Pink was the dominant color on CSI’s Great Lawn on Saturday, October 2 as 10,000 people excitedly flocked to the College of Staten Island to participate in CSI’s Third Annual Greener Fall Festival.

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The festival ran from 11:00am to 4:00pm and admission was free, although donations of $5 per person or $10 per family were suggested. Proceeds to the event, which totaled over $20,000, will go toward the Staten Island Breast Cancer Research Initiative (SIBCRI), a CSI research project aimed at making a positive impact on breast cancer incidence and mortality.

The festival’s autumn-rich theme was on full display on the Great Lawn as children dressed in Halloween costumes played amid small piles of pumpkins and Halloween decorations. There were also many small booths offering free dance or karate clinics, live music, a magician, and face painting.

“It’s so nice to see the community come out for a good cause,” said Donna Gerstle, Director of CSI’s Center for Environmental Science and principal investigator for the SIBCRI. Gerstle, who has been with CSI for 34 years, said that the organization is looking for a connection between the local environment and breast cancer. Her group will also be visiting high schools on the Island to raise awareness.

There was also a strong CSI alumni focus at each admission table as the staff asked every attendee if they were a CSI graduate. The alumni were then asked to provide the staff with contact information to properly acknowledge their contribution. The information will be relayed to the CSI Alumni Association. As Erika Hellstrom, Director of Development at CSI said, “We’re looking at this as a great way to bring the community together.”

CSI alumni had a strong presence at the Fall Festival, as there are over 27,000 alumni residing in Staten Island and Brooklyn alone, and many of them visited the festival and contributed heavily to their alma mater’s cause.

Participating vendors at the event included Actors Workshop, A&J Party Inflatables, Allstate Insurance, AmeriPlan, Annette’s Angels, Arbonne International, Aunt Viv’s Kitchen, Avon, Baby Hats & Etc., Beauty Control, Bella Bows, Cathy’s Characters, Celebrating Home, Chase Bank, Con Edison, Creative Accents, CSI Alumni Association, CSI American Sign Language, Discovery Toys, DJN Novelty, Dress Barn, Donna Miuzzo (crafts), Doreen’s Creations, Dreamcatchers & Jewelry, Emily’s Baggage, Free Lighting for Staten Island, Friends of CSI, FDNY, Gateway Photography, Glam Girlz Party, Glam Girlz Party, Health Plus NY, It’s So Pretty, JW Tumbles, Keiser Boards, Lia Sophia Jewelry, Linda John, Master Curry Karate, Mary’s Craft Cellar, Mary Kay Cosmetics, MetroPCS, New York Life, Nicella Rae Accessories, North Shore Rescue Squad, Pampered Chef, Path Family Center, PartyLite, Posh Baby (Looney Bin), Pretty Women, RUMC – Detox, RUMC – OBGYN, SI Family Music, Silver Trio, Steve The Magician, SweetBrook, Ten Toes, LLC, Tupperware, Turquoise Jewelry, Tutu’s by Margaret Rizzo, Vianna Rose Creations, and Xiaolin Martial Arts.

By Carlo Alaimo