It’s A Bird! It’s A Plane! It’s Kids In Capes!

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While it may be true that not all heroes wear capes, on Sunday, March 5, Dave & Busters in Westbury will be filled with Long Island’s youngest cape-bearing superheroes. The Kids’ Carnival for a Cure, hosted annually by the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (DRIF), invites the public to join in raising money to support diabetes research and work toward finding a cure.

Katie Ashkin, seven-years-old, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age six.

This year’s theme “celebrate the superhero in you” aims to recognize the courage and true heroism it takes to live with diabetes every day, especially for children affected by the disease. Attendees, regardless of their age, are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite superhero and enjoy the wide variety of carnival-oriented activities and games.

“Basically, we want to give kids and their families a day to enjoy themselves and forget about diabetes,” said Lily Scarlett, DRIF Northeast special events director. “It’s a day to bring children together and let them know that they’re not alone in this. We’re here to help and to listen.”

“I am inspired by children with type 1 diabetes,” added Dara Melnick, who has type 1 diabetes and is one of three event co-chairs, along with Iris Feldman and Edra Tepper. “These children have to grow up too fast. I understand the day to day struggles both physically and socially, I have been there. They are true superheroes with amazing powers. Anything is possible as long as you work hard at it.”

The feel-good event will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. at Dave & Busters, located at The Mall At The Source at 1504 Old Country Rd. Tickets cost $100 per adult, $50 per child or $250 for a family of four.

Tickets will gain attendees entrance to a fun-filled day of arcade games, video games, bowling, raffle prizes, a few costumed characters and plenty of food and ice cream for all.

“Year after year, this proves to be a really fun day with delicious food and games and kids running around feeling free,” said Scarlett. “It’s just a really good feeling to be a part of something like this.”

Riley Ferran, six-years-old, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age five.

The annual event has been a hit for 12 years, with Dave & Busters serving as the venue of choice for the past eight years. Since its inception, the Kids’ Carnival for a Cure has amassed over $1 million, drawing close to 500 people or more year after year. This time around, those involved in the event are hoping to meet their goal of raising $100,000.

The Diabetes Research Institute, headquartered at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is the largest and most comprehensive research center dedicated to curing diabetes and leads the world in cure-focused research.

By restoring natural insulin production and normalizing blood sugar levels without imposing other risks, scientists are closer than ever to developing a biological cure. Recent advancements are being tested in preclinical and clinical studies and producing promising outcomes.

“I didnt know much about diabetes prior to this job,” said Nicole Lesson, DRIF communications manager. “But after visiting Miami and seeing what scientists are doing and passion they have, it’s inspired me to work even harder. We are hopeful that they will find a cure sooner than later.”

Kids are encouraged to wear their best superhero costume to the Kids’ Carnival for a Cure.

For more information, please contact the DRIF by email at NEregion@drif.org, visit www.diabetesresearch.org/kids-carnival-2017 or call 516-822-1700. The DRIF has offices located in Jericho at 410 Jericho Tpke., representing the northeast region for the organization.

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Nicole Lockwood is the editor of the New Hyde Park Illustrated News, Mineola American and contributing writer for Long Island Weekly.

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