Our First Annual Gala “United for a Cure” Was a Great Success WITH THANKS TO ALL WHO HELPED
by Donna Cirincione
Breast Cancer Help held its first annual gala, “United for a Cure,” in September 1999 at Villa Lombardi’s Restaurant in Holbrook, NY. With about 500 guests, this major fund-raising event was a great success, and we raised more than $50,000. All the net proceeds will be used toward the purchase a state-of-the-art radiosurgery system for Stony Brook’s University Hospital and Medical Center.
The gala included dinner and dancing to the music of golden oldies from the fifties. One of the highlights of the evening was a dance contest with the winners receiving two airline tickets donated by Southwest Airlines and an Avis car rental.
At the gala, many people were honored for their strong support of our cause or for their outstanding service to our group. They included sponsors of the gala, elected officials, media professionals, and our volunteers.
The success of our gala fund-raiser was due to the growing support that Breast Cancer Help has gained for its work in the fight against breast cancer, and so . . .
We extend special thanks to the gala’s main sponsor, KeySpan Foundation, for funding it.
We thank the following other sponsors who helped make it a success: KeySpan Energy (Robert Catell), Grand Union (Mark O’Brien), Christian Dior (Jim Anderson), Estee Lauder (Laurie Ferrante), Shear Instincts (Kerry DiSalvatore and Kathy Mundy), Domani Hair Salon (Steven Gorman, Peter Pettersen, and Danielle Basile), Only You Personalized Gifts (Melinda Pace Cantor), and Long Island Railroad (Brian Dolan), Pudgie’s Famous Chicken (Jeff Burnstein).
We thank the following elected officials for their support of our cause: NYS Senator Owen Johnson, Suffolk County Executive Robert Gaffney, NYS Senator Caesar Trunzo, Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Felix Grucci, NYS Assemblyman Steven Englebright, Honorable Pam Greene, and Suffolk County Legislator David Bishop.
We thank the following media for their coverage of the breast cancer issue: N.J. Burkett from Eyewitness News who had received a Folio Award for his coverage on breast cancer mapping in 1992; David J. Willmott, Sr., editor and publisher of Suffolk Life, which had received a Folio Award for printing the breast cancer survey on their front page in 1992; Newsday for its continuous coverage of the environment and its relation to cancer; Jeanne Fontana of Topline Advertising and Promote LONG ISLAND for breast cancer coverage; News 12 for its coverage of breast cancer mapping and News 12’s Shari Einhorn for her coverage during breast cancer awareness month; Lynn Zawacki of Cablevision for public service announcements; B-103 Radio (WBZO/103.1FM) for its coverage since 1993; and Joan Swirsky, author and New York Times writer, for her articles on environmental issues and breast cancer mapping.
Thanks to the following Breast Cancer Help volunteers and supporters: John Pace, Esq., Secretary of Breast Cancer Help, who does legal work pro bono and is the legal counselor for the group; Alex Fezza, board member of Breast Cancer Help, who was instrumental in getting legislation passed for bone marrow patients who weren’t covered by their insurance; Marian McGrory, advisory board member of Breast Cancer Help, and her daughter, the late Maureen DiPalma , who were instrumental in securing Grand Union’s sponsorship and helped with the Life Teen Walk-A-Thon; Harry Ballard of Earthrite Textile who helps with our clothing drives; Roger Grimson, PhD, University at Stony Brook, who oversaw the breast cancer mapping project; John Zaher for publicity; Joe Romeo for fund-raising; Phyllis Senner for fund-raising; and Father Rich Kammerer for his help with the Life Teen Walk-A-Thon.
The evening ran smoothly thanks to our emcee, Flo Federman of B-103.
Thanks to The Dedications, Champagne, and The Traditions for providing the golden music for the evening.
Thanks to Donna Pace who made the signs for our gala and helped with the check-in of the guests.
Thanks to our Roger Ryan, who chaired the gala committee.
We sincerely appreciate everyone who gave their support and helped make our fund-raiser such a success.
Grand Union Launches Major Fund-Raisers For Breast Cancer Help
by Antoinette Castiglie-Falciano
When Grand Union employee Maureen DiPalma was diagnosed with breast cancer, it marked the beginning of the supermarket’s association with Breast Cancer Help, in their joint commitment to fight this disease. Maureen had been employed as a front-end manager for Grand Union, and her store manager, Mark O’Brien, who was upset by the news of her diagnosis, decided to do something to help fight breast cancer.
