Going for the gold: Parachute Jump lights up for cancer awareness

Thumbs up: Dominick Capuano poses in front of the gold Parachute Jump at Luna Park in Coney Island at the light-up event in support of Childhood Cancer Month.
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

Locals looked up last Friday night to watch the Coney Island Parachute Jump go gold for childhood cancer awareness at Luna Park.

Luna Park funds the lighting of the Parachute Jump, but the office of Councilman Mark Treyger (D–Coney Island) and local organization Frankie’s Mission stepped up and organized the fourth-annual event. Treyger joined other elected officials at the event and thanked attendees for supporting local children and families battling childhood cancer.

“I would like to thank everyone who took the time to join us and show support to the families battling childhood cancer and to raise awareness of the need for increased funding,” said Councilman Treyger. “I am proud to continue organizing this event because these families and advocates are doing inspiring work, and this is our way of showing them they are not alone.”

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness month. One parent of a five-year-old Staten Island boy who just recently beat cancer said that her son was happy to see the Jump go gold in his honor, even if he did not fully understand the gravity of what it symbolized.

“I don’t think he really understood the whole thing, but he was really excited,” said Danielle Capuano of her son Dominick.

Capuano battled leukemia for two years after he was initially diagnosed when he was two and a half years old. He finished treatment this past December and is now thriving, his mother said.

“He’s doing great,” she said. “He just started kindergarten.”

Capuano also brought her daughter, Gianna, as well as her nieces, Gabrielle and Giulianna Triano, to the event. The four kids sported sweatshirts with the slogan “Team Dominick: Fight Against Leukemia.”

Assemblywoman Pamela Harris (D–Coney Island) and Councilman Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge) joined Treyger at the event, and Cyclones mascot Sandy the Seagull also made an appearance.

Frankie’s Mission, the organization that was the co-sponsor for the event, was formed in memory of Bay Ridge resident Francesco Loccisano, who battled cancer for three years and died just after his 17th birthday.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.

More from Around New York