There have been a number of outstanding charitable efforts being made this summer for a number of exceptional causes. Two that stand out are the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge which has done a phenomenal job in raising funds for ALS (Lou Gehrig Disease) and Go Gold for Pediatric Cancer which to raise awareness requests that large lighted facilities like Time Square use gold lighting for a short period of time.
I took the ALS challenge like countless others in our community including State Senator Marty Golden (who challenged me, and who I serve as chief of staff), Congressmember Michael Grimm, Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, Councilmember Vincent Gentile and Conservative Party Leader Mike Long.
Looking at the Facebook videos, I would have to say everyone had a good time helping out a good cause. I must say Mike Long’s video, which was in slow motion with several of his 18 grandchildren dropping the bucket of water on him, is a must-see. The Ice Bucket Challenge has resulted in ALS raising something like better than 15 times the funds raised during an equivalent period last year. And the dollars are still pouring in, so to speak.
Going gold for pediatric cancer is simply an effort to bring about greater awareness of this devastating set of diseases afflicting children. Although not a new idea, the going gold project itself received a lot of attention when the misguided management of the Empire State Building refused to go gold for any part of September, which is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.
The Empire State Building has a policy that will allow it to go blue to welcome the Democratic National Committee, but not gold for an important cancer cause. I think the building’s management is a bunch of jerks.
This clearly annoyed advocates including Camille Loccisano of the Francesco Loccisano Foundation and others, including all the elected officials from our community, who began writing letters urging all sorts of structures to go gold, with success. To date, in addition to Times Square and the World Trade Center which will go gold on September 2, the Parachute Jump in Coney Island will also be bathing its structure in gold in early September.
Going gold is good. Sending a check to one of the many pediatric cancer care charities is an even better idea. Please help them, as well as the work of ALS and the many other charitable groups that really depend on the support of citizens to do their important work.
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I certainly do not wish to jinx anything, but as the summer comes to an official close I must say the weather has been great these past few months. I think we would all agree that, after the past winter, we were all owed something in the way of good weather. And although with such an early Labor Day, the summer does go on for a few more weeks, for those of us engaged in the business of politics, Labor Day marks the beginning of our busy season.
There are a number of primaries for members of the Democratic, Republican and Independence Parties in Southwest Brooklyn. Of course, there is the Democratic primary for governor and lieutenant governor with Governor Cuomo and his lieutenant governor choice each facing a primary from the more progressive wing of their Party as represented by Zephyr Teachout and her running mate Tim Wu. Unlike the general election, you cast individual votes for governor and lieutenant governor in the primary.
If you are Republican in much of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, you have an Assembly primary with perennial candidate Lucretia Regina-Potter vs. Stamatis Lilikakis who has been endorsed by the Conservative Party and State Senator Golden. Both have been campaigning heavily. In fact, at least twice, I have received a bookmark from Potter and numerous times a detailed piece of campaign literature from Lilikakis. There is also an Independence Party primary between Lilikakis and Alec Brook-Krasny, the incumbent.