BELMAR, NJ — Belmar Elementary School students didn’t just tie one or two, or even a couple dozen pink ribbons to the school’s playground fence for Paint the Town Pink month. They tied nearly 600 large bows to the green chain-links, creating a wall of pink that captures the attention of passers-by on Main Street.

The ribbon-tying effort marked the culmination of a week’s worth of activities held at the school in conjunction with Hackensack Meridian Health’s Paint the Town Pink campaign to promote breast cancer awareness.

Throughout the week, students in pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade received grade-appropriate lessons in healthful living — not only for their moms, grandmoms and aunts, but for everyone in their lives.

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It was on Tough Enough to Wear Pink Day that everyone was encouraged to wear pink to school to show their spirit of unity around the effort. Then grade by grade, the students marched out to the playground and tied the shiny ribbons bearing their hand-written names to the fence — until the entire façade glistened pink in the sun.

But there was something else that made the day even more special: The students learned to give back, raising $220 for Belmar Cares, the support group for breast cancer survivors that has been spearheading Pink events throughout the month.