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Babylon recognizes nonprofit bringing cancer awareness to schools

"gotchecked?" Creative Director Linda Bonanno, Babylon Town Supervisor

"gotchecked?" Creative Director Linda Bonanno, Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer and First Company Pink Founder Donna Cioffi. July 6th, 2016, the Town of Babylon presented a proclamation and resolution to First Company Pink for its "gotchecked?" campaign - a vehicle to reach youth by integrating music, videos, clothing and more into psyche of young women to raise breast cancer awareness. Credit: Dana Wieczorek

The Town of Babylon has recognized the efforts of a nonprofit’s breast cancer awareness campaign that is coming to Suffolk County.

Town officials and a representative for Assemb. Kimberly Jean-Pierre (D-Babylon) on Wednesday presented a proclamation to First Company Pink, a Hicksville-based nonprofit that aims to bring awareness and raise funds for breast cancer research.

First Company Pink is hoping to launch its “got checked?” campaign in 10 Suffolk County school districts this fall, according to a spokeswoman.

Donna Cioffi, founder of the group and a breast cancer survivor, accepted the proclamation, which deems July 6th “Got checked?” Day in honor of the group’s campaign to promote early mammograms and self-examinations.

“It is so important that the information gets out . . . and the earlier that it gets out, that is the key,” said Town Councilwoman Jackie Gordon as she presented the honor to Cioffi.

Addressing the young men and women who were present, Gordon went on to note: “You have to start learning your bodies and being comfortable with your bodies.”

The group’s aim is to hold workshops in schools throughout the county. First Company Pink is also working with state officials to mandate that insurance companies cover mammograms for younger woman. Currently most companies begin coverage at age 40.

“Got checked?” Cioffi said, is a “call to action” not only to get examined but to find out family history of breast cancer and to talk to loved ones about the disease.

Cioffi cited former Babylon teacher Shannon Saturno as an inspiration for the campaign. Saturno, 32, who is currently in hospice, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer at the age of 29 while pregnant with her first child.

She is the star of a hip-hop scored video that First Company Pink created for “got checked?” that they hope will resonate with younger women.

According to the National Cancer Institute, 1 in 227 women are at risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer between the ages of 30 and 40.

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