Soon enough people in pink — pink sneakers, pink shirts, pink feathered boas, pink hats, pink hair and, yes, pink neckties — will tread sidewalks, parks, campuses and beach boardwalks across New York State.
Come October, it's time for the return of the annual American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks, where pink symbolizes hope and solidarity in the quest to save lives from the damages of breast cancer.
This year, we have breaking news on the pink front: Anyone who registers and raises $25 or more online by Sept. 9 can receive a Hope Hero pink supercape. Visit www.acs.org for more information.
NYSUT members are steadfast supporters of the ACS' Strides walks. This fall, the statewide union celebrates 15 years of being a flagship sponsor. Countless teams raise money by signing up for the walks through a NYSUT link and gathering pledges from family, friends and co-workers to support their treks.
NYSUT First Vice President J. Philippe Abraham, who oversees social justice issues, is walking in the Oct. 29 Strides event in Glens Falls.
"The other NYSUT officers and I look forward to joining our courageous #NYSUTWarriors at Making Strides walks across New York this year as we work to find a cure for this terrible disease," he said.
"Strides walks are an important part of the NYSUT social justice agenda. NYSUT walkers and other activists raise money to educate and enable people in at-risk communities to get breast cancer screenings, and to promote healthy lifestyles to reduce the risk of contracting cancer. The money raised also enables the ACS to provide lodging, rides to and from treatment and one-on-one support services to thousands of breast cancer patients in New York and across America."
While the disease predominantly targets women, men are also affected. Last year was the first time the new ACS Real Men Wear Pink campaign came to New York. It is a separate fundraiser from Making Strides, although the money is slated for the same causes. Their signature is wearing pink neckties.
Chris Colabello, a NYSUT regional staff director for Central New York, is gearing up for his second pink campaign.
"I'll be wearing pink throughout October. I'm really proud of the efforts of our NYSUT members in CNY, who are supporting Real Men Wear Pink while still continuing their annual tradition of raising thousands of dollars for Strides. Our members need to know they are making an impact," he said.
Since 2002, NYSUT has raised more than $13 million to support the fight against this disease, which is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women. Last year, NYSUT teams at 18 locations across the state helped raise nearly $1 million.
To find a Making Strides walk in your area, including event dates, start times, and the local NYSUT team, visit MakingStridesWalk.org/NYSUT or NYSUT.org/makingstrides.
Making Strides walks in New York State
Buffalo, Canalside, 8:30 a.m.
Watertown, Alex Duffy Fairgrounds, 10 a.m.
Albany, Washington Park Parade Grounds, noon
Binghamton, Recreation Park, 11:30 a.m.
Bronx, Orchard Beach, 10 a.m.
Central Valley, Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, 7:30 a.m.
Brooklyn, Coney Island Beach and Boardwalk, 9 a.m.
Wantagh, Jones Beach State Park Field 5, 8 a.m.
Manhattan, Central Park 72nd Street Bandshell, 9 a.m.
Utica, Masonic Campus, 10 a.m.
Syracuse, SRC Arena at Onondaga Community College, 9 a.m.
Corona, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, 10 a.m.
Staten Island, Midland Beach, 10 a.m.
Rochester, Frontier Field, 7:30 a.m.
Purchase, Manhattanville College, 10:30 a.m.
Jamestown, Jamestown Community College, 9 a.m.
Riverhead, Suffolk County Community College Eastern Campus, 8:30 a.m.
Glens Falls, Civic Center, 11 a.m.