In an ongoing effort to raise awareness for childhood cancer, Bay Ridge pols joined the Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) and a number of local families with personal ties to pediatric cancer on Thursday, September 17 to light Times Square gold.
The second annual event was held, once again, in support of The Gold World Project – an initiative spearheaded by New Hampshire native Tony Stoddard that, since its inception, has seen the lighting of landmarks across the country – and culminated with more than a dozen of the New York City strip’s digital screens simultaneously illuminating, each of them displaying messages about the #GoGold movement.
“As a mother of a two year old daughter that lost her life to brain cancer, this is a very meaningful evening to me and many other parents who share my grief,” said local parent Enza Boccuzzi, president and co-founder of The Oliva Boccuzzi Foundation — an organization formed by Enza and her husband, Frank, shortly after the death of their daughter, Olivia.
Since its inception in 2012, The Olivia Boccuzzi Foundation has helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for childhood cancer research.
“The awareness this will bring cannot be measured,” said Boccuzzi, who was joined at the lighting by fellow Bay Ridge parent Nicole Kabel, mom to year year old “Sweet Sally Sunshine” – who underwent leukemia treatments at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), as well as pediatric cancer survivor Jalissa Carson, Frankie’s Mission Founder Camille Loccisano, and a bevy of local politicians
“Changing ‘The Great White Way’ into a shade of gold is a way for brave families and dedicated advocates to bring awareness to childhood cancer,” said Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis. “It is my hope that this movement will bring further awareness to this horrible disease, the struggles these young children and their families face, and help raise the resources necessary to discover a cure, once and for all.”
“This evening historic Times Square, the crossroads of the world, ‘Goes Gold’ to bring awareness to pediatric cancer,” said State Senator Marty Golden. “It is important that we continue to remind people throughout the world that each day too many children and their families are fighting this devastating disease.
“I’ve heard so many inspiring stories of strength, courage and compassion exhibited by these heroic children,” Golden went on. “Therefore, we must continue to fight for funding so that a cure can be found and every one of these children has a chance for a happy, healthy and long life.”
“Educating the community on childhood cancer is an important step to finding cures for cancers that are affecting our children,” added Councilmember Vincent Gentile addressing a sea of supporters, many of them draped in gold swag courtesy of Party City.
Reps from the company were on hand not only to drape passersby in golden beads and boas, but also to present a $401,000 donation to the Department of Pediatrics at MSKCC, graciously accepted by Dr. Paul Meyers, vice chair of the department.
“We were absolutely thrilled to be in Times Square bringing awareness to pediatric cancers,” said Meyers, thanking both TSAC and Party City for their efforts. “[Party City’s] continued support is helping our research and patient care objectives and their support is critical to advance our research objectives.”
Participating Times Square signs and advertisers included Clear Channel Spectacolor, ABC, Branded Cities, Thomson Reuters, NASDAQ and Bank of America.