Last year, the Queens Chronicle reported on Luisa Belfiore, an extraordinary now-14-year-old who managed to raise about $2,500 for the American Cancer Society to fight breast cancer. After being honored with the ACS’ Pacesetter honor, she is now shooting for the $2,500 mark once again.
Belfiore, who is in the 9th grade at Scholar’s Academy High School in Rockaway Park, explained the Pacesetter honor. “That’s when you raise $2,500,” she said. “You get honored at the breakfast that they have. I felt that it made my aunt very proud.”
Luisa’s “aunt,” AnnMarie Delfini-Bergano, who is actually her mother’s best friend, passed away in December of last year. “My aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago. I really wanted to get involved, and when I started getting older, when I was 12, I started to fundraise within my school,” said Luisa.
“I’m extremely proud,” said Cissy Belfiore, Luisa’s mother. “It started with her, honest to truth. In fifth grade she started up a box with a bake sale at school. It was so much money, a couple hundred dollars.”
Luisa has a few different ways of raising her funds. Customers at the Waldbaum’s in Howard Beach may spot her collecting there. She also sells American Cancer Society postcards and collects money at Lenny’s Clam Bar in Howard Beach, where her mom works.
“We’re extremely grateful to Walbaum’s and to Lenny’s Clam Bar and to their generous customers,” said Cissy.
So far, Luisa is a bit short of her goal this year, which is to raise $2,500 by Dec. 31. “We made a team in memory of my aunt. It’s called AnnMarie’s Wings of Hope,” said Luisa. “That’s the team name that we walked with at the breast cancer walk this past weekend.” As of publication, their team has raised $1,869.