In the Halloween spirit, Mariska Hargitay – dressed as a witch – with her daughter, Amaya Josephine, dressed as a pumpkin, joined more than 900 children and their families as the New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Phyllis and David Komansky Center for Children’s Health hosted its 22nd annual Light Up a Life benefit on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011 at the Field House at Chelsea Piers in New York City.

Mariska and her husband, Peter Hermann, served as honorary chairpersons for this year’s event, which raised a record $300,000.

Other guests included Dr. Herbert Pardes, Executive Vice Chairman of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital’s Board of Trustees; Dr. Gerald Loughlin, Chair of Pediatrics at Komansky Center for Children’s Health at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell; Marcie Pantzer, Allison Aston, Travis Acquavella, Valerie Aston, Vaughn Dorrian, Lois Goodner, Kathleen Kocatas and Candace Postel. Families will enjoy activities including face painting, carnival games, circus performers, batting cages, hair braiding, a rock-climbing wall and pumpkin decorating.

Proceeds raised will benefit pediatric patient care programs including: Child Life Services, a program that helps alleviate children’s fears surrounding the hospital experience; The Clown Care Program, which welcomes clowns into the hospital to provide smiles and spend time with patients; The Children’s Emergency Medical Fund that provides patients with access to medical care, regardless of a family’s ability to pay; the Komansky Center Family Advisory Council, a group of dedicated family members committed to providing improved, family-centered care to all patients; and the Pediatric Fellows program.

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