Like a string of pink pearls, the American Cancer Society's Making Strides fundraising events from Queens to Queensbury dotted the map of New York state throughout October and, once again, NYSUT members and their extended families and friends raised more than $1 million in the 2014 walks to conquer breast cancer.
NYSUT reports the union raised $1,027,766.35, an amount that might rise as regional coordinators review totals with the ACS.
"I am energized and inspired by the continued dedication of NYSUT members and staff, whose combined efforts have resulted in an extraordinary eighth consecutive year of raising in excess of $1 million for Making Strides," said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee. "We are honored to stand together with all those who have been affected by this disease, and while we all look forward to the day where our efforts are no longer required, we renew our dedication to bringing that day ever closer."
NYSUT has been a flagship sponsor of the American Cancer Society event since 2002, and the efforts of the union and its members have generated support, energy, awareness, volunteers and more than $11.5 million during that time.
Last fall, the streets, boardwalks and parks in cities and towns across the state were flooded with walkers wearing pink shirts, feather boas, sneakers, bandanas, tiaras and all manner of accoutrements. Many who walk are cancer survivors themselves or have family members who have struggled with breast cancer.
"No one who witnessed, as I did, the high spirits of the hundreds of walkers who stopped by the Nassau booth on a chilly, windy October morning at Jones Beach could doubt that NYSUT members are genuinely committed to helping their communities," said Matt Jacobs, NYSUT regional staff director in Nassau County. Strides walkers from Nassau locals alone raised more than $120,000.
The money supports the ACS breast cancer campaign that focuses on research, information, services, free lodging, rides to treatment and access to mammograms. The first event was held in 1984 by one woman in Boston, drawing 200 people. Since then, 8 million walkers have raised more than $460 million.