A local Sunset Park business is being rewarded for its hard work raising awareness for breast cancer.
Screen printing and clothing store Cotton Hustle, 5012 Third Avenue, collaborated with its own motorcycle club this past October and held a fundraiser for the disease by donning pink shirts, riding around the neighborhood and throwing a party afterwards. The event was such a success that the American Cancer Society took notice and will reward the group for their efforts on Saturday, January 14.
“They wanted to recognize us for our efforts as a small business based out of Brooklyn,” said organizer Jose Rosario. “We went from Brooklyn, all through Queens into Manhattan and back to Brooklyn. We went around showing our pink shirts and spreading breast cancer awareness.”
The American Cancer Society plans to recognize the group with a photo op and presentation of certificates for the benefit, which raised $2,000.
“We were on the bikes with other females who are survivors as well,” Rosario said, adding that the cause was personal for him. “They were a part of the whole event. My mother was there who has been a fighter for 25 years. Some of the other neighborhood ladies were there. The day was basically to honor them.”
The group treated the women to breakfast and lunch from local Sunset eateries. “The day was successful,” he said. “It was a very family oriented Sunset Park event. We underestimated the amount of people that were going to come. We didn’t make enough shirts. Next year we have to triple them because it was such a big event.”
Participants donated by buying pink shirts from the store. “A friend of mine died of cancer and we started a foundation for her, the Erika Roman Foundation in the Bronx,” Rosario said. “They were trying to raise $25,000 and they missed the goal. We didn’t know what to do with the money. We heard they were short of the goal, so we threw the money to their end and they hit their goal.”
The initiative also got help from the neighborhood. “The police captain at the 72, Emmanuel Gonzalez caught wind of what we were doing,” he said. “He was amazing. He sat me in his office and asked what we needed from him to make the event a success. He provided units to block streets off to give us a lane of traffic.”
To boot, Girl Scouts from Coney Island attended the event and were cheering everyone on and handing out food.
Everyone involved is thrilled to be recognized, according to Rosario.
“It is great because we never expected that,” he said. “[The American Cancer Society] said what we did was amazing and it touched us. We did it just because we wanted to help, so for them to say ‘we want to recognize you’ makes it even better.”