Coney Island

Coney Island Parachute Jump ‘goes gold’ for Childhood Cancer Awareness Friday

September 4, 2014 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Coney Island Parachute Jump will light up gold Friday evening as part of a global initiative to raise awareness for childhood cancer.
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The Coney Island community is invited to join Councilmember Mark Treyger; Zamperla, owner of the Coney Island Parachute Jump; parents and advocates on Friday evening as the Parachute Jump lights up gold to raise awareness for childhood cancer as part of a global initiative called The Gold World Project.

The event will take place at 7 p.m. at the base of the parachute jump adjacent to the boardwalk at W. 16th Street and will culminate in a countdown, leading to the lighting of this iconic local landmark. Residents are urged to attend this event to show support for children and families across southern Brooklyn and New York City who are battling childhood cancer.

“This is a great chance for southern Brooklyn to come out to the boardwalk and show our support for our neighbors who are fighting childhood cancer and raise awareness of the need for increased funding,” said Councilmember Treyger. “The work these parents and advocates are doing is absolutely inspiring, so this is the least we can do to let them know they are not alone in this effort.”

Councilmember Treyger contacted officials at Zamperla after learning that the Empire State Building had denied a request to light up gold as part of The Gold World Project. New Hampshire father Tony Stoddard had made the request in memory of his five-year-old son, Cole, who passed away after a battle with Neuroblastoma.

In response, Zamperla quickly agreed to light its Parachute Jump gold for one full week starting Friday, to ensure that Brooklyn and the famous Coney Island skyline is part of this great cause.

“While it was disappointing that the Empire State Building is not participating in The Gold World Project, I am thrilled that Coney Island and its world famous Parachute Jump will be lighting up the shoreline on behalf of families around New York City and the world,” Treyger said. “I urge the entire community to come out to the boardwalk to take part in this great cause.”

Stoddard was grateful and ecstatic for the tribute to his son, and to all who fight the cancer menace.

“Shortly before my son Cole passed away from cancer, he told me he was not going to grow up to be or do anything. I promised my son he would do ‘something big’ someday,” said Mr. Stoddard. “’Something big’ is happening; we are turning the world gold in recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.”

Officials and advocates have joined in praising the measures to spread cancer awareness.

“Through lighting this Coney Island landmark in gold, the official color of the month, we feel confident that we can aid in bringing awareness to this noteworthy cause,” said Valerio Ferrari, president of Central Amusement International, which operates Coney Island’s Luna Park.

“As the mother of a beloved son who lost his life to this illness, I am infinitely grateful,” said Camille Orrichio Loccisano, founder of the Francesco Loccisano Memorial Foundation/Frankie’s Mission, a non-profit organization based in Bay Ridge that helps children with cancer and their families. Orrichio Loccisano’s son, Francesco, passed away from childhood cancer just two weeks after his 17th birthday.  

“We are beyond excited to see one of our borough’s most iconic structures light gold for the 40,000 kids currently battling cancer,” said Brooklyn father Matt Kabel, the parent of a sixth-generation Brooklynite battling infant Leukemia. “When the Empire State Building said no to them, Brooklyn immediately stepped forward and said yes, showing that they have the backs of children fighting for their lives.”

Friday’s event will include local advocates, including of the Francesco Loccisano Memorial Foundation/Frankie’s Mission, which is a Brooklyn-based organization that advocates for greater funding and provides support to families nationwide; along with other parents; children; elected officials and residents from across the area.


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