Going, going gold.
As part of a now-annual tradition, Coney Island Councilmember Mark Treyger once again partnered with local organization Frankie’s Mission, ride owner Zamperla and families across the borough to illuminate the shorefront neighborhood’s iconic Parachute Jump gold for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month on Friday, September 23.
“This is a small but important gesture by our community to show these families that they are not alone in their fight against childhood cancer,” said Treyger, who first pushed to light the Parachute Jump gold in September of 2014 as part of the Gold World Project, founded by New Hampshire resident Tony Stoddard, who lost his five-year-old son, Cole, to Neuroblastoma.
The inaugural lighting came on the heels of officials at the Empire State Building’s refusal to light the iconic fixture gold in honor of Stoddard’s cause.
The Gold World Project, though well-received by landmarks like the Prudential Center, the Peace Bridge and Niagara Falls, has been snubbed by the New York City skyline star three years in a row now, despite the 103-story skyscraper’s willingness to light for such events as the Subway Series, the U.S. Open and even other causes like breast cancer awareness.
“There is a tremendous need for urgency,” said Bay Ridge resident and founder of Frankie’s Mission Camille Loccisano, whose son Francesco succumbed to childhood cancer just two weeks after his 17th birthday. “Children with cancer are not living in health and happiness, and this is not something we can allow.
“We at Frankie’s Mission feel blessed to have our community so deeply involved in raising awareness and taking action for our cause,” she told this paper prior to the lighting.
“Thank you Luna Park for your assistance! Thank you to everyone who came out to support families and kids. Thank you to the moms and dads and families going through the struggle and being so strong for their children,” wrote Treyger on Facebook after the lighting. “Thank you to the kids who are fighting a fierce battle while inspiring all of us to mobilize and help all kids win. Thank you to our angels in heaven that are the driving force behind the search for a cure.
“Six and eight-year-old kids should be preparing for school this time of year and Disney during the summer…not MRIs and chemotherapy,” he continued. “We won’t stop until adequate resources and attention are paid toward research to help find a cure.”
Fellow dignitaries on hand for the lighting included Councilmember Vincent Gentile and Assemblymember Pamela Harris as well as John Quaglione, there to represent State Senator Marty Golden and Liam McCabe, present on behalf of Congressmember Dan Donovan.
The Coney Island lighting took place at 7 p.m. at the base of the Parachute Jump, located alongside the Riegelmann Boardwalk near West 19th Street.