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Local Foundation Delivers 1,200 Holiday Gifts for Young Virtua Patients

...donates $143,000 to Mobile Pediatric Program

The Joseph Lacroce Foundation’s Annual Toy Run is now in its eighth year Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 16.2.07

Young patients at Virtua hospitals are enjoying some holiday magic thanks to volunteers who delivered about 1,200 presents to the South Jersey health system.

The Cherry Hill-based Joseph Lacroce Foundation donated the gifts—from bicycles to games to car seats —for its eighth consecutive year. Nearly 200 volunteers helped deliver the items to Virtua Voorhees, led by a colorful caravan of classic and collector cars.

The health system then shared the bounty with children at its two other hospitals—Virtua Memorial in Mount Holly and Virtua Marlton—and other programs including Virtua CASTLE (pediatric behavioral health) in Camden and Berlin, the Virtua Center for Women in Voorhees, and the Virtua Pediatric Early Intervention Program based in Mount Laurel.

“Our supporters love the Toy Run because it recalls the true spirit of the season,” said Saverio “Sam” Lacroce, president of the Joseph Lacroce Foundation. “The toys and games do a lot to help make the hospital experience less stressful for the kids. We thank everyone for their generosity.”

In addition, Sam Lacroce presented a $143,000 check to Virtua Foundation as part of its $1 million commitment to fundVirtua’s Mobile Pediatric Unit. The new program-on-wheels visits and treats children in underserved communities in South Jersey.

“The Mobile Pediatric Unit launched six months ago, and the outcomes thus far are tremendous,” said Virtua President and CEO Dennis W. Pullin, FACHE. 

“The Mobile Unit has been to schools, churches, clinics, and community centers—bringing much-needed health services to over 300 children across three counties,” he added. “These services include dental exams, developmental screenings, flu shots, and more. Thanks to the Lacroce Foundation, all of this is completely free for families.”

The nonprofit Lacroce Foundation is dedicated to improving the hospital experience for children throughout South Jersey. The organization is named for Sam Lacroce’s son Saverio Joseph Lacroce, who died of leukemia in 1975 at age 12.