A 12-year-old from the Hudson Valley was honored for raising over $7,000 for breast cancer.

Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus named 12-year-old Jaden Smernaos of Westtown as the Orange County Citizen of the Month for the month of November.

Smernaos, a seventh-grader at Minisink Valley, raised $7,145 for the American Cancer Society’s Real Men Wear Pink campaign.

“Jaden did a wonderful job raising awareness about breast cancer and should be commended for his efforts,” said Neuhaus in a press release. “He found innovative and fun ways to engage the students and faculty at Minisink Valley Middle School, and the community during the Real Men Wear Pink campaign. I am sure that Jaden has a bright future and we are all proud of his commitment to this important cause.”

Real Men Wear Pink raises awareness about breast cancer and funds for the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk at the Woodbury Commons.

Jaden raised funds by selling baked goods his mother made and by organizing a pizza eating contest and family night at a Cugino’s Pizzeria and Restaurant in Slate Hill.

Jaden also organized a “pink out” at Minisink Valley Middle School. Students and staff members were invited to wear something pink to celebrate breast cancer survivors and encourage women to talk with their doctors about breast cancer screening.

“The entire school is so proud of Jaden and we are excited that he is receiving this recognition from County Executive Neuhaus,” Minisink Valley Superintendent of Schools Brian C. Monahan said. “Jaden is a stellar student and has a big heart. What he has accomplished is remarkable.”

Jaden, the youngest Real Men Wear Pink participant, raised the second-most during the fundraiser. He wore something pink every day during the campaign.

According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 252,710 women and 40,610 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer and over 41,000 will die from the disease this year.

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