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Little Neck mart battles cancer

Customers at a Little Neck Stop & Shop treated themselves to tasty scoops of ice cream Saturday to support a 6-year-old Queens girl with leukemia and other victims with cancer at a fund-raising event.

The supermarket chain held its eighth annual Scoop Day, where shoppers enjoyed free ice cream and scratch lottery games aimed at helping to raise money to fight cancer. The store at 249-26 Northern Blvd. had a special guest for the day: a girl named Amy, who was undergoing treatment for leukemia at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan.

"We wanted to be part of it because there is great need to support the research," said Amy's mother, Su Hong, who requested that her family's last name not be printed.

Su Hong said she was asked by Sloan-Kettering, which has been treating her daughter since the fall, to attend the event because it would show Little Neck customers how the funding can really help patients. She said she was particularly appreciative of how her family was welcomed by store manager James Nemeth and his staff, who gave Amy a free lunch and fruit basket.

"People were very welcoming and Amy understood that they liked her. I think the total atmosphere was supportive," she said.

Nemeth said he was thrilled to have Amy and her mother visit his store. She was one of six children in the New York City area who visited Stop & Shop stores for the promotion, according to the owner.

"She was great and everybody loved her," Nemeth said. "It was great just to see the look on her face and how happy she was."

The event was coordinated with Edy's Grand Ice Cream company, which donated nearly 50,000 scoops of ice cream. Along with the tasty treat, customers were able to partake in Stop & Shop's "Tripple Winner" scratch card game that offered various prizes up to $10,000.

All proceeds from the game went to Sloan-Kettering and those earnings combined with a $25,000 donation from Edy's were expected to have raised nearly $100,000 nationwide for cancer research.

"I love doing it, and we love to help," Nemeth said.

For Su Hong, the promotion went beyond its financial aspects. The mother said she was impressed at how many Queens residents approached Amy and showed their care for her condition.

"This was not about raising money, it was about being supportive to the patients and the families," she said.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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