DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – “We feel like it’s almost a calling for the firefighters of the city of Huber Heights that we need to do more for our community,” said Chris Williams.
He came up with the unique idea three years ago to go pink during the month of October, and the Huber Heights Firefighters Local 2926 Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign was born.
Local company Yipes Stripes donates time and talent to wrap the engine in pink. It is then tattooed with sponsors; 125 this year paying for a spot on the fundraiser on wheels.
It is just one more way these firefighters protect and serve. They volunteer on their days off to take the truck to visit patients and make public appearances where they sell t-shirts to raise even more money.
“Someone who is less fortunate, who’s been diagnosed with breast cancer, has an opportunity to get some hope and encouragement,” said Williams.
Their fundraising efforts benefit the Pink Ribbon Girls; a regional nonprofit that provides support services to women battling breast cancer.
“We are so blessed with the Pink Fire Truck,” smiled Heather Salazar, executive director of the Pink Ribbon Girls.
Last year, the campaign raised $65,000. This year they’re on track to reach their goal of $100,000.
“So, all of that money stays in the area for meals, transportation and house cleaning as well as peer support for Pink Ribbon Girls,” said Salazar. “They’re a huge blessing and a huge help to us.”
Salazar is a breast cancer survivor herself so she knows first-hand how helpful it is to have some support around the house while you’re going through treatment. She said the Pink Ribbon Girls have provided more than 24,000 meals so far this year, that’s more than double the amount for all of last year
Also, cancer survivors can sign the truck for free. Anyone can sign for $5, and the messages are touching. One reads, “I wear pink for my sister.”
“There are dark days,” said Linda Heaton. The pink fire truck crew visited Linda during one of her treatments at Dayton Physicians Network.
“But, these kinds of things help you know there’s something out there for you, there’s people behind you and it really does make a difference,”