Candlelight Vigil Planned for Sweet Sally Sunshine

September 27, 2018 Paula Katinas
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The tributes to Sally Kabel keep pouring in from all corners of Brooklyn.

In the latest development, the little Bay Ridge girl who died of leukemia on Sept. 19 will be fondly remembered at a candlelight vigil to take place in Coney Island on Thursday, Sept. 27.

The vigil will be part of the Fifth Annual Lighting of the Parachute Jump, an event in which the famous Coney Island landmark is lit in gold light in recognition of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September.

The lighting ceremony, which will take place at 7:45 p.m., is being organized by the owners of Luna Park and by Councilmember Mark Treyger, a Democrat who represents Coney Island.

Visitors can view the Parachute Jump ceremony by standing on the Riegelmann Boardwalk at West 19th Street.

Sally’s parents, Matthew and Nicole Kabel, are helping to plan the candlelight vigil in her memory. “We’ve worked with Council Member @MarkTreyger718 to hold a candlelight vigil for Sally this Thursday night while we light Coney Island’s famous parachute jump gold for childhood cancer,” Matthew Kabel wrote on Twitter.

Sally Kabel, whose nickname was “Little Sally Sunshine,” was an inspirational figure to many Bay Ridge residents throughout her short life by virtue of her courage and optimism in the face of a devastating disease. She was diagnosed with leukemia at the tender age of 10 months. She was six years old when she died last week.

During Sally’s battle with leukemia, Matthew Kabel regularly offered updates on her progress on Twitter and Facebook. His willingness to share his family’s experiences inspired others who were going through similar health emergencies.

The Coney Island vigil is just the latest tribute to Sally Kabel.

On Sept. 21, two days after her death, scores of people in Bay Ridge heeded a request from Matthew Kabel that they wear yellow and gold ribbons or place ribbons in windows.

In response to the grieving father’s request, local residents got busy, affixing yellow and gold ribbons to store windows, homes, school gates and lampposts.

“I know it’s nothing but I just want them to know how much this community loves them and how much of an impact their beautiful little hero had on all of us,” one woman told this newspaper.

A local bookstore, a pharmacy and a bike shop on Third Avenue all found unique ways to pay tribute to Sally. The bookstore had an artist create a mural. The pharmacy and bike shop, which are located next door to each other, teamed up to install a display of balloons that featured a giant gold “6” to mark Sally’s age.

Students from local schools wore yellow and gold T-shirts on that day.

Additional reporting by Meaghan McGoldrick

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