Bay Ridge pols convince Port Authority to pay tribute to kids with cancer
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Freedom Tower will be bathed in gold light in a tribute to the courage of children with cancer, thanks to a group of Bay Ridge lawmakers.
Two days after petitioning the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to have the majestic One World Trade Center tower "Go Gold" for kids with cancer, US Rep. Michael Grimm, state Sen. Marty Golden, Assemblymembers Alec Brook-Krasny and Nicole Malliotakis and Councilmember Vincent Gentile announced that their mission was succesful.
"We got them to do it. One World Trade Center is going to go gold," Malliotakis told the Brooklyn Eagle on Thursday.
"We received a response to our letter, and I would like to thank Pat Foye, chairman of the Port Authority, as well as the Durst Organization, which manages One World Trade Center, for showing their compassion and concern for pediatric cancer by graciously agreeing to light the tower gold for a day in September, which is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The families affected by this horrible disease have spearheaded a wonderful initiative to find a cure, and we could not be more pleased that the Port Authority and America's tallest building, One World Trade Center, have joined this noble cause,” Malliotakis said.
The elected officials jointly wrote a letter to Foye on Aug. 19 to request that One World Trade Center be lit in gold in September for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The Port Authority operates the World Trade Center site.
The special lighting will be part of the Gold World Project, an international effort started by New Hampshire resident Tony Stoddard to raise awareness of pediatric cancer by having the lights of famous landmarks across the globe bathed in gold for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Stoddard launched the drive in memory of his 5-year-old son Cole, who died of cancer.
An effort by representatives of the Gold World Project to have the Empire State Building lit up in gold has stalled. The building’s management has so far refused the request, despite a massive campaign on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Having One World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower, bathed in gold light would send an important message about the importance of finding a cure for cancers that strike children, according to the Bay Ridge lawmakers.
At 1,776 feet high, One World Trade Center is the tallest building in America.
“We write to you with a request that One World Trade Center be illuminated in gold during September, for a week or one evening, in furtherance of this noble cause. Lighting our city’s tallest building, and one of the most notable structures in the world, would provide the grandest and most effective opportunity to promote our cause and, hopefully, provide some comfort to the children and families impacted by pediatric cancer,” the elected officials wrote in their letter to Foye.
The politicians expressed disappointment with the refusal of the Empire State Building’s management to take part in the childhood cancer awareness effort, but wrote in their letter to the Port Authority director that it isn’t the only famous structure in New York.
“Fortunately we live in a city that does not lack iconic structures, nor are we a community that willingly accepts defeat on such an important issue. We were pleased to learn that the Coney Island Parachute Jump, a timeless symbol of both Brooklyn and New York City in its own right, has agreed to ‘go gold’ during September in solidarity with the Childhood Cancer Awareness effort,” they wrote.
Earlier this week, Councilmember Mark Treyger, whose district covers Coney Island, announced that the owners of the famous Parachute Jump had agreed to light the landmark ride in gold for an entire week in September.
Bay Ridge Cares, a non-profit organization that helps people in need, has started a grassroots effort to raise awareness for pediatric cancer research. This groundswell of support for the effort has led to a “Go Gold Bay Ridge” movement among residents and small businesses, which are displaying gold ribbons, gold bows, and gold lighting in their homes and stores.
While they’re happy to get a golden Parachute Jump, advocates also said they’re not giving up their fight to convince the owners of the Empire State Building to light the skyscraper in gold.