Because she is one of our own, a born-and-bred Bellevillite, more than 700 people supported Lindsay Giordano and her brave battle against breast cancer in person Wednesday night at The Brownstone in Paterson.
Although her affliction, her roots, and her family's established history of selflessness explain the staggering number, most of these people will come together tonight at Belleville High School for a basketball doubleheader between the Buccaneers and Nutley that will serve as a Pink Out while paying tribute to Giordano, a 29-year-old beloved from border-to-border in our town.
Think of the last time a cause galvanized our town the way Giordano's has done. She matters There are plenty of reasons why this should matter to you – to all of us – and why we should all be supporting her and her family.
Because this could be you. Sobering and even morbid to put it that way, but the Susan G. Komen for the Cure website says one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in our lifetime. This is why, as BHS Athletic Director Tom D'Elia sold t-shirts and bracelets that will help defray Giordano's medical costs, he heard the stories of how others were affected – whether it was someone's loved one, or simply someone they knew.
And let's be honest: Who among us would not like to know others would come together for us in our time of need?
Because this raises awareness. Although tonight's Pink Out will honor Giordano, a representative from Susan G. Komen will speak to the crowd before both games. In addition, there will be literature espousing the importance of early detection and treatment.
Above all else, anything that could educate each of us more about this disease that caused Giordano to undergo a double mastectomy and affects both men and women is worthwhile.
Because this is one of our own. Bobby Kane is the partner of Richie Giordano, Lindsay's dad, at the Belleville Police Department. Third Ward Councilman Vincent Cozzarelli graduated from BHS with Giordano in 2000, as did her best friend Janelle Romano. Everyone we spoke with gushes about her – read this story we ran a couple of weeks back for further proof.
Because this is a great lesson in civics. While other students scurried off school grounds Tuesday afternoon, members of the BHS Student Government Organization stayed behind, bundling t-shirts and bracelets that were sold at The Brownstone. After speaking with D'Elia and asking how I could help besides simply writing about Giordano, he invited me to join him, SGO advisor Mel Powers and more than a dozen of BHS' best and brightest.
When you cover a community, you should become a part of the community. If I doubted it somewhat before, I no longer doubt that this is a great community.
Because this is the best of Belleville. Sure, this town can be fractious over political causes, but what Giordano's battle has done has united the Municipal Council, Board of Education, fire department, police department, and even some of our most skeptical citizens. Numerous businesses donated funds or volunteered their services, from Bella Casa Caterers to Flowerama to Pepe Sisters Italian American Deli.
And while we write for rival outlets, I applaud the Belleville Times' Mike Lamberti for some great articles about the Giordanos over the past few weeks.
We are all on the same team here. As we should be.
This is why than 700 people gathered Wednesday at The Brownstone – a number that could have doubled if not for the lack of space. And possibly could for tonight's Pink Out considering the BHS gym holds 1,500.
For the purchase of a $10 t-shirt – we also suggest adding a donation since this benefits Giordano's health-care costs and she does not have insurance – you can support a great cause, join your community, and raise awareness about breast cancer while benefiting a BHS alum.
"Once a Belleville Buccaneer," senior Adrian Pangilinan said, "always a Belleville Buccaneer."
We hope to see you there.