O’Brien enlisted the support of his management and, together, they initiated a fund-raising campaign throughout all the Grand Union stores.
This campaign ran for a ten-week period beginning on April 12, 1999. During that time Breast Cancer Help globe cards were available in all the Grand Union stores for a $1 donation. With each dollar given, a card was placed in the store window. Before long, the windows were covered with the Breast Cancer Help logos, and the donations started to add up.
A check for nearly $25,000 was formally presented to Breast Cancer Help by Grand Union executives at our fund-raising gala held last September.
Prompted by the success of this campaign and also as a further show of support for Maureen, Grand Union made another donation to Breast Cancer Help. Last November, the Grocery Manufacturers Representatives of the Tri-State area held a trade dinner and Monte Carlo Nite at Leonard of Great Neck, in Great Neck, NY.
Grand Union Regional Vice President Ken Thompson was honored at the event, and as each year’s honoree is given the opportunity to specify who will receive the donation of the evening’s proceeds, he designated that the proceeds of that evening, which totaled $25,000, be given to Breast Cancer Help.
Grand Union continues its support of Breast Cancer Help, and is now planning another store-wide campaign for this year. The net proceeds of all funds donated to us will be used toward the purchase of a state-of-the-art Novalis radiosurgery system for the radiation oncology department of Stony Brook’s University Hospital and Medical Center.
Lindenhurst Teenagers Raise Money for Breast Cancer Help
by Donna Cirincione
Life Teen is a group of teenagers affiliated with Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church located in Lindenhurst, NY. They wanted to dedicate themselves to a cause that would involve the community, so they decided to sponsor a Walk-A-Thon to fight breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Help was the organization they chose to support. Under the direction of Father Rich Kammerer, they organized and participated in the walk which took place on September 18, 1999. It was a three-mile walk that began at Fireman’s Memorial Park in Lindenhurst and continued along Wellwood Avenue and back.
Ten thousand dollars was raised and divided between Life Teen and Breast Cancer Help. Our share of the proceeds will be used toward the purchase of the Novalis radiosurgery system.
Father Kammerer committed to having another walk this year for Breast Cancer Help, which was held on Saturday, October 7, 2000. The route was the same as the previous year’s.
Life Teen should be applauded for taking on such a positive role in their community.
Breast Cancer Help Participates In Environmental Conference
In April, for the second year in a row, Breast Cancer Help participated in an environmental conference presented by Promote LONG ISLAND, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fostering public awareness and appreciation for Long Island. The conference took place at Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson, NY, and was moderated by Jeanne Fontana, CEO of Topline Advertising and Chair of Promote LONG ISLAND.
Six speakers were featured, each outlining a specific area of environmental interest. The six included Lorraine Pace, Co-President of Breast Cancer Help, who presented a Prime Time Live video that outlined the beginnings of the breast cancer awareness movement on Long Island. It discussed Lorraine’s role in starting mapping initiatives in an effort to discover environmental links to breast cancer on Long Island.
Martha Rogers of the National Cancer Institute’s Geographic Information System (GIS) Oversight Committee spoke about the latest techniques in GIS mapping which make it possible to overlay maps with different variables creating an effective tool for cancer researchers.
John Ames from Congressman Michael Forbes’ office discussed the Congressman’s introduction of legislation to prohibit the use of MTBE, a gasoline additive that penetrates and pollutes ground water.
Carrie Meek Gallagher, representing a not-for-profit organization called Sustainable Long Island, spoke about her group’s efforts to promote smart growth; that is, economic growth that preserves the environment and protects resources for current and future use.
David Manning of KeySpan Energy discussed his company’s efforts to factor for the environment in the operation of its power plants, and to promote the use of natural gas as a clean energy alternative.
Finally, Denis McElligott of the New York Attorney General’s office (Suffolk County region) outlined the various jurisdictions among federal, state, and local government for lodging different types of environmental complaints.
At the completion of the presentations, questions were taken from the audience. Very serious concerns were voiced by Long Island resident Bob Smith of Flanders, NY, whose property had recently been contaminated by an MTBE gasoline leak. His story underscored the need for greater public awareness.
As the conference made clear, preserving the environment constitutes a profound quality of life issue that affects us all; and its preservation requires the combined efforts of community, business, and government to ensure its health now and for future generations.