By Malika-Budur Kalila, SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News)—Downtown Syracuse was quite busy this weekend as two major events of the season — Paiges’s Butterfly Run Race and Taste of Syracuse— took place in the city.
The sunny weather might be one of the factors that big crowds filled the downtown streets. Ben Walsh, the mayor of Syracuse, said these events have positive impact on local the economy and good weather is making that contribution even more exciting.
“It’s a great boost a great to the local economy,” Walsh said. “ It’s probably one of, if not, downtown Syracuse’s biggest weekend, and when the sun is shining it’s just a great boost to how everyone feels.”
Paige’s Butterfly Run is a nonprofit organization, which fund raises money for current and future pediatric cancer patients in Central New York. According to Mary Kate Intaglietta, the executive director, the nonprofit sends the raised to the center of pediatric oncology research and patient programs at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse.
The hospital reports that over 60 children across Central New York are diagnosed with cancer each year. Intaglietta said this year, the organization held its 23rd run and walk race that more than 2,000 runners and raised over $163,000 to be donated to the hospital. The director added Taste of Syracuse organizers suggested a partnership more than 10 years ago and since then, the race takes place in downtown Syracuse during the festival weekend.
Chris Arnold, the president, founded this charity after his 8-year-old daughter passed away because of leukemia. Arnold said he wants to help families who have to deal with pediatric cancer because for those families it’s a very tragic period.
“To hear from the staff of the hospital that your child has cancer is a horrible thing,” Arnold said. “I went through Paige’s death twice, one is the day when I learned that she had a cancer and when she was passing away I experienced it twice.”