West Orange, NJ, June 10, 2019 – Six Flags Great Adventure, RWJBarnabas Health and the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey have joined forces to fight cancer and celebrate survivorship with the unveiling of Coasters for Cancer - the first roller coaster wrapped in the hand prints of cancer survivors and supporters.
On Sunday, June 9, flanked by a group of 200 cancer survivors and their families, dignitaries from RWJBarnabas Health, Rutgers Cancer Institute and Six Flags Great Adventure helped kick-off the Coasters for Cancer campaign, featuring the inaugural ride on the “hand print decorated” Runaway Mine Train – a popular family ride at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ.
The event marks the first time at any venue - within the world’s largest regional theme park company - that a roller coaster has been wrapped in support of cancer awareness. Colorful hand prints, previously collected by cancer survivors and supporters throughout New Jersey, were transferred onto the Runaway Mine Train coaster cars. The coaster will remain wrapped in the decorated hand prints through the close of the park in winter 2019.
“As we continue to focus on innovations in cancer research and patient care, this collaboration offers a unique opportunity to celebrate survivors, further demonstrating our commitment to cancer education,” said Barry H. Ostrowsky, President and Chief Executive Officer, RWJBarnabas Health. “While the wrapped coaster is the centerpiece of this campaign, the opportunity to integrate additional cancer awareness elements throughout the park is critical, as we deliver important educational and prevention information to diverse audiences.”
“As progress continues to be made in research leading to new therapies to treat cancer, advances also are being made in efforts to prevent cancer – whether through access to screening, lifestyle changes, or education,” notes Rutgers Cancer Institute Director Steven K. Libutti, MD, FACS, who is also the Senior Vice President of Oncology Services at RWJBarnabas Health. “As New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Rutgers Cancer Institute together with RWJBarnabas Health is pleased to join forces with Six Flags Great Adventure to celebrate and recognize those on the cancer journey and to enhance cancer prevention awareness through the unique outreach of the Coasters for Cancer initiative.”
This multi-faceted partnership aligns with RWJBarnabas Health’s mission to advance health care while promoting health and wellness initiatives, and education, in communities served across the state. The Coasters for Cancer campaign at Six Flags Great Adventure includes a breadth of on-site elements that will be implemented across the park throughout the season, along with fundraising opportunities to support cancer research. Highlights include:
- The main entrance fountain will be branded RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Cancer Institute, and all coins collected throughout the season will be used to further support cancer research.
- A fully integrated program which includes queue line signage plus digital billboards and content on the Six Flags TV network that will amplify the program by delivering cancer awareness and prevention messaging across the venue throughout the season.
- All season long, parkgoers entering the Runaway Mine Train queue line will be able to show their support for cancer survivors by sharing photos using a specially designed Snapchat geofilter.
- Throughout the month of June, guests that purchase tickets online at www.sixflags.com/greatadventure will have the opportunity to add $1 to their purchase in support of cancer research.
“It’s truly inspiring to team up with RWJBarnabas Health and the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey to support a cause that impacts so many families,” said Six Flags Great Adventure President John Winkler. “We all share a vision to make a difference, and through an innovative, collaborative effort, the Coasters for Cancer campaign offers a unique platform to amplify awareness for cancer while enjoying a visit to the World’s Ultimate Thrill Park.”
Six Flags Great Adventure will also host four blood drives throughout the season, and all blood collected will be used to strengthen and stabilize blood bank inventories across RWJBarnabas Health. Blood from donors is commonly used to treat cancer patients, underpinning the impact of blood drives as an important complement to the campaign. The first blood drive will be held on June 30.
Click the link below for Images from the launch event:
Photo Captions from Dropbox link:
Photo 1:Johnny Volpe (2nd from Left), a 17-year-old cancer Survivor and current high school student from Monroe, Township, NJ is joined by his mother Carla Volpe (L); Dr. Steven Libutti - Director, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Senior Vice President, Oncology Services, RWJBarnabas Health and his father, Vinny Volpe (far right). Johnny spoke at the Coasters for Cancer event and was in the first car next to his dad during the inaugural ride on the hand print decorated Runaway Mine Train.
