celebrating life, hope, resilience, and strength

Oct 4 - Oct 31 | EXTENDED!
Oct 4 Celebration

LIGHT FOR LIFE is created through the collaboration and vision of Paddle for the Cure NYC and Women in Lighting + Design NYC for the Elmhurst Health + Hospitals community. This dynamic exhibit pays tribute to the perseverance and fortitude of the front line workers and their community in one of the most impacted areas of NYC during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, as the exhibit is installed during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, LIGHT FOR LIFE also celebrates the breast cancer survivors the hospital has served for years. Paddle for the Cure NYC is located in the Elmhurst community and has a strong commitment to supporting the hospital, its doctors, staff, and fellow cancer survivors.

LIGHT FOR LIFE is a 90FT long x 3FT high ribbon of dynamic color-changing light programmed into text, images, and movement, creating a powerful visual across the front façade of the hospital. The dynamic programming will be set against a backdrop of large-scale printed images of the neighborhood, community, and hospital staff. Each light in the installation is dedicated in tribute to a loved one who has been touched by cancer or COVID (survivor or departed) or hospital staff member, with their names illuminating across the ribbon throughout the day and evening. These names are interwoven within the color-shifting light show that represents different illnesses and gives thanks to the workers caring for these patients. The photography and tribute wall provide an opportunity for the community to create a deep, personal connection with the installation.


Images depict the Hospital staff and members of the Elmhurst community, as well as Paddle for the Cure events. Special thanks to photographer Joie Fadde’s for allowing use of photos from the “Hidden Smiles” project.



Thank you everyone that joined us for FLIP THE SWITCH on OCT 4th – even the rain couldn’t stop us!

WILD NYC and Paddle for the Cure are thrilled to turn the installation over to the Elmhurst Hospital staff and community for their enjoyment and reflection. 

Now that LIGHT FOR LIFE has ended, additional support can be donated directly to Paddle for the Cure. Paddle for the Cure Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, EIN #46-4239059, and all donations are fully tax deductible.


We could not have done this without you!

We’d like to give a special thank you to our partners from Elmhurst Hospital and the lighting community that made producing this installation possible, and to all the volunteers who came and helped us build and install LIGHT FOR LIFE over the course of the last few months.

Check out some photos of the build process below!


Lighting equipment generously donated by Tivoli Lighting.

Installation guidance provided by Aurora Lampworks Inc.

Branding and promotional design assistance provided by Andy Bull.

Technical equipment and installation support provided by O’Blaney Rinker.




Donation made in honor of John DeJose


Lee Brandt

Kim Daley

Marty Salzberg

Asher Schoenberg





JP Bedell

Tek Pokwal


Women in Lighting + Design (WILD), is a networking and educational organization in the architectural lighting community. WILD is open to all women and their allies, creating a supportive and safe network for all. Professional and personal growth is developed through networking events, mentorship initiatives, and educational sessions. WILD’s mission is to promote women’s achievements, call attention to inequities and provide support and resources that can help resolve them, and to partner with other minority groups to build a strong and diverse community in the architectural lighting industry.

Women in Lighting + Design NYC has partnered with PFC for the past 6 years because they believe in the work and support PFC provides for breast cancer survivors. Many WILD NYC members have been affected by breast cancer, and WILD views supporting PFC as another way to support and recognize the struggles their membership has experienced.

Find out more about WILD by visiting their website:, signing up for their newsletter, and following them on social media @womeninlightingandesign and @wild_ny.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst is part of an integrated health care system of hospitals, neighborhood health centers, long-term care, nursing homes and home care. NYC Health + Hospitals is committed to the health and well-being of all New Yorkers and we offer a wide range of high quality and affordable health care services to keep our patients healthy and to address the needs of New York’s diverse population.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst serves an area of nearly one million people in one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse communities in the United States. Our patients come from across the globe, speaking a multitude of languages and dialects and bringing with them their particular beliefs and customs. Elmhurst is responsive to their needs, and makes every effort to alleviate cultural barriers and to ensure that our patients are provided with the quality healthcare they deserve. Culturally-sensitive care is a hallmark of our highly-regarded Mental Health Services.

Find out more about Elmhurst by visiting their website: and following them on social media @nychealthsystem.

PFC is a special support organization for breast cancer survivors /supporters. We offer a unique survivorship program that uses recreational dragon boat paddling to manage side effects of treatment for breast cancer survivors and promotes a positive and healthy lifestyle. 

Organized by survivors, we paddle our way to recovery with each other and a tremendous group of supporters and paddling enthusiasts along our side. Our on-water season is May through October. Off-season indoor practice is available November through April. We plan to practice weekly in the World’s Fair Marina during the warm weather and participate in dragon boat races along the East Coast. Our team events are open to all and promote a healthy lifestyle, a way of getting life and movement back through exercise, as well as emotional support and team spirit.

Since Paddle for the Cure is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, donations and tickets at our fundraisers and events are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.