On December 7th, over 400 attendees participated in Kids’ Day, a fun-filled event held as a tribute to long time Bay Shore resident Corey Swinson. The day featured free activities for children of all ages and focused on promoting wellness, linking two core aspects of Corey’s life–his love of children and physical education and sports. Kids’ Day organizers agreed that providing the Bay Shore community, especially Bay Shore’s children, with an opportunity to enjoy a variety of physical and interactive activities was something Corey would have supported.
The day opened with a welcome message and announcement regarding the presentation of a bill, put forth in Albany by Assemblyman Phil Ramos, to rename the Fifth Avenue Bridge in Bay Shore the Corey J. Swinson Memorial Bridge. The children were then told about the activities available throughout the day, including basketball, using the wellness center treadmills, playing volleyball, or creating a loom bracelet to give away this holiday season. From 11am-2pm, the halls of Bay Shore Middle School came alive with children and their parents shuttling between these engaging options.
Over 65 volunteers donated their time, supplies and services to ensure the event’s success and several Bay Shore employees and community residents supervised activities, which also included Dance-Dance Revolution, a 3 vs. 3 basketball tournament and a poster making station. The highlight of the day was a visit from Sparkles the Clown, who traveled from New York City to donate her time. Eager faces smiled after being transformed by Sparkles’ beautiful face-painting designs and eyes lit up as she twisted balloons into flowers and animals. One child was heard saying, “You’re an expert at this.” DJ Drago provided music for the duration of the event.
The Swinson family attended Kids’ Day and expressed their gratitude for the event. Superintendent of Bay Shore Schools Dr. Salmon and Bay Shore Board of Education President Mary Louise Cohen were also in attendance. One of Corey’s brothers shared that this event was part of the healing process, and seeing the number of people gathered demonstrated Corey’s impact on the community.
Bilal Polson, one of the event’s organizers, expressed his appreciation to the Swinson family and all attendees for their support. Since Corey’s untimely passing, numerous events have been held, the next of which is planned for Sunday, December 15th, itself deemed Corey Swinson Day by the Town of Islip. That Sunday, the Nutty Irishman in Bay Shore will serve a buffet from 2-5PM, with entertainment by Rich Mahogany. Proceeds from the $40 entry fee will benefit the Corey J. Swinson Legacy Scholarship Fund.
L-R: Dr. LaQuita Outlaw, Superintendent Dr. Salmon and Dr. Bilal Polson
LR: Julie Martin, Johanna Fields, Mary Boghosian-Asofsky, Ted Nagengast, Alicia Crump-Bush, Kendra Haynes and Bilal Polson