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Thousands of UFT members join annual walk to support breast cancer research
Once again UFT members showed their true colors.
And they were all in the pink as they stepped out by the thousands to join thousands more New Yorkers in the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on Oct. 21 in parks in every borough and on Long Island.
UFT President Michael Mulgrew cut the ribbon in Central Park, freeing a wave of walkers — many with heavy hearts — lined up behind the UFT banner ready to make their way north beneath a canopy of autumnal yellows and oranges,many with heavy hearts.
A contingent from PS 150 in Sunnyside, identified by their “Team Mel” T-shirts, walked in Central Park on behalf of a school aide ghting cancer.
Woodside’s IS 125 staffers walked the boardwalk in Jones Beach in memory of colleague Lydia Krawec, who died in March at 53 after a long battle with breast cancer. “We miss her dearly,” said Michelle Hammer. “She was a wonderful teacher.”
Salk School of Science Chapter Leader Harriet Glassman, carrying small signs with the names of survivor friends, was accompanied on the Central Park walk by parents and students as well as by colleagues and retired teacher Alan Rosengarten who lost his wife to cancer.
Brooklyn’s PS 203 walked to celebrate “the ghting spirit of our principal,” and Loretta Coombs of Brooklyn’s PS 346 brought her young son along as a lesson in caring about others. “This is something we can do as a family,” she noted.
As Rachel Cotto-Berrios, the chapter leader at PS 182 in Manhattan, said, “This is a small thing we can do, with cancer so rampant among our families and friends.”
Patricia Williams, the rst borough chair of the Brooklyn Family Child Care Providers Chapter, pointed out providers everywhere, including Joan Jawahir, who, like the Pied Piper, was leading a long line of children on a eld trip lesson in responsibility and caring.
In Prospect Park, where UFT walkers were out in force, IS 98 Chapter Leader Vanecia Wilson reported that with 25 community members joining in the school’s team has raised $1,000 and counting.
Lynette Azar, the chapter leader at PS/IS 180 in Brooklyn, credits the “great passion, courage, love and smiles” of staff and parents for surpassing her team’s goal and raising $1,206.
IS 72 cheerleaders got the crowd in the mood on Staten Island and survivor Deirdre DeAngelis, the principal of New Dorp HS, led a contingent of staff and students.
The Bronx clocked in with 845 striders. Many UFT members again wore armbands in memory of Annette Carlucci, the former UFT Bronx representative
for high schools, who died in 2011 after a long battle with breast cancer. The PS 111 school community came out in large numbers in support of their principal, who is a survivor.
The UFT Long Island boardwalk striders reported a total of $11,894 raised so far.
Queens members were active for the cause, too. Among the many UFT teams participating in the walk in Flushing Meadow Park, PS 229 Team Lucie raised more than $1,000 and Project Boost from MS 216 brought in $1,800. The Pink Ladybugs from PS 9 joined two busloads of teachers, parents and students from IS 145.
While it will take time for the American Cancer Society to tally the total raised, UFTers, along with NYSUT locals across the state, led the nation in contributions last year — $1,022,015 — knocking out General Motors and Walmart.
The annual event supports the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer research, advocacy and patient services.
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