ALBANY, N.Y. October 15, 2008 - Some 10,000 members of New York State United Teachers - walking with their local unions and with other community organizations - will participate in 14 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer fund-raising events over the next two weekends, with a goal of raising more than $1 million to support lifesaving breast cancer research, advocacy and patient service programs.
NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi said the 600,000-member union, as a flagship sponsor for the American Cancer Society's annual Making Strides event, hopes to top last year's record-setting participation level, in which NYSUT became the first organization to surpass $1 million in fund-raising in a single year.
"NYSUT will be out as an army in pink, marching step by step with others in our communities to help fight this terrible disease," Iannuzzi said.
While the vast majority of NYSUT members are women, "Breast cancer is a disease that touches every single one of us, affecting our wives, grandmothers, mothers, sisters and daughters," Iannuzzi said. "We are proud to do our part to help find a cure for breast cancer and to support those who are battling for their lives."
NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira added, "Our members are pleased to be involved and thrilled to donate their time - and fund-raising strength - to this important cause. Every step we take and every dollar we raise goes toward lessening the impact on our members, their students and families, and the cutting-edge research these walks support will help find cures for breast cancer and other deadly cancers."
About 10,000 NYSUT members will be participating in Strides walks on Saturday in Albany; Jamestown; Jones Beach, L.I.; Manhattanville College, Westchester; Bronx; Brooklyn; Manhattan; Queens; Staten Island; Utica; Orleans County and Woodbury Commons, Orange County. A Making Strides walk will also be held Oct. 26 in Queensbury, near Glens Falls. Events were held in early October in Binghamton, Buffalo, Syracuse, Watertown and other upstate communities.
Since 1993, nearly 4 million walkers have raised more than $280 million through Making Strides events to help fight breast cancer. In 2007, participants in the nationwide, non-competitive 5-K (3.1 mile) walks raised more than $50 million to support the American Cancer Society.
NYSUT, the state's largest union, represents some 600,000 classroom teachers and other school employees; faculty and other professionals at the state's community colleges, State University of New York and City University of New York, and other education and health professionals. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.