Senator Serino presents Miles of Hope Founders Dana Effron and Cathy Benecke Varunok with a proclamation designating October 14th 'Miles of Hope Day' in the region.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—Ahead of ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Month’, Senator Sue Serino (R, C, I—Hyde Park) today joined the Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation and community leaders to announce that she has once again secured $20,000 to support the Foundation’s mission of helping those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. At the press conference in front of the Poughkeepsie Journal Building in Poughkeepsie, Senator Serino also joined the local leaders in declaring October 14th as ‘Miles of Hope Day’ in the region.

“Like many in our community, I have experienced the loss of a loved one to breast cancer and I have seen first-hand the toll it takes on both the patient, and their family, when their lives are instantly turned upside down by the diagnosis,” said Senator Serino. “I place incredible value on the work that Miles of Hope does throughout our community and beyond and I am proud to be able to contribute to help them to help them advance their goal of supporting individuals and families impacted by breast cancer. On behalf of our community, I thank them—from the bottom of my heart—for their tremendous commitment to the women and families of our community.”

"We are grateful and humbled by the support from Senator Sue Serino for this $20,000 grant for programs helping people in treatment for breast cancer within Putnam and Dutchess Counties. The grant will once again be used for our Medical Gap Care program helping those in treatment in those two counties with a financial emergency," said Pari Forood, Executive Director of Miles of Hope.

Founded in 2004, Miles of Hope is a local nonprofit organization that began with the mission of funding support services for people affected by breast cancer in the Hudson Valley. Last year, the funding secured by Serino was used for the Foundation’s Medical Gap Care program, which provides financial assistance to people in treatment in Dutchess and Putnam Counties who have a financial emergency not covered by insurance. This year’s grant will be used to bolster that program as well.

“Although it might feel like it does, life doesn’t just stop when someone receives a cancer diagnosis,” Serino continued. “They still have bills to pay—mortgages, utilities, schools supplies, the list goes on and on. This program helps fill the gaps that insurance does not cover so that patients can focus on getting healthy instead of worrying about making ends meet.”

Following the morning press conference, volunteers and breast cancer survivors came together to walk around the area’s surrounding municipal buildings to highlight the fact that reducing stress and adopting healthy habits can help individuals reduce their risk of cancer.

Farood continued, "Miles of Hope Day on October 14th, in the middle of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is our way of bringing awareness to prevention, programs and adoption of a healthy lifestyle to reduce cancer risk. I will be speaking all over the Hudson Valley in October about these important initiatives and how Miles of Hope can help those affected by breast cancer. If you would like to join the fight, walk with us on September 25th, at James Baird State Park! All registration information is here in the Journal or at"

For more information about the upcoming Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Medical Gap Care program, upcoming events and unique programs and services, please visit