Rockville Centre Breast Cancer Coalition
Our mission is to provide support services to those in our community who have been diagnosed with breast cancer
The RVCBCC is a non-profit outreach program for Southern Nassau residents who are living with a breast cancer diagnosis. Our mission is to provide support services and financial support to those in our community who are managing through treatment and its impact on their lives.
Since the coalition was founded over four years ago, the RVCBCC has expanded its outreach outside the village of Rockville Centre to include over 37 towns in Southern Nassau County helping over 100 women and their families.
Recently, we added three pillars to our Outreach Program – RVCBCC Cares, to help those who are in financial crisis, RVCBCC Metastatic Fund, to financially help those recipients who have a long term cancer diagnosis and RVCBCC Bereavement Fund – to help families of recipients that have lost their battle with breast cancer.
From left: Kathy Baxley, Christina Belling, Laura Altman, Nicole Graziano, Peg McDonald, Pauline Festa, Erin O’Sullivan
Co-Presidents, Peg McDonald and Erin O’Sullivan, are long time Rockville Centre residents who both grew up in town. Like many RVC families, they chose to raise their family here.
Together they are committed to building the RVCBCC and are volunteering their time to ensure that the programs and services provided continue to support their community and the men and women who are diagnosed with breast cancer.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Laura Altman – VP Outreach
Kathy Baxley – VP Outreach
Christina Belling – Treasurer
Pauline Festa – VP Marketing
Nicole Graziano – VP Fundraising
ABOUT OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Erin O’Sullivan is the Co-founder and Co-president of the RVCBCC with Peg McDonald. She has been a resident of Rockville Centre for over 49 years and raised her twin sons here. Erin received her Bachelors of Arts from Marist college and has worked in Medical Sales as a Senior Account Manager for over 23 years. In addition to her work on the RVCBCC, Erin volunteers her time with animal rescue.
Erin founded the RVCBCC during a time when she was impacted greatly by her best friends diagnosis of breast cancer. Together with Peg McDonald, she helped create and shape the Rockville Centre Breast Cancer Coalition in 2017. Erin spends her downtime attending her son’s college baseball games and her other son’s vocal and acting performances on stage. She also loves spending time with her family, friend and loved ones.
Peg McDonald is co-president and co-founder of the RVCBCC. Peg was born and raised in Rockville Centre, NY and returned with her husband Kevin to raise their three children Haley, Jack and Grayce. Peg is CEO of McDonald Landscape and designs a full service design and installation firm servicing both residential and commercial properties. After the loss of her sister in law Julia Scarcella, Peg chose to channel her energies along with Erin O’Sullivan to create the RVCBCC in order to support women, men and families struggling with a breast cancer diagnosis.
Laura Altman is a Vice President of the RVCBCC. She is a breast cancer survivor and now helps other women in the community as they battle breast cancer. Laura was born and raised in Rockville Centre, and now is raising her family here with her husband, Peter. They have three boys, Peter, Gavin and Owen. Laura received her BA from Boston College and MA from Columbia University’s Teachers College. She is a former elementary and special education teacher and now has an active role in the PTA, where she was a past president. Laura has been a part of the RVCBCC since the beginning and uses her experience to provide support and resources to women in our community who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. She is forever grateful for the support she received and feels blessed to be able to help others in a similar way.
Kathleen Baxley is a breast cancer survivor and a Vice President of the RVCBCC, in charge of co-coordinating the Care Counselor program. A former elementary school teacher, Kathy is now Deputy Mayor of RVC, and is also involved in many charitable organizations. Kathy uses her experience as a breast cancer survivor to help other women diagnosed with cancer, through discussion, recommendations, and support. Kathy is very active in her community and is also the proud mom of two college aged children, Julia and Matthew, and has been married to her husband Matt for 26 years. Kathy’s involvement in the RVCBCC since it’s inception has helped multiple women and she gains much joy and satisfaction in providing a resource for those newly diagnosed; she is thankful that the RVCBCC is there to help so many.