Photo 2: Johnny Volpe, a 17-year-old cancer Survivor from Monroe, Township, NJ and his father, Vinny Volpe give the thumbs up, as they prepare for the inaugural ride of the Coasters for Cancer campaign.
Photo 3: Coasters for Cancer in action.
Photo 4: Colorful hand prints of cancer survivors and supporters adorn the Runaway Mine Train
Photo 5: The Runaway Mine Train leaves the station with cancer survivors and supporters on board.
Photo 6: Johnny Volpe, a 17-year-old cancer Survivor from Monroe, Township, NJ shares his “survivorship” story to an audience of 200 cancer survivors and supporters to help kick off the Coasters for Cancer Campaign.
Photo 7: (L to R) Dr. John F. Bonamo - Executive Vice President, Chief Medical & Quality Officer, RWJBarnabas Health; Johnny Volpe, 17-year-old cancer Survivor; Steve Treveliese, NJ 101.5 Radio Personality and emcee for the event; Dr. Steven Libutti - Director, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Senior Vice President, Oncology Services, RWJBarnabas Health and John Winkler - President, Six Flags Great Adventure pictured in front of The Runaway Mine Train, the first roller coaster wrapped in support of cancer awareness.
Additional Images and b roll footage available upon request.
Photo Credit: RWJBarnabas Health
About RWJBarnabas Health
RWJBarnabas Health is the largest, most comprehensive academic health care system in New Jersey, with a service area covering nine counties with five million people. The system includes eleven acute care hospitals – Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, Community Medical Center in Toms River, Jersey City Medical Center in Jersey City, Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, RWJUH in New Brunswick, RWJUH Somerset in Somerville, RWJUH Hamilton, RWJUH Rahway and Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston; three acute care children’s hospitals and a leading pediatric rehabilitation hospital with a network of outpatient centers, a freestanding 100-bed behavioral health center, two trauma centers, a satellite emergency department, ambulatory care centers, geriatric centers, the state’s largest behavioral health network, comprehensive home care and hospice programs, fitness and wellness centers, retail pharmacy services, a medical group, multi-site imaging centers and an accountable care organization.
RWJBarnabas Health is New Jersey’s largest private employer – with more than 33,000 employees, 9,000 physicians and 1,000 residents and interns – and routinely captures national awards for outstanding quality and safety. RWJBarnabas Health recently announced a partnership with Rutgers University to create New Jersey’s largest academic health care system. The collaboration will align RWJBarnabas Health with Rutgers’ education, research and clinical activities, including those at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey - the state's only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center - and Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care.
About Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
As New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Rutgers Cancer Institute, along with its partner RWJBarnabas Health, offers the most advanced cancer treatment options including bone marrow transplantation, proton therapy, CAR T-cell therapy and complex robotic surgery. Along with clinical trials and novel therapeutics such as precision medicine and immunotherapy – many of which are not widely available – patients have access to these cutting-edge therapies at Rutgers
Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey at University Hospital in Newark, as well as through RWJBarnabas Health facilities.
Along with world-class treatment, which is often fueled by on-site research conducted in Rutgers Cancer Institute laboratories, patients and their families also can seek cancer preventative services and education resources throughout the Rutgers Cancer Institute and RWJBarnabas Health footprint statewide. To make a tax-deductible gift to support the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, call 848-932-8013 or visit www.cinj.org/giving.
About Six Flags Entertainment Corporation
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is the world’s largest regional theme park company and the largest operator of waterparks in North America, with $1.5 billion in revenue and 26 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada. For 58 years, Six Flags has entertained millions of families with world-class coasters, themed rides, thrilling water parks and unique attractions. For more information, visit www.sixflags.com.
Carrie Cristello (Carrie.Cristello@rwjbh.org)
RWJBarnabas Health @ 973-322-4642
Michele Fisher (Michele.Fisher@Rutgers.edu)
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey @ 732-235-9872
Kristin B Fitzgerald (kFitzgerald@sftp.com)
Six Flags Great Adventure @ 732-928-2000 ext. 2832 or 732-237-6178