SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Baldwin Fund, a fund dedicated to raising awareness about breast cancer, has announced after 33 years of participating at the New York State Fair, they will be withdrawing from the event.

The announcement comes after the organization was prompted by changes that raised concerns about their ability to continue its mission serving the community at the NYS Fair.

After careful consideration and deliberation, The Baldwin Fund has said its commitment to serving the community remains unwavering but they can no longer align themselves with the Fair.

“Our voice, along with those of fellow vendors and organizations, is vital to the heart of the NYS Fair, and it is with a heavy heart that we acknowledge our voices have not been heard and participation has caused too many distractions to our core focus,” said Beth Baldwin, Executive Director of The Baldwin Fund.

According to The Baldwin Fund, the decision to withdraw was not made lightly.

“The time had come to take a stand for the organization’s core values and the individuals who have dedicated their efforts to its mission,” said Beth Baldwin. “I have much more bigger things to do. Sit with people when they’re having chemos, get them into doctors, sit with them when they’re dying. on their last breath. and I’m arguing over a six cent can,”

A recent meeting served as the turning point for the organization’s determination as Fair organizers failed to get back to Beth about making a plan with the Baldwin Fund to receive deposit returns in exchange for the Fair’s recycling, which they have done for years. Some years, up to $50,000 is made through Fair recycling which is donated to Upstate’s Cancer Center.

“People are telling me they have to go to the lawyers from the state. and the lawyers are going to put something together, how we need to do this to be legal. So I didn’t even know it was right or wrong or however last year,” said Baldwin.

For the last eight months, she says, she’s been working on a solution, with little clarity or communication from fair leaders. So when handed a contract she couldn’t agree to, she decided to bow out.

“I’m not just taking a stand for me. I’m taking a stand for non-communication and mistreatment of everybody that’s in that fair.”

The Baldwin Fund, since its inception, has been dedicated to supporting those battling with breast cancer, and standing with families of those who have lost loved ones.

Over the years, thousands of volunteers have helped contribute to the organization’s cause, understand its mission and share their stories, which is why even Beth’s brother, Alec Baldwin, said that the Fair giving the Baldwin Fund no priority was disrespectful.

“For this organization to represent what it means in the hearts and minds of Central New York, and to have them treated this way, no priority given the local groups, to me the local groups should get the priority,” said Alec Baldwin.

The organization promises to maintain its commitment to raising critical funding for breast
cancer treatment and a cure and through taking this step, they believe they can continue to better serve the community.

“We extend our deepest gratitude to all those who have generously shared their time, talents, and stories with us over the years,” said Elizabeth Baldwin. “Your support has been instrumental in our journey, and we are eternally grateful. The Baldwin Fund will persist in its mission, focusing on finding a cure for breast cancer.”