Editor's Note: This post was written and submitted by Chris Boyle.
With October ushering in breast cancer awareness month, one local Merrick business is determined to make a difference in the lives of the thousands of Long Island women who are at the potential risk of developing the frightening disease.
They did that by turning Bellmore and Merrick pink.
“The Pinkout Initiative has been brainstormed by Dakota Design Center
as a community initiative to raise awareness about breast cancer prevention and support,” said event coordinator Randi Satnick. “As most Long Islanders know, we have an extraordinarily high rate of breast cancer here in Merrick and Bellmore...among the highest in New York State. We need to do something to help bring that down.”
Satnick outlined the details Dakota Design’s ambitious event, crediting Sen. Charles J. Fuschillo, R-Merrick, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, and Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano for their assistance in making it happen.
“Especially with the help and support of Senator Fuschillo, whom we can’t thank enough, we have been granted permission to adorn three mains streets in Merrick and Bellmore - Merrick Road, Merrick Avenue, and Bedford Avenue - with pink ribbons,” she said. “Over 450 pink ribbons will be placed on street lamps and trees by volunteers.”
Satnick said that the National Breast Cancer Coalition has set a 2020 goal date to end breast cancer; bearing that in mind, Dakota Design Center is doing their part to pitch in and help them meet that goal.
“We have hosted fundraisers here at Dakota Design Center annually to benefit many charities," she said. "This year, we decided to do something different, on a grander scale. It’s our hope that the ribbons will stay up throughout October, which is breast cancer awareness month.”
To kick off the Pinkout Initiative, Dakota Design Center and Senator Fuschillo held a pink ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 21, followed by a complimentary fashion show held by Runway Couture
and Salon Nouveau
Fuschillo said that he was more than happy to pitch in for a good cause once Satnick approached him for his help with the Pinkout.
"The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 250,000 women nationwide will be afflicted with breast cancer in 2012,” he said. “So I wanted to support Randi’s efforts and just increase the awareness.”
Several breast cancer support groups also attended the ribbon-cutting at Dakota Design, including One In Nine, the Adelphi New York State Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program, FACT Foundation and the Carol Baldwin Research Fund.
While Dakota Design Center had always been involved in local charitable causes, Satnick said that a personal issue on her part helped shape their current focus.
“Over four years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer," she said. "Today I’m doing fine. I am a survivor, and I take each day as it comes. My diagnosis spurred awareness about so many of our clients who also have had breast cancer, who came forward and offered their support, and our experiences together prompted us to go ahead and do something to help others.”
Satnick encouraged everyone - residents, merchants, and their friends and families - to get involved in spreading the message of the Pinkout Initiative during breast cancer awareness month in any way they can.
“The whole idea is to turn Bellmore and Merrick as pink as possible to show unity and support in trying to bring down these very high rates of breast cancer in our area,” she said. “What we’re hoping it will become is a visual spectacle on an annual basis as thing catches on.”How will participate in turning Bellmore-Merrick pink? Tell us in the comments below?
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