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Virus Can't Slow Strides

COVID-19 halts walks, but members still raise funds
New York Teacher
The staff at PS 54 on Staten Island show up for Breast Cancer Awareness Day.

The staff at PS 54 on Staten Island show up for Breast Cancer Awareness Day.

Staten Island’s IS 24 counted down to its fundraising deadline.

Staten Island’s IS 24 counted down to its fundraising deadline.

“Cancer does not stop because of COVID,” said Liz McCabe, a teacher at PS 37 on Staten Island. And COVID-19 has not stopped UFT members from fighting for breast cancer awareness.

For the past 10 years, a team from PS 37 has participated in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks sponsored by the American Cancer Society to raise funds for breast cancer research, advocacy and patient services.

This year’s fundraising walks were canceled due to the pandemic. Instead, the American Cancer Society organized a variety of smaller virtual events during October.

McCabe said it was harder this year to mobilize members on the issue, but “you fight every way you know how.” Before the coronavirus hit, the team organized a Krispy Kreme donut sale at school to raise funds to fight breast cancer; McCabe ended up hand-delivering the orders after the school building closed.

UFT members at P396, Brooklyn, are focused on fighting breast cancer.

UFT members at P396, Brooklyn, are focused on fighting breast cancer.

Servia Silva, the UFT’s Making Strides coordinator, said she’s “appreciative that UFT members are continuing to bring breast cancer awareness to students and families because it’s not easy.” Schools across the city, she said, have had to rethink how they do their fundraising this year because of the pandemic.

Lisa Pressman, a teacher at PS 54 on Staten Island who lost her mother to breast cancer, used the GooseChase app to organize a digital scavenger hunt to raise funds. Challenges included answering Staten Island trivia questions and having students snap photos of themselves wearing personal protective equipment.

Christopher Rogers, the chapter leader at IS 24 on Staten Island, said breast cancer has had a profound impact on his school — several staff members have beaten the disease. The school organized a clothing sale this fall with T-shirts and hoodies bearing the message: “In this school, no one fights alone.”

Staffers at PS 62 in the Bronx are equipped for the fight.

Staffers at PS 62 in the Bronx are equipped for the fight.

PS 54’s Lisa Pressman honors her mom, who died from the disease.

PS 54’s Lisa Pressman honors her mom, who died from the disease.

Kim Schuler, the chapter leader at P396 in Brooklyn, planned breast cancer awareness activities in classrooms, including reading books about the disease, making ribbon collages and creating a pink-themed snack cart for donations.

“The more people are aware of cancer, the more willing they are to go to the doctor and get checked out for early detection,” Schuler said, “so they can live long, fulfilling lives.”

Breast Cancer Awareness 2020

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A group photo of staff at a public school in Staten Island. Most are wearing breast cancer awareness masks.

Members at Staten Island's PS 54 pose for a group shot outside of the entrance — with most sporting a breast cancer awareness face mask.

Erica Berger
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A large number of staff members get together for a photo in the basketball gym.

UFT members at PS 295 in Queens make sure to distance themselves for a group photo.

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a woman holds up a sign honoring her late mother

PS 54’s Lisa Pressman honors her mom, who died from the disease.

Erica Berger
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A school social worker shows up for the fight against breast cancer with pink hair.

Ruben Zorrilla, a school social worker at PS/MS 206 in Manhattan, let his support for the cause go to his head.

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Four staffers pose showing off their pink shirts from PS 146M

Staff from PS 146 in Manhattan pose for a group shot to show off their pink attire.

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Members of PS 115M line down the hall for a socially distant photo.

At PS 115 in Manhattan, members don pink masks to raise awareness and show their support for a breast cancer cure.

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A garden in front of PS 54 in Staten Island supporting the fight against breast cancer.

PS 54 on Staten Island has set up a "Garden of Hope" for breast cancer awareness.

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Members gather around a computer camera for a selfie

Staff at MS 158 in Queens are masked up and wearing pink.

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A member at PS 54 in Staten Island raises her hands in celebration.

Kimberly Hamer, a 1st-grade teacher at PS 54 in Staten Island, strikes a pose.

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Randolph Hill, a paraprofessional at the school shows off his pink shirt in front of a UFT News bulletin board.

Paraprofessional Randolph Hill of PS 140 in the Bronx is committed to the fight against breast cancer.

Image
Group of members gathering and pointing to a sign for breast cancer awareness.

UFT members at P396, Brooklyn, are focused on fighting breast cancer.

Image
Two members holding signs and wearing pink

Staffers at PS 62 in the Bronx are equipped for the fight.

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Image
A group photo of staff at a public school in Staten Island. Most are wearing breast cancer awareness masks.

Members at Staten Island's PS 54 pose for a group shot outside of the entrance — with most sporting a breast cancer awareness face mask.

Erica Berger
Image
A large number of staff members get together for a photo in the basketball gym.

UFT members at PS 295 in Queens make sure to distance themselves for a group photo.

Image
a woman holds up a sign honoring her late mother

PS 54’s Lisa Pressman honors her mom, who died from the disease.

Erica Berger
Image
A school social worker shows up for the fight against breast cancer with pink hair.

Ruben Zorrilla, a school social worker at PS/MS 206 in Manhattan, let his support for the cause go to his head.

Image
Four staffers pose showing off their pink shirts from PS 146M

Staff from PS 146 in Manhattan pose for a group shot to show off their pink attire.

Image
Members of PS 115M line down the hall for a socially distant photo.

At PS 115 in Manhattan, members don pink masks to raise awareness and show their support for a breast cancer cure.

Image
A garden in front of PS 54 in Staten Island supporting the fight against breast cancer.

PS 54 on Staten Island has set up a "Garden of Hope" for breast cancer awareness.

Image
Members gather around a computer camera for a selfie

Staff at MS 158 in Queens are masked up and wearing pink.

Image
A member at PS 54 in Staten Island raises her hands in celebration.

Kimberly Hamer, a 1st-grade teacher at PS 54 in Staten Island, strikes a pose.

Image
Randolph Hill, a paraprofessional at the school shows off his pink shirt in front of a UFT News bulletin board.

Paraprofessional Randolph Hill of PS 140 in the Bronx is committed to the fight against breast cancer.

Image
Group of members gathering and pointing to a sign for breast cancer awareness.

UFT members at P396, Brooklyn, are focused on fighting breast cancer.

Image
Two members holding signs and wearing pink

Staffers at PS 62 in the Bronx are equipped for the fight.

Related Topics: Breast Cancer Awareness