Responding to calls from advocates from the childhood cancer community, local Councilmember Vincent Gentile is making his call to the Empire State Building to “go gold” official.
On the heels of the 103-story skyscraper’s recent refusal to light gold this September in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Gentile will introduce a New York City Council Resolution calling on Empire State Realty Trust, owners of the iconic building, to join the nationwide “Go Gold effort,” started by New Hampshire native Tony Stoddard and fought for diligently by Bay Ridge advocates who have also kicked off another effort, “Go Gold Bay Ridge.”
The worldwide initiative, The Gold World Project, was started by Stoddard after losing his five-year-old son Cole to Neuroblastoma, and has been well received by landmarks like The Prudential Center, The Peace Bridge, Niagara Falls and, most recently, Brooklyn’s Coney Island Parachute Jump and the New York City skyline’s Freedom Tower.
“Kids with cancer deserve awareness, they deserve funding, they deserve a cure and they deserve a simple day of gold,” said Gentile’s spokesperson Justin Brannan. “Why the Empire State Building refuses to channel the power of their iconic glow into awareness for pediatric cancer is just indefensible. Ours is a city built on determination and bringing people of all types together – and that’s what this is about, and that is why Councilman Gentile is fighting so hard for this cause.”
According to Bay Ridge resident Camille Loccisano, this resolution could not be more relevant.
“If my son Frankie were here, he would be pleased to have the unconditional support of our elected officials,” said Loccisano, founder of Frankie’s Mission and mother of Francesco Loccisano, who was diagnosed with childhood cancer at the age of 14, and died just two weeks after his 17th birthday. “I hope their bipartisan action motivates the Empire State Realty Trust to reflect seriously on their decision.”
Since 1976, the Empire State Building’s tower lights have maintained a tradition of changing color to recognize, celebrate and honor special occasions, events and organizations throughout the year. The international icon has since paid tribute in light to such events as the presidential election, the World Cup, the push to bring the Democratic National Convention to New York, and the opening of the latest installment of The Amazing Spider-Man in theaters.
“It is very unfortunate that such a powerful landmark with the ability to raise groundbreaking awareness for children facing cancer is in control of people who lack compassion,” said Loccisano.