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Lakeland Fundraiser Raises Money For Breast Cancer

Lakeland students show their support for breast cancer research.
Lakeland students show their support for breast cancer research. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Stacy Liebensohn

SHRUB OAK, N.Y. -- Lakeland High School football will aim to tackle breast cancer on Friday.

A fundraiser is being held Friday at Lakeland High School for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

The event was started in honor of Beth O'Neill, a Shrub Oak resident and breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed five years ago. O'Neill wanted to do something to support the Breast Cancer Foundation and approached Robert Cappelli, Lakeland football coach, about a fundraiser.

During Lakeland's game against Hendrick Hudson, players will wear pink jerseys and the stands will be filled with 1,600 black and pink T-shirts sold to raise money for research. Pink hair extensions will be available along with items donated by the Jets and Giants.

Organizers are hoping to raise more than $10,000 at the event. More than $17,000 was raised at the three prior events.

"When I recovered from my treatment, I knew this would be a way to pay it forward for the people who helped me along the way," O'Neill said. "We've just had tremendous support from the community. It keeps getting bigger and bigger.

O'Neill said she was overwhelmed when she received the diagnosis.

"You worry about your kids," said O'Neill, a mother of three. "You want to fight and do everything you can to get better. There's so many women who have breast cancer, everyday I find out someone who is getting diagnosed. It's something I don't want anyone else to experience."

O'Neill said it is a great feeling to see so many kids and parents come out to support the cause.

"Every player and cheerleader buys a shirt," said O'Neill, who is supported by her friend Lisa Souza. "It really is a community night for Shrub Oak and Lakeland."

Breast cancer is a sorority that no one wants to get inducted into, O'Neill said.

"When I was sick, even though it was terrible, I found out what a great community we live in," O'Neill said. "The amount of support I received was tremendous."

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