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Investors Bank Foundation Supports Michael Magro Foundation’s Project S.O.A.R. For Kids Recovering From Cancer

When school resumes in the fall, children everyone will be adjusting to the new ‘normal’ that will undoubtedly exist due to COVID-19. For children who have been hospitalized or at home for months, or even longer, while undergoing cancer treatment, the adjustment will be even more challenging. Thanks to a grant to Michael Magro Foundation’s Project S.O.A.R. from Investors Bank Foundation, these recovering children and teens will find their transition back to school much more comfortable.

Michael Magro Foundation created Project S.O.A.R. (School Re-entry Ongoing Academic Resources) to aid in the transition of a child’s re-entry to school following a lengthy absence for a hospital stay for cancer treatment. Classmates and other children in the school often have questions about their returning classmate that teachers and other staff at the school may struggle to answer. The child returning to school may have new learning needs as he/she rebounds from months of chemotherapy. S.O.A.R. is designed to increase each child in the program’s chances for a positive and successful academic experience during treatment for and for years after treatment has ended. For a child to thrive in the classroom setting, both a smooth “re-entry” to the school environment as well as ongoing assistance (sometimes through their college years) is needed. Project S.O.A.R. nurtures the pediatric cancer patient, as well as his/her family, academic team, and peers. The result is a successful collaboration that is positive for all involved.

Investors Bank and Investors Bank Foundation have been strong supporters of the Michael Magro Foundation, where they have taken an active role in ensuring the Foundation can provide its much-needed programs to the Long Island community. Michael Billia, Senior Vice President of Investors Bank’s Long Island Market, noted that the Bank and the Foundation choose to support Michael Magro Foundation because they have seen, first-hand, the tremendous work being done by the Foundation. Billia stated, “We support the work of the Michael Magro Foundation for a key reason – Terrie and Paul Magro. The excellence of the work done [for children with cancer and their families], the remarkable work done in the community, and the passion exhibited for the work is truly inspiring. They have brought others on board with that same dedication. They are helping families that are really in crisis. Investors Bank is happy to be a part of that kind of loving care.”

Michael Magro Foundation is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization founded by Paul and Terrie Magro to honor the life of their son Michael, who passed away from leukemia at the age of 13. The Foundation works with the Cancer Center for Kids at Winthrop-University Hospital, Stony Brook Children’s Cancer Division, and other Winthrop and Stony Brook pediatric specialties where treatment of chronic diseases is ongoing, as well as with the Golisano Children’s Hospital in Southwest Florida. The core programs offered are Life Essentials [helping families struggling financially during their child’s treatment with non-medical expenses]; Project SOAR [providing support for childhood cancer patients, families, students and teachers when the patient returns to school following long illnesses]; and Bonding With Baby [helping siblings of babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) communicate and bond]. In partnership with The Spencer Foundation, the organization has added Operation Playcation, an initiative to provide inpatient pediatric hospital patients with Playstation 4 units and an array of gaming choices.

For more information on the Michael Magro Foundation, or to make a contribution, visit www.michaelmagrofoundation.org or email info@michaelmagrofoundation.org.

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Photo caption: Michael Billia, Senior Vice President, Long Island Market, for Investors Banks and Therese Mora, Assistant Vice President, (right), present a check for $5,000 to Terrie Magro, Vice President and Co-Founder, Michael Magro Foundation. Funds will be used for Project S.O.A.R. a program for pediatric cancer patients returning to school.