Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge goes gold for kids with cancer

Lights, ribbons, tree coverings spread message of hope

September 8, 2014 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
They did it! Members of Bay Ridge Cares and volunteers pose next to the finished product. They decorated a tree on Fifth Avenue in gold yarn for the “Go Gold Bay Ridge” campaign.
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More than a dozen volunteers decorated a tree outside Councilmember Vincent Gentile’s Fifth Avenue office with yards and yards of gold yarn in an effort to draw attention to the plight of children with cancer.

It was all part of an effort by spearheaded by Bay Ridge Cares, a non-profit organization founded by lifelong Bay Ridge resident Justin Brannan that offers assistance to Sandy victims, families of sick children and others in need.

Bay Ridge Cares members spent the day on Sunday handing out fliers and gold ribbons all over the neighborhood to urge residents to put up the fliers, wear the ribbons and decorate their homes and businesses in gold for the “Go Gold Bay Ridge” campaign.

Teri Brennan, a member of the Board of Directors of Bay Ridge Cares, organized the “Go Gold Bay Ridge” effort.

Parents brought their kids, scout leaders brought their scout troops, and everybody pitched in to get as many fliers and ribbons out there as possible. Volunteers stood outside churches and visited Owl’s Head and Shore Road parks all an effort to spread the word.

“We’re asking people if they could put up the posters. It lets everyone know what this whole thing is about,” Chandra Hira, a member of Bay Ridge Cares, told the Brooklyn Eagle.

Here are some of the ways residents are being asked to support the Go Gold effort: shining yellow light bulbs on their front porches and in their front windows; placing strings of yellow lights around their windows; tying gold bows around trees; and wearing gold ribbons.

“Cancer has affected nearly a dozen of our own neighborhood kids. Let’s show them that we care by lighting up the neighborhood!” a statement on the Bay Ridge Cares Facebook page reads.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and the Go Gold Bay Ridge campaign is part of a larger, worldwide Go Gold for Cancer phenomenon in which cancer advocates are marking the month by urging the owners of famous buildings to display gold lights in tribute to the courage of children with cancer. The Go Gold campaign is also designed to highlight the need for more funding into research for a cure, according to advocates.

One World Trade Center went gold, so did the Parachute Jump at Coney Island. And Times Square joined the movement in spectacular fashion last week, as the dazzling digital signs at the Crossroads of the World went gold for one night.

On Sunday, the tree in front of Gentile’s office at 8018 Fifth Avenue was fitted with a new coating, thanks to Bay Ridge Cares and customers of the BookMark Shoppe at 8415 Third Ave., where a knitting club regularly meets.

Book Mark Shoppe owner Christine Freglette got the knitting group to come to Fifth Avenue to redecorate the tree and bring attention to the cancer cause. It appeared to have worked. Several passersby asked what the folks on ladders were doing putting yarn on the tree and were happy when they were told the reason. “That’s a good idea,” one woman said. “It certainly got my attention.” A man gave the volunteers a “thumbs up” as he walked by the tree.

At the end, when the yarn was securely wrapped around the tree, Freglette and volunteer Danielle Carlin tied a gold bow around the yarn and put a Go Gold Bay Ridge flier on the tree as well.

“Go Gold Bay Ridge” is a month-long campaign that will culminate in a cancer fundraiser on Saturday, Sept.27, at Saint Patrick’s Church Hall, Fourth Avenue and 97th Street, starting at 2 p.m.

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