One of the highlights of this year's Breast Fest was the pink fire truck parked in the center of the event. The "Cares Enough to Wear Pink and Pink Heals Movement" is not just about the fight against breast cancer. It is a movement designed to put a plan into action where the pink fire truck is used as a rallying call to create partnerships and delivery systems to groups for use as a "brand or program."
"This is our 1988 engine that the department purchased new," Fire Chief Joe Marzella said. "We've had 26 years of wonderful service out of it but it's no longer useful for our district. Our district received a truck donation from Iona-Macgregor Fire Department so we're turning this truck over to the Pink Heals."
Josh Baker is southeast regional director for Pink Heals, a national organization, started in 2007 by a man named Dave Graybill, an ex-ballplayer and firefighter. "Graybill came up with the program where the trucks travel the country to raise awareness and support for women and children who battle cancer and other diseases," Baker said. "Our slogan is 'We support women and their families, not causes.' With donations your fire truck will be painted pink and serve the local community. We'll use this truck to raise funds and 100 percent of that money stays in the local community. Everyone involved with the program is a volunteer there are no salaries."
Posing with the pink fire truck are, from left, Keith Cortner, Josh Baker, Fred Cooley, Mary Scott event organizer, and Fire Chief Marzella.
Graybill started the organization to help people battling cancer with a focus on women. They adopted the pink fire truck (and pink police cars) to serve the communities by putting people first instead of causes. The money that the organization raises through fund-raisers stays in the community where the money was raised.
"This is a great opportunity for us to contribute something to this great organization," Chief Marzella said. "This old truck still has some life left in it and this is a great way for us to give back."