BUFFALO, N.Y. — Two young sisters from Lackawanna are celebrating after they received a pretty big award from the New York State Senate for raising money and awareness about breast cancer.
Raekell and Sirayah Blackburn received the State Senate’s Commendation Award for Volunteerism Tuesday night.
"It's actually really fun. It's really fun to see the smiles on people's faces when they come up to our booth and like buy one of our pins," says Raekell Blackburn.
The girls started making breast cancer awareness pins four years ago.
"Because I wanted to. I wanted to be part of something this big," says Sirayah Blackburn.
Their mom, Kelsie Michaels, helped them get started. She's a mammography technologist at Southtowns Radiology.
"They're big on fundraising for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, and once my girls saw what we were doing at work, they wanted to see how they could help and they came up with the idea to make pins, sell them, and donate their proceeds," says Kelsie Michaels.
"Because people are really sick and some of them are dying because of breast cancer," says Raekell Blackburn.
After making 18-hundred pins, the girls can make them pretty quickly. It only takes 30 seconds to make one pin.
"You cut the ribbon, and then you make it into a breast cancer shape, you make it into a breast cancer shape like this, and then you glue the diamond, or if you don't want a diamond, then you glue the back on, and then you wear it," explains 8-year-old Sirayah Blackburn.
They have donated about $1800 to the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk so far. They sold all the pins they brought to this year's walk. They also have no plans of stopping.
"It makes me feel proud of us because we're helping so much people out," says Raekell Blackburn.
"It makes me proud, too. I like to see them doing something for other people," says Michaels.
Both girls want to go into the medical field. If you'd like to buy a pin, you can wait for next year's Making Strides Walk or go to the front desk at Southtowns Radiology any time.