Times Square Lights Up in Gold for Childhood Cancer | NBC New York

Times Square Lights Up in Gold for Childhood Cancer



    (Published Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014)

    Children fighting cancer won a big battle Tuesday in getting Times Square and other New York City landmarks to glimmer in gold, the color symbolizing the fight against childhood cancers.

    Dozens of children, some in remission and some still fighting cancer, showed up to see the electronic billboards change over from advertisements to a message reading: "A day of yellow and gold to fight childhood cancer."

    They remained lit in the golden message for one hour.

    One building that wasn't lit in gold Tuesday was the Empire State Building, which denied the request for the special lighting because it came from an individual.

    That man, Tony Stoddard, said he's been trying to get the Empire State Building to glow in gold ever since he lost his son in 2012.

    "I've been trying to get every landmark across the world to light gold," said the New Hampshire father. 

    The denial set off a social media firestorm among people who disagreed with that decision.

    Peter Delfino, a Staten Island father of a teenager who fought Hodgkin's Lymphoma last year, said, "The Empire State Building turns colors for different teams and different movies, I don't get it." 

    But the controversy may have served as a blessing in disguise, as Times Square served as a backdrop to the important message.

    "We hope the 'go gold' initiative brings as much awareness to childhood cancers as the ALS ice bucket challenge has for ALS," said Delfino.

    His son Michael was among those gathered in Times Square marveling under the golden lights, and expressed his excitement for a new start after missing school last year while battling Hodgkin's. 

    "I feel like it's a full new year because I was only there for three months last year," he said. 

    The effort to get Times Square to light up in gold was done mainly by a number of grassroots organizations. 

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