If you’re new to New York and what the city that never sleeps has to offer, you may not have heard about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s “Light the Night” walk this weekend at the Midland Beach Promenade on Staten Island.
Each year, participants walk the boardwalk after sunset carrying red, white and gold illuminated balloons – red for patients currently battling blood cancer, white for survivors and gold for those who’ve lost the fight. Last Saturday, about 2,500 people gathered to honor loved ones who have suffered or are suffering from blood cancer. It really is a great excuse to go out on the weekend. There’s always live entertainment from local bands, DJs, dance groups and school cheerleaders as well as dinner and snacks. Not only was it a beautiful night to walk along the boardwalk admiring the balloons lighting up the night sky, it was also reason to do good for the community.
They also hold a touching ceremony in remembrance of those who passed. Although I’ve been participating for a long time, this was the first year I went to the ceremony. They recited a poem titled, “Remember Me,” followed by a moment of silence. Then we took turns signing a banner for our loved ones.
For the past six years, I have led Team Knighttour in honor of my friend who lost his life to leukemia at the age of 15. Having started this team in high school, I have always found fundraising to be very difficult. The more people I got involved, and the more I shared our story and homepage on Facebook and Twitter, the more money my team raised. Makes sense, right? Normally this would be the case. But this year I was very surprised with the overwhelming support my team received. With only a day left, we not only broke our team goal of $300, but raised $510.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society set a goal of raising $275,000 by December 15 on Staten Island, and has currently reached $200,000. Knighttour continues to receive donations from people and have made $550. Team Knighttour now ranks 68 out of 221 on the Team Leader Board for Staten Island. If you’d like to learn more about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, visit www.lightthenight.org/nyc. For Team Knighttour, visit http://pages.lightthenight.org/nyc/StatenIs13/knighttour.