Two notable community resources in Co-op City helped to raise both money and awareness about the scourge of breast cancer by participating in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at Orchard Beach.
The walk, which took place on Sunday, October 19 brought students from M.S. 181 Pablo Casals Middle School together what was a dramatic gesture about promoting awareness and finding a cure.
The M.S. 181 students had raised over $2,000 for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer that will go to research in fighting the dreaded form of cancer, which assistant principal Nelson Medina said has touched the lives of many of the schoolchildren’s family friends and loved ones.
“The kids sold baked goods and boxes of awareness pins for about two weeks, and we raised over $2,000 before participating in the walk this Sunday,” Medina said. “The principal feels that the kids need to know about breast cancer because it affects the home life of the children.”
Pablo Casal’s principal Christopher Warnock was the catalyst behind the effort, in which many area bakeries participated, donating their wares that were sold to raise money for the cause. Among the participating Bronx bakeries, according to Medina, were Conti’s Bakery at 786 Morris Park Avenue, Palombo Bakery at 789 Allerton Avenue, Artuso’s Pastry Shop at 670 E.187 Street, Sal and Dom’s Pastry Shop at 1108 Allerton Avenue, De Lillo’s Pastry Shop at 606 E. 187 Street, Egidio’s Pastry Shop at 622 E. 187 Street, and Enrico’s at 1080 Morris Park Avenue.
In addition, McDonalds at 2010 Bartow Avenue donated breakfast to the more than 80 participants from M.S. 181, feeding the children before the walk.
Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, who sponsors a team at the event, said he was delighted to see how it had grown since it first began five years ago.
“It was very encouraging to see how it has grown,” Benedetto said. “I yelled out and did a shout out to the students at M.S. 181 because it is important and encouraging to see kids take an active part in and realize they are part of the larger community.”
Benedetto said that it is especially important to realize the contributions of the young people to the effort of raising money for not just research but also to encourage women to get mammographies sooner, as early detection often increases the chances of survival. He said that young people sometimes get a bad rap, and should be encouraged to get involved civically.
“Often times, it is unfortunate that youth get put down,” Benedetto said. “When young people do something positive like participating in this walk, they should be recognized.”