Headline News

Solidarity In Pink

Decked out in pink feather boas, flashy hats and snazzy sunglasses, the Women’s Committee of Joint Council 25 raised almost $10,000 for the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer research and support fund at the Inaugural Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk on May 4.

Although this was the first American Cancer Society walk held in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge, the 3.1 mile trek raised more than $70,000 – exceeding fundraising goals by more than $20,000. 

The Joint Council 25 Women’s Committee, with almost 200 participants, was the top fundraising team at the festive Saturday walk.

Marchers festooned in pink were encouraged by cheerleaders, children with pink balloons, and Local 743’s busload of banners as they walked on tree-lined sidewalks through suburban neighborhoods.

Why They Walk

With a National Cancer Institute estimate of over 234,000 new cases of breast cancer in 2013, it is not surprising that many participating Teamsters had a personal connection to organizing against the disease.  For many participants, Teamster support in this year’s march demonstrates how important the issue continues to be. 

“This march is a way of telling people that have this sort of illness that people support them, and to give them hope,” said Leo Watkins from Local 700.  “It's a great way to make a difference in people’s life.”

“It affects so many women,” said Carrie Sapienza, a machinery operator from Local 727.  “It was a way for the Joint Council and the Women's Committee to say that women are important too.”

In previous years, local Teamsters participated in the Y-ME National Breast Cancer ¬Organization walk in downtown Chicago, but changed organizations after that walk was cancelled earlier this year. After their rousing success, the Women’s Committee is already planning bigger and better participation in next year’s efforts.

For the Teamsters who marched together in the breast cancer walk, the experience was something that they will never forget.

“It's about unity, it's about solidarity. We've all got the same goal that everyone else has,” Sapienza said.  “We're not going away.  If we show up to one of these things, it shows that we aren't going anywhere.”