St. John’s University showed its dedication to promoting cancer awareness last Sunday by serving its eighth consecutive year as a flagship sponsor for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk.
More than 600 St. John’s members marched in the walk, leading vice-president of community relations, Joseph Sciame, to say, “There is probably a union or two that could have almost as many supporters, but I don’t think the number would be the same.”
The five-mile walk brought together more than 7,000 walkers and raked in $600,000 in donations. It has been seen as the American Cancer Society’s premiere event since 1993, helping fund more than $323 million for breast cancer research.
St. John’s, along with local organizations like the Queens County Savings Bank, Pathmark and Jet Blue Airways, pledged to raise money and awareness for the disease that kills thousands of women every year.
The American Cancer Society says that over 2,700 women in New York will die from breast cancer this year, and more than 300 of them will be from the Queens area alone. Of the 2,700 New York women who die from breast cancer, most of them will be African American, causing people like president of Sigma Gamma Rho Inc., Cheryl Robinson, to take a personal responsibility in making women aware of this deadly disease.
“Our duty in life is to educate African American women about the facts we know, so they can get the treatment they need beforehand,” Robinson said.
“A lot of African American women don’t get immediate treatment for breast cancer; they worry about it later on, and by that time, the cancer has spread and it’s too late to help them.”
Sigma Gamma Rho, Inc. held a bake sale for cancer awareness earlier on in the week. Robinson said the sale was, “very successful,” and they raised over $100.
They also passed out flyers with breast cancer facts, and will continue to strongly support breast cancer awareness.
“We’re trying to raise awareness for the cause,” Robinson said.
“Walking is about raising awareness, but also making sure to give funds so research can find prevention out there and help people.”
Giving funds to cancer research has been no problem for St. John’s, according to Sciame.”By being a flagship sponsor, we pledge to raise overall $7,500,” Sciame said.
“In the last few years we’ve been surpassing that. Last year we raised close to $30,000 in Queens and another $10,000 in Staten Island campus.”