Anton DeMartino, left, Phyllis DeMartino, Sue Bandiera and Susan Ruffini of the North Fork Breast Health Coaliton accept a $7,075 check from Apple Honda general manager William Fields, controller Dawn Vogel and executive assistant Linda Hulse. Photo: Denise Civiletti

Apple Honda’s fifth annual breast cancer awareness campaign raised over $7,000 for the North Fork Breast Health Coalition, bringing the total raised and donated to the group by the Route 58 auto dealership’s annual campaign to more than $34,000.

The dealership donated $50 for each of the 104 new cars it sold during October — breast cancer awareness month — and $1 for each of the more than 1,500 cars it serviced. It also collected donations from employees and customers all month long. It’s brand-new, recently opened showroom was decked out in pink all month to draw attention to the campaign.

“We owe a lot to our associates who supported the North Fork Breast Health Coalition through the years and we’re happy to do whatver we can to help these poor people who have been stricken with this awful disease,” Apple Honda general manager William Fields said yesterday.

“We thank you so much,” said coalition president Susan Ruffini. “This is going to help a lot of our neighbors and friends. This really means a lot to us.”

The North Fork Breast Health Coalition was founded in 1998 by Ann Cotten-DeGrasse and her late husband Antonio, after the couple learned that there were no support services for breast cancer patients on the North Fork.

The all-volunteer organization’s mission is to encourage and assist in the prevention, early intervention, and cure of breast cancer through advocacy, awareness, networking, and research.

It offers gentle yoga classes, reflexology, massage therapy and support groups as well as a grant program to assist North Fork breast cancer patients with personal needs. The “Lend a Helping Hand” grant program annually provides 20 to 30 grants of up to $1,000 apiece to provide patients assistance with travel costs, housecleaning, meal preparation, etc.

The organization also works to let people know about breast cancer screening services available locally, including free mammograms from Cancer Services in Riverhead (631-548-6320).

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.