The following is a press release from the offices of Councilman Mark Treyger:
Council Member Mark Treyger and Zamperla, which owns Coney Island’s Parachute Jump ride, will light the iconic structure gold next month to raise awareness for childhood cancer as part of The Gold World Project. The announcement comes after the Empire State Building rejected a request by New Hampshire resident and project founder Tony Stoddard to have the Midtown Manhattan building lit gold as part of an international lighting of landmarks across the nation and world to highlight the need for greater funding and research.
After hearing that Mr. Stoddard’s Empire State Building request was denied, Council Member Treyger contacted Valerio Ferrari of Central Amusements International, which is the Zamperla subsidiary that operates its Coney Island attractions, and Frankie’s Mission, a Brooklyn-based organization that has been asking the Empire State Building officials to reconsider their decision. Zamperla immediately agreed to participate in the awareness event and will light the parachute jump gold for one week starting at 8 p.m. on Friday, September 5th. As a result, New York City will join other major cities and landmarks in participating in The Gold World Project, which Mr. Stoddard launched in memory of his five-year-old son Cole, who passed away after a battle with Neuroblastoma.
“I really was surprised and disappointed by the Empire State Building’s denial of this important request on behalf of all families fighting childhood cancer. In the end, I am proud that we were able to turn this into a positive and find a way to bring awareness to this critical issue. We all know that Brooklyn, and not Midtown, is now the center of New York City, so it is great that Coney Island and its famous Parachute Jump will be part of The Gold World Project. My thanks to Mr. Stoddard and Frankie’s Mission for their incredible efforts and to Zamperla for accommodating this request so quickly. We don’t need the Manhattan skyline to validate how important this cause is, and on September 5th the iconic Coney Island waterfront will be the place to look to,” said Council Member Treyger.
“Thank you Councilman Treyger for helping to get the Parachute Jump at Coney Island to light gold in September for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month! Lighting gold is the first step towards greater childhood cancer awareness, awareness that will lead to increased funding and research, research that will hopefully lead to a cure for all types of childhood cancer someday. Beyond that ultimate goal there is another reason to light gold – it helps to heal the hearts of parents such as myself who have lost children to cancer, the number one killer by disease of kids in our nation. It lets us know our children did not die in vain, it shows us our kids are not forgotten,” said Mr. Stoddard.
“We at Frankie’s Mission are thrilled to have the world famous Coney Island Parachute Jump sending their care and love to the childhood cancer community by lighting gold for a week in September. I know my son Frankie is smiling down as we all valiantly work together in our quest to reach true cures. We also appreciate the efforts of Zamperla and Councilman Treyger for taking real action in raising awareness for this cause,” said Camille Loccisano, founder of Frankie’s Mission and mother of Francesco Loccisano, who passed away from childhood cancer just two weeks after his 17th birthday.
“Even though the Empire State Building turned down and treated our kids without the respect they deserve, we’re excited that many have taken up the cause in response simply because it is the right thing to do. My daughter Sally is a sixth generation Brooklyn resident, so it is great that our home borough has her back and supports all of the children fighting cancer. Sally was named after her great-grandmother who was born and raised in Coney Island, so it is very fitting to have Coney go gold for this cause,” said Brooklyn resident Matt Kabel, whose 21-month-old daughter Sally is currently fighting a rare form of infant leukemia.
The entire community is invited to join Council Member Treyger, Zamperla, Frankie’s Foundation and other advocacy groups and families impacted by childhood cancer for the official Parachute Jump lighting at 8 p.m. on Friday, September 5 at the base of the structure. The Parachute Jump is located between Surf Avenue, the Riegelmann Boardwalk, W. 16th Street and W. 19th Street. Please contact Council Member Treyger’s district office at (718) 307-7151 for more information.