September/October 2021 Issue
August 22, 2021

Pink cloud coming: Making Strides is back in person

Author: Liza Frenette
Source: NYSUT United
making strides

Soon, you will feel the ground vibrating from thousands of walkers who are Making Strides in the quest for a cure for cancer: the pink cloud is back after last year’s walks were silenced by the pandemic.

In 16 locations around the state, sneaker-clad walkers will be raising money throughout the month of October for research and support for cancer patients through the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks.

Additionally, ACS will host a live digital walk experience called “Making Strides on the Go” for anyone who is not comfortable being in person.

The app will feature a music play list and survivor stories.

NYSUT is a flagship sponsor of Making Strides, and even when the walks were cancelled last year, devoted NYSUT members held creative drive-by and virtual events to raise more than $273,000 for the cause, ACS reports.

In Making Strides of Westchester, for example, more than 2,500 participants drove through Manhattanville College, donned in pink and donating to ACS.

“Since 2002, when NYSUT became a flagship sponsor of the statewide Making Strides event, our members have raised more than $15 million for research and support,” said J. Philippe Abraham, NYSUT secretary-treasurer, whose office oversees the statewide union’s social justice initiatives. “That’s a fundraising record to be proud of and I’m honored to lead this important union effort.”

Visit the Team NYSUT page for more information about walks across the state and to join a team in your area.

  • Oct. 10: Jamestown Community College, JamestownConey Island Boardwalk, Brooklyn
  • Oct. 16: Outer Harbor, Buffalo
  • Oct. 17: Woodbury Common Outlets, Hudson Valley • Midland Beach, Staten Island • Frontier Field, Rochester • Flushing Meadows, Queens • Orchard Beach, Bronx • Washington Park, Albany • Manhattanville College, Purchase • Central Park, Manhattan • Jones Beach State Park, Nassau County
  • Oct. 24: Glens Falls City Park, Glens Falls • Recreation Park, Binghamton • Clinton Square, Syracuse
  • Oct. 30: Grangabel Park, Riverhead, Suffolk County

“We are so grateful for the ongoing support of NYSUT, especially during the pandemic,” said Donna Gulotta, vice president of regional communications and marketing for the ACS.

This year, Brooklyn and Jamestown walkers will be kicking off the fall event with an Oct. 10 walk; a host of regions from Albany to Queens have walks scheduled for Oct. 17; Binghamton, Syracuse and the Adirondacks will stage walks Oct. 24; and Eastern Long Island has a walk set up for Oct. 30.

“Out of caution, we are proceeding with a number of safety tweaks for each event, which may include scheduled waves of walkers and requirement of a vaccine before attending, etc.,” said Jeff Winters, ACS director of development. “We’re adhering to state and local guidelines for all our events.”

Money raised provides information to cancer patients, and 33,310 of them sought resources in 2020.

Through a new virtual program, 5,412 people were provided wigs.

Transportation to chemotherapy and lodging for patients and families are other support services provided by ACS, although Winters said many patients paused their treatment last year due to COVID-19 concerns.

One primary purpose of the Making Strides effort is to raise money for research, and recipients have included faculty at both the State University of New York and City University of New York. The current list of funded researchers is at $69 million in breast cancer specific research, Gulotta said.

ACS is also funding $48.5 million in health equity and research to develop better strategies to eradicate cancer disparities, she said.

Share your Strides stories

Team NYSUT is only successful because of you. We want to see your pictures and hear your stories about what motivates you to walk. Email