By Rudy King, Media Relations Staff
From the top of the George Washington Bridge to concourses of the busy Midtown bus terminal and LaGuardia Airport, the Port Authority has gone pink for October in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the impact it’s left on the agency, its people and their families.
For the past decade, electricians at the GWB have teamed to string a necklace of LED lights along the bridge’s cables, a display that went live on the south side of the bridge on Oct. 1. The gel-lighting network – composed of pink transparent coverings with the names of breast cancer victims fitted over regular lights – was the brainchild of GWB electrician Chris Bonanno, in tribute to his sister who contracted the disease more than a decade ago.
“We’re doing everything we can to make a difference, and praying that one day they won’t have to do this because a cure was found,” he said.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month was established to raise awareness about the scourge of breast cancer in the United States. It’s the second-leading killer of women, after lung cancer, with more than 260,000 cases of invasive breast cancer expected to be diagnosed in U.S. women this year, according to the American Cancer Society.
At both the Port Authority Bus Terminal and LaGuardia’s Marine Air Terminal, pink- ribbon decals decorate facility floors. PABT Physical Plant Manager Robert Doeg noted that the bus terminal is supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month for a second year with the installation of the Port Authority custom-made logo in the building’s South Wing. Doeg said the PABT wanted to do something special, following in the tradition established at the GWB.
Asked what this installation means to his team and to him personally, Doeg paused for a moment, then said, “We’ve had and have staff, family and friends who’ve been impacted by the disease. So it’s very personal to us and a very big deal.”
“Being able to contribute towards this great cause makes us feel good that we can help bring awareness and give back,” he said.
In addition to the displays at the GWB, PABT and LaGuardia, Breast Cancer Awareness Month events and lighting programs have been taking place at the FAA control tower at John F. Kennedy International Airport, at Newark Liberty International Airport and at PATH.
Members of the Port Authority Police Department Women’s Law Enforcement Association are wearing blue and pink bands around their shields as a sign of support for colleagues and loved ones affected by breast cancer, the third year they’ve done so. As in the previous years, the association is working with other area police departments to raise money by selling the bands, with the proceeds going to Gilda’s Club, an organization that benefits cancer patients.