January 15, 2008

NYSUT goes over $1 million mark

Source:  NYSUT Communications
Caption: Members in White Plains were among the many NYSUT volunteers who helped the union reach the million-dollar milestone.

It's a nice round number.

And then some.

This year, for the first time, NYSUT volunteers cracked the $1 million barrier in raising money for breast cancer awareness and research in Making Strides walks around the Empire State.

More than 10,000 NYSUT members walked across the state. Together, they raised $1,015,665 to fight cancer. NYSUT, a flagship sponsor, was the first organization to surmount the $1 million milestone.

Showing their support in pink scarves at the Albany walk are, left to right, NYSUT Vice Presidents Kathleen Donahue and Maria Neira.

"The generosity of our members is the strength of our effort," said NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira. "Our volunteers are leaders in their schools and their communities. Our work has set a new standard for our corporate partners to match."

One of those leaders was Lori Mollo, who helped coordinate the White Plains Teachers Association contingent. A veteran first-grade teachers, Mollo said, "I've seen the faces of children who have lost parents. You can't help but be moved." Mollo herself has weathered four biopsies.

There was plenty of involvement from the Yonkers Federation of Teachers. "When you have a teacher involved, you have a neighborhood involved," said Deborah Collier, a Yonkers teacher who is - like Mollo - a legislative ambassador for the American Cancer Society, lobbying in Washington, D.C.

Long Island retiree Sheila Goldberg took pride in local unions that walked with their districts' PTA and student groups. "Our members are not just concerned about their issues - they're concerned about the community as a whole," said Goldberg, who walked in the Jones Beach march. Goldberg herself is a two-time cancer survivor.