Christina Belling has lived in Rockville Centre for past 18 years with her husband and three children. She is a CPA and a Senior Vice President at a NYC-based hedge fund. Christina is an active member of the PTA at her children’s schools, and has held various roles over the years, including President and Treasurer. Christina joined the RVCBCC to help those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. As is the case with many of us, cancer has touched her family, so it was important to her that she support such an amazing cause. Christina has served as the Treasurer of the RVCBCC for the past five years.
Pauline Festa has lived in Rockville Centre since 1994 and with her husband Joe, raised her 2 daughters in the village. Active in PTA and Girl scouts, she found that after her girls went away to college, she wanted to continue to give back to the community she loved. She attended her first RVCBCC fundraiser during its first year, offered her services and never looked back.
Pauline’s background is in graphic and print production and as VP/Marketing brings that expertise to the RVCBCC’s fundraising efforts. Her responsibilities include coordinating the publicity, social media and printing for all events. Pauline is passionate about the coalitions’ mission to help women and men affected by breast cancer. Losing her sister-in-law, Christine, to breast cancer was devasting for their family, and she feels that joining the coalition was a way to honor her memory.
Nicole Graziano is a 25+ year resident of Rockville Centre and has been a member of the Board since 2017. In addition to general Board responsibilities, she chairs fundraising and event planning. Nicole has a Bachelors degree in Nursing from Georgetown University and a Masters degree in Nutrition from Columbia University. She has worked as a critical care nurse at Long Island Jewish medical centre and also as a medical director at MacAndrews & Forbes. In addition to her work with the RVBCC Board, she has historically volunteered time at St. Agnes as cheerleading coach, and currently serves as a nutritional consultant and frequent guest speaker at The Sandel Senior Center.
Lucy Cavanaugh has been active with the coalition since its inception and most recently became a board member in 2022. She was born and raised in Rockville Centre, where she and her husband Jim are raising their three children.
Lucy received a BA from Bucknell University and a BS in Nursing from NYU. The effect breast cancer has had on her family drives her passion for helping those diagnosed with this disease. Lucy has held various oncology nurse roles for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Northwell Health, and is currently an Infusion Nurse at Mercy Hospital in Rockville Centre. She draws upon her 17 years of oncology experience to assist the RVCBCC with its mission to support men and women on their breast cancer journey.
Debra Vitale has been a resident of Rockville Centre for 34 years. She and her husband Eric were originally from Brooklyn, NY. After graduating Brooklyn College, she worked in marketing. She and her husband Eric have been married for 46 years and raised 3 sons, Michael, Matthew and Eric, in Rockville Centre. Debbie’s family is deeply important and has grown with two daughter-n-laws, Christina and Angela, and two amazing grandchildren, Ava and Hunter.
Debbie has always had a passion for event planning and fundraising. She ran PTA events all the years her boys were in school and enjoys participating and seeing through any task handed to her.
Losing her grandmother, who was very special to her, to breast cancer when she was only 12 years old, has made this organization very near and dear to her heart. Debbie has volunteered for the RVCBCC since its inception and looks forward to contributing more in her expanded role as board member.
Susan joined the RVCBCC board in 2022 and has resided in Rockville Centre for 17 years with her husband and two daughters. Since that time, Susan has led fundraising activities and worked closely with the co-presidents to initiate the coalition’s internship program.
Susan is passionate about contributing to the care and livelihood of those undergoing breast cancer treatment as she has been personally impacted when, at the age of 15, she lost her mom from the disease.
Susan received her BA in Sociology from Stonehill College and an MSW from Fordham University. Currently Susan works full time as a principal of a global executive search firm. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and staying active in the community. In addition to the RVCBCC, Susan also volunteers with the emPowerHER community, a non-profit supporting teens that have experienced the loss of a parent.