonda Gelbwasser, principal at Oceanside School 6, was the auction’s guest of honor in recognition for her support, commitment and loyalty to the mission and vision of SIBSPlace and South Nassau Communities Hospital.

“It takes a team and the support of many great people to ensure that South Nassau Communities Hospital and SIBSPlace continue to fulfill their mission,” said Joseph A. Quagliata, president and CEO. “The long-time friendship and alliance that South Nassau has forged with the Oceanside School 6 and the entire school district has been instrumental in the hospital’s growth and expansion to meet the community’s needs. Ms. Gelbwasser has been vital to strengthening the relationship, and we are thankful for the time and efforts she has devoted to it as well as the mission and vision of the hospital.”

The goal of SIBSPlace is to help children cope with feelings and needs due to a sibling or parent suffering with cancer or other type of devastating illness. The only program of its kind in the United States, it is available to all children ages 5-17. SIBSPlace provides a comprehensive program of support and guided recreation in which personal needs, unexpressed feelings and confusing experiences can be addressed by the well siblings. A typical visit includes play, arts and crafts, psychoeducational group interaction, mentoring and tutoring. Other special activities include animal therapy and field trips to local attractions.

“The generosity and benevolence of the businesses that donated luxury goods, rare memorabilia and travel and entertainment packages and each person who bid generously throughout the evening is vital to the continued success of SIBSPlace,” said Elizabeth Nardone, vice president of development at South Nassau. “I commend the auction’s volunteer committee for working diligently and devoting immeasurable time and energy to the success of the evening.”

The Annual Auction committee is spearheaded by a group of concerned community members headed by Mr. Michael Schamroth. The co-chairs of the event were Shari and Lowell Frey, a member of the hospital’s board of directors.

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