It was a sea of pink in Coney Island.
For the second straight year in Coney, and the 16th in Brooklyn, the American Cancer Society (ACS) hosted the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, a centerpiece of its efforts during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Making Strides against Breast Cancer is a division of ACS that fundraises for breast cancer research, program and detection.
This year’s event, held on Sunday, October 21, drew nearly 35,000 people to show their support as well as raise money and awareness.
“We ended up increasing our numbers this year,” said Meagan Hallworth, the event manager. “Even with the strong wind, we were able to have Brooklyn out in full force. It was incredible to see. We hit $750,000, which is great.”
After the opening ceremony, the walk began at 10 a.m.
“What a wonderful day it is,” said Ann Marie Fraser. “The American Cancer Society is doing such a great job for all of us. I am a 10-year breast cancer survivor and I’m having such an awesome time with 30,000 people in Brooklyn. Go Brooklyn. I’m also supporting my foundation, the LA Fraser Foundation. We have been raising funds to help kids.”
Dabeyba Lobo, herself a cancer survivor, was walking on behalf of friends, family and herself.
“Today, I’m walking for the survivors and also my aunt,” she said. “She passed away two years ago so I walk for her and all my friends who are cancer survivors.”
ACS uses the funds raised from Making Strides Against Breast Cancer to invest in groundbreaking research; provide free, comprehensive information and support to those touched by breast cancer; and help people take steps to reduce their breast cancer risk or find it early when it’s most treatable.
According to Hallworth, the annual event means a lot to Brooklyn.
“We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without our community,” she said. “There is such a great energy here in Brooklyn.”
The impact of the walk goes beyond breast cancer, she added.
“If you have a breakthrough with breast cancer, you have a breakthrough with other cancers,” she said.
Additional reporting by Corazon Aguirre