A five-year-old boy from New City --- who overcame complications from birth, led the event as grand marshal. Eli Carson Whittaker weighed about a pound when he was born prematurely at 24 weeks.
As grand marshal, Eli represented the more than 20,000 area children who receive care each year at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. Despite Sunday's rainfall, the event drew a crowd of about 1,000, comprising former patients, their families, hospital staff and supportive community members from around the region.
Eli, a kindergarten student at Summit Park Elementary School in New City, overcame many life-threatening medical issues and is now healthy and happy.
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