City Councilman Vincent Gentile, State Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny, State Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, State Senator Marty Golden and U.S. Congressman Michael Grimm stand with children in the fight against pediatric cancer as Times Square lights up gold for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The children are 11-year-old cancer survivor Ashley Burnette and eight-year-old Thomas Kabel, whose two-year-old sister is battling leukemia.
Photo Credit: Nathan Congleton
New York, NY September 2, 2014 Congressman Michael Grimm and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis were on hand last night as the Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) unveiled more than a dozen of the iconic digital screens in Times Square simultaneously illuminated in gold with a message about pediatric cancer. The two officials have been working with their Bay Ridge colleagues and local families in an effort to get various landmarks to light up gold for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
TSAC is a trade association comprised of major advertisers, retailers, real estate firms, media companies and other businesses involved in the outdoor sign industry in Times Square. They have joined One World Trade Center, the Helmsley Building, Penn Station, and the Coney Island Parachute in Going Gold following the Empire State Buildings refusal to do so.
Supporters that attended last night in addition to Grimm and Malliotakis include Martin Golden, New York State Senator; Alec Brook-Krasny, New York State Assembly Member; Vincent Gentile, New York City Councilman, Camille Orrichio Loccisano, Founder of the Francesco Loccisano Memorial Foundation, Inc.; Matthew Kabel, Father of daughter being treated for leukemia and pediatric cancer advocate; Tony Stoddard, Founder of the Gold World Project and Ashley Burnette, Pediatric Cancer survivor and Hyundai Hope on Wheels National Youth Ambassador.
Michael Grimm, United States Congressman said, "It's incredibly uplifting to see such an iconic landmark like Times Square going gold in support of childhood cancer awareness. Lending this kind of attention to such an important cause brings us one step closer to finding a cure for the millions of innocent lives and their families touched by childhood cancer."
Malliotakis, New York State Assembly Member said, Changing 'The Great White Way' into a shade of gold is a remarkable achievement and sight, and I couldn't be happier for the brave families who've worked so hard at spearheading this effort from the ground up. It is my hope that this movement will not only bring awareness to this horrible disease and the struggles these young children and their families face, but that it will help raise the resources necessary to discover a cure, once and for all.
Matthew Kabel, parent of Sally Kabel battling Infant Leukemia, Childhood Cancer Advocate said, For the seven kids that die every day from both childhood cancer and the outdated treatments used to treat it, I want to thank Times Square for standing with parents like us who are fighting for better treatments for all the children out there battling this terrible disease. When the Empire State Building said no to kids like our daughter Sally, Times Square said yes, and showed that the Crossroads of the World has the backs of all kids like her battling for their lives against cancer.
11-year-old cancer survivor Ashley Burnette, Hyundai Hope On Wheels National Youth Ambassador said, Fighting cancer was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Today, I am proud to say I am cancer-free. However, I always think about all the other kids who are still fighting cancer every day. As a Hyundai Hope On Wheels National Youth Ambassador, my goal is to encourage kids and families battling cancer all across the country to never give up hope and to help raise awareness that childhood cancer research must continue in order to find a cure. Through research, we are finding more cures every day and more children are able to beat this disease.
Many of the families here today have shared their heartbreaking stories of the devastating effects of pediatric cancer, said Harry Coghlan, Chairman of the Times Square Advertising Coalition. Several parents told me they wished they had known more about the pediatric cancer community when their child got sick. By turning the iconic signs gold in the worlds most photographed location, we hope to raise awareness not only in America but around the globe.
On behalf of TSAC, I am delighted our organization has donated time on our vibrant, digital signs to support pediatric cancer awareness, said Fred Rosenberg, President of the Times Square Advertising Coalition. The signs in Times Square are the most attractive advertising space in the world. There is no better place to announce pediatric cancer awareness month.
Participating Times Square signs and advertisers included Clear Channel Spectacolor, Sherwood Equities, Jamestown LP, ABC, Branded Cities, Thomson Reuters, NASDAQ, Bank of America, TDK Corporation, Hyundai and Toshiba. Clear Channel also lit their digital display in Penn Plaza gold for tonights initiative.