Firefighters Change Their Colors for a Good Cause
Members of the Guardians of The Ribbon brought out four pink fire trucks for people to sign during the fund-raising event in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. “It’s awesome, good turnout,” Elizer said.
The Sun Sentinal via YellowBrix
September 19, 2010
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL — Hundreds of Treasure Coast residents donning pink in support of women battling cancer gathered at Tradition Square on Saturday for the Pink Heals Tour. The tour, locally hosted by firefighters from the St. Lucie County Fire District, aims to spread awareness across the country and celebrate women who have fought the killer disease.
Four pink fire trucks adorned with thousands of signatures from cancer survivors and their families were prominently displayed in the square. Port St. Lucie is the trucks’ 27th stop on a 60-stop tour around the country. The trucks were picked up early Saturday in Orlando by St. Lucie County firefighters.
“Driving the trucks from Orlando this morning was so inspiring,” said firefighter and local organizer Donny Stefani, who wore all pink. “People were waving and honking their horns.”
The Pink Heal Tour, created a few years ago by a Phoenix, Ariz., firefighter with the dream of honoring all women who have fought cancer, has spread into a nationwide campaign to raise money to find a cure. Locally, all funds raised will go to the Pink Tie Friends, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping uninsured or underinsured women with breast cancer treatment on the Treasure Coast.
“This event is great and we’re excited about it,” said Pink Tie Friends member Donna Holland. “Anything we can do to raise awareness for our charity and raise money for our patients.”
The festivities included a parade, a bounce house for children, live music, a DJ and an array of booths from local organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, Urgent Care Chiropractic Pain Center, and Dalmatian Rescue, Inc. Doctors from Coastal Islands Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery performed free skin cancer screenings and handed out tubes of sunscreen.
Pati Dane of Dalmatian Rescue hoped to educate the public about the breed, which has a high prevalence of mammary cancer.
“This breed has a high rate of mammary cancer,” Dane said. “Right now, one of our Dalmatians is in the final stages of her cancer.”
Event organizers anticipated over 1,000 attendees and hoped to raise around $5,000. Just an hour into the event’s start, over 500 people showed their support for the cause.
“The outpouring has been phenomenal,” said Nate Spera, a battalion chief in the St. Lucie County Fire District. “Firefighters like to recognize courage and some of the most courageous women are fighting this disease.”
One of those courageous women in the crowd was 46-year-old breast cancer survivor, Janet McDaniel. Diagnosed in early 2008, McDaniel has been cancer free for two years after a battle which included daily rounds of radiation therapy.
“It was exhausting and very tiring,” she said. “I’m really glad they’re doing this event today.”
County Commissioner Chris Dzadovsky also attended to show his support.
“It’s a great cause and this is what St. Lucie County is all about, caring and giving,” he said.
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