Huntington – Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci, Deputy Supervisor Councilman Ed Smyth, Councilman Eugene Cook, Highway Superintendent Kevin S. Orelli, Receiver of Taxes Jillian Guthman, Katia and Anthony Conte of the Daniela Conte Foundation, and dozens of families affected by pediatric cancer joined to recognize Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month with a gold ribbon tree lighting outside Huntington Town Hall on Thursday, September 2.
“The Daniela Conte Foundation donates the lights and bows to the Town for this now-annual ceremony. Not only have they raised awareness for childhood cancer and donated 'hug boxes' to children in treatment and but in May they donated $30,000 to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to support cutting-edge research on the rare sarcoma that took Daniela’s life. Thanks to the Daniela Conte Foundation, this research may help save countless other children facing cancer,” said Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci.
"It's a parent's worst nightmare but it is amazing what Katia and Anthony Conte were able to do after the loss of their daughter,” said Deputy Supervisor, Councilman Ed Smyth. “They turned their grief into something positive, forming the Daniela Conte Foundation to help other children fighting their own battles and raise awareness and funding for pediatric cancer research at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, which is a world-class research laboratory that we are lucky to have in our own backyard."
“I was proud to join my colleagues in hosting the 2nd Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This means so much to me, to light the tree gold and place gold bows in honor of those who have been affected by this terrible disease.” stated Councilman Eugene Cook. “When cancer strikes our little ones, it hurts our soul. It’s important to know that if you are suffering from this awful disease, no matter your age, know that we are here for you, and will do whatever we can to help you, and to please reach out.”
Superintendent of Highways Kevin S. Orelli said, “I have three children of my own and I cannot imagine what my family would have suffered if they were diagnosed with pediatric cancer. We want every child to have a bright and healthy future and I applaud Katia Conte and the "Daniela Conte Foundation" in their mission to help find a cure.”
Receiver of Taxes Jillian Guthman stated, “Katia Conte, with her development of the Daniela Conte Foundation, is advancing the critical awareness of childhood cancer as well as financially advancing life-saving research. With these tremendous achievements, the legacy of Daniela Conte will live on in perpetuity.”
"As of today, our doctors and hospitals are still using 30-year-old toxic treatments on our children that cause a lifetime of medical problems for survivors. There have been changes over the last decade, but not enough. Our goal since the beginning of our foundation has been to make childhood cancer research a national priority...our children should be a priority. Our foundation is dedicated to help children who are battling this horrible disease. So, when you think about why it's so important to Go Gold in September, think about the statistics and how underfunded childhood cancer really is. And to be truly thankful if you haven't had to endure the worst thing a parent can possibly go through. We really do need everyone's help to turn September Gold everywhere," said Katia Conte of the Daniela Conte Foundation.
The tree, adorned in gold lights and over 40 gold ribbons donated by the Daniela Conte Foundation, will be lit every evening in September, which is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. The ribbons bear the names of local children in remission, undergoing treatment, and those who have lost their battles with cancer.
The Daniela Conte Foundation is a not-for-profit organization founded by Anthony and Katia Conte of Dix Hills, NY to honor the life of their daughter, Daniela Marie Conte who passed away from a rare form of cancer called "Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma" at the age of 8 in March 2020. The foundation's mission is dedicated to raise awareness, fund research to develop less toxic, more targeted treatments for childhood cancers with a specific focus on Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma (ERMS), and financially assist families of children with cancer. To learn more, please visit www.danielacontefoundation.org