EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – Forget the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Village officials in Tuckahoe have a new challenge for municipalities around Westchester County: support Childhood Cancer Awareness Month by basking your towns in a golden hue.
For the month of September, Village Hall will be drenched in gold – the color recognized internationally to support awareness of childhood cancer -- lighting each night, because “gold is a precious metal and our children are precious.”
The initiative was spearheaded by Trustee Greg Luisi, whose son, Paul, is a survivor of pediatric cancer himself. He hopes other towns, cities and villages in the area will follow suit and promote awareness.
“It’s a simple gesture to acknowledge the children that are afflicted with cancer, which is, of course, near to my heart,” he said. “We saw the ripple effect of the ALS challenge, and we’re starting to see this movement spreading across the country."
Luisi thought of the idea to light Village Hall when one of the nurses who treated his son told him that Empire State Building officials refused to light that tower gold, although the iconic building has been lit green for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, yellow for Snapple and pink and white for Mariah Carey.
Other New York City buildings, including Broadway theatres and the Freedom Tower have gone gold for the cause already this month.
“The original group that (began the push to get the building lit gold) only wanted it for a night, so kids at the hospital could see it and be uplifted,” he said. “What infuriated me was their reasoning: That there are so many other causes out there that would be banging down their door."
While Village Hall will be bathed in gold for the entire month, Luisi is calling on his neighbors throughout Westchester to do the same, even if it’s only for one night, to raise support and awareness for the cause.
“Hopefully some other municipalities in Westchester will see what we’re doing and decide to follow suit,” he said. “We’re not asking for money, and we’re not asking you to stand in the crosshairs of an Ice Bucket Challenge; just put up a yellow light. That’s it.”
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