Making Strides for annual Breast Cancer Walk

Yves Nguyen, Contributing Writer

Thousands of participants, including St. John’s students and alumni, gathered at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, hosted by the American Cancer Society on Oct. 16.

“St. John’s is an important sponsor and supporter, every year,” Fran Holzman, Survivor Leader, said. “It’s important that your generation push so the next generation doesn’t have to face this, cancer has no age or gender boundary.”

St. John’s University had over 400 students registered to walk in the annual event.

St. John’s support for Making Strides in Queens has a large role in garnering community excitement and funding for the event.

“Getting people to come to these events can affect funding in Congress too,” Rosetta Garrett, ACS Cancer Action Network Lead, said. “We go to lobbying day every year to ask for more funding.”  

St. John’s supports Making Strides in more ways than walking and raising money. The University’s cheer team and pep band cheered on walkers at the start line. St. John’s also had sanctioned buses to take students to the walkathon.

“It’s good that they made it so easy to come,” freshman Emem Essien said.

Various organizations all over campus registered to walk, including Student Government Inc. and different fraternities and sororities.

“It’s important to get organizations involved because you can get more money donated than individuals,” Jennie-Lynn Martino, member of Gam Iota Sigma, said.

Ryan Sullivan, Chair of the Service Committee, said, “my aunt worked at St. John’s, and she died of breast cancer, so it’s important to me. And once we created a service committee in SGI, getting involved here was a great way to give back.”

Everyone at the walk had their own story, their own reason to walk. Some reasons people walked are that they know someone who has or had breast cancer and they want to help end breast cancer. Besides those reasons, St. John’s students walk because it supports the Vincentian message.

“Living in a metropolitan city, there are so many people here affected by this disease. The St. John’s community is so orientated in helping people, so it’s important that we show support for something that affects so many people,” Andrew Calvano, Interfraternity Council President, said.

Frank Obermeyer, Secretary of Student Government Inc. underlines why taking part in the walk represents what St. John’s stands for when he said, “it’s important that we as St. John’s do this because we are meant to serve, it’s apart of our mission; fighting for people worldwide. It could help hundreds of thousands of people.”