For the second year in a row, the Coney Island Parachute Jump has “gone gold” for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
The lighting – spearheaded by Councilmember Mark Treyger in conjunction with ride owner Zamperla and local organization Frankie’s Mission – rides on the heels of the Empire State Building’s second refusal to light gold for pediatric cancer awareness.
“It was a beautiful event,” 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 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 two 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.
“It’s unfortunate that the Empire State Building refused to go gold,” Treyger told this paper, “but having, in our opinion, one of the most iconic structures in Brooklyn and quite possibly all around the world, we are proud to light the Coney Island Parachute Jump gold.”
“It is so heartwarming to know that our community is a role model for the rest of the country in lighting gold,” 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. “The Parachute Jump is a testament to that.”
While families fighting childhood cancer agree that advocating for the cause is often bittersweet, Treyger said, there was plenty of love to go around at the lighting, which began promptly at 7:45 p.m., just off the Riegelmann Boardwalk at West 19th Street.
“I think there are multiple themes [to the event],” he said. “We want to say to the families going through the most challenging time of their lives, you are not alone; and, to policy makers and all of those people in possession of power, we need to provide the resources to help advance future research and to help eradicate this illness once and for all.”
According to Treyger, advocates can always count on Coney Island going gold.
“This will be a yearly thing,” the pol promised.