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Baldwins, Beacon bond for breast cancer

Beacon Federal customers and visitors spent quality time with Carol Baldwin, a celebrated personality and founder of the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund, at an Oct. 30 fundraiser in East Syracuse. Beacon culminated a month-long effort to raise money for research and awareness about breast cancer that affects not only women, but also a growing number of men.

"It's estimated 1,500 men will have breast cancer this year and 520 will die from it," Baldwin said. "They should be doing the same thing women are doing -- self-breast examinations."

The two-hour afternoon appearance she made along with her son, actor Daniel Baldwin, drew dozens of people whom both guests warmly greeted. Pink tablecloths dressed long retail displays complete with various "Go Pink" items on sale to benefit her foundation.

"All the month of October, Beacon decided to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month," said Jennifer Taylor, a member of its marketing department.

"Everything we collect will go directly to Carol Baldwin, and her proceeds all stay in Central New York."

By Friday afternoon, donations raised from Beacon's month-long activities exceeded $4,000. Additionally, Baldwin's research fund collected more than $1 million in Syracuse alone and more than $4 million in Long Island, Baldwin said -- and every penny goes to breast cancer research.

"That's all we do," she said. "The only time we do educational programs is at the [New York State Fair] and [events] like that, but our money is used strictly for breast cancer research."

Baldwin's message to women and men of all ages clearly emphasizes that early detection is crucial to survival: "If you catch it in time, that's the best," she said. "The earliest is the best."

Self breast examinations should be done every month at the same time along with yearly checkups, Baldwin said, and she urges women to get mammograms regularly, saying she believes the X-rays should be covered by insurance as early as age 25.

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