Pink Heals Tour coming to Southwest Florida
Pink firetrucks will make an appearance in Southwest Florida Sunday, Sept. 26, to help raise money and awareness for cancer.
Deputy Chief Trenton Bowen said the idea of the Pink Heals Tour started after a firefighter in Phoenix, Ariz., lost his wife to breast cancer. After the department got behind him to raise money and awareness for cancer, a group of individuals got together and kicked off the Pink Heals Tour in September 2007.
The International Association of Fire Fighters joined the cause, which then led to many state and local professional firefighter associations getting involved as well.
“The Cares Enough to Wear Pink” campaign has raised a total of $206,958.58 since the tour began.
The Florida Professional Firefighters association made a resolution to help the Pink Heals Tour and get cities in Florida involved in the cause of helping raise awareness, which led to the local associations becoming involved in the cause.
This is the first time the Pink Heals Tour has made it to Florida.
Cape Coral firefighter and event coordinator Brendan Fonock said the Pink Heals Tour is a campaign for women and children. The tour, which travels across county, helps in raising hope, awareness and money for each community it visits.
“The whole tour is huge,” he said, adding that “women are the most important people in our lives.”
Bowen said a few months ago, the local firefighters union received a message looking for individuals to help support the tour in Florida.
He said the local fire union was interested in helping and instantly began talking to people they knew to help kick off the event.
“I’m just a fireman that likes to do something good every now and then,” Bowen said.
Fonock said after he found out that the tour was coming to Southwest Florida, he made sure one of the trucks would stop in Cape Coral.
He said they have been selling pink T-shirts at Rumrunners and the Cape Coral Professional Firefighters office, 407 S.W. 2nd Terrace, for $20.
Fonock said he is truly excited about the amount of shirts they have already sold.
He said 50 percent of the donations will be given to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation and the other 50 percent will be provided to two local families who are currently battling cancer.
“We are really hoping to give the Komen Foundation a nice sum of money to work on this disease,” Bowen said.
He said he has met a lot of people since the city became one of the destinations of the Pink Heals Tour, pointing out that many individuals are eager to help and want nothing in return.
“It is inspiring,” he said.
The Pink Heals Tour will make three stops in Lee County, with the fourth truck traveling to individual homes where people are currently undergoing treatment. Bowen said a total of six individuals travel with the firetrucks.
Fonock said the local chapter of Susan G. Komen provided names of the families the floating pink firetruck can go visit.
The Pink Heals Tour will be at Coconut Point Mall from noon-4 p.m., Edison Mall from noon-4 p.m. and The Joint at Cape Harbor from noon-5 p.m. From 4:30-7:30 p.m., all four pink fire trucks will be located around Hotel Indigo in the Fort Myers Downtown River District.
Fonock said The Joint will feature live music, one of the pink trucks and raffle items. He said thus far many businesses have been extremely supportive in providing items to be raffled off during the event.
In addition to the Cape Coral Professional Firefighters selling T-shirts, the Pink Heals Tour crew will be selling T-shirts as well to raise money to help cover their expenses of traveling across country.
All those who attend the events are encouraged to wear pink to support women across the country with cancer. Each event will have Pink Heal Tour T-shirts and raffles tickets for sale.
“My goal is to cover Cape Coral in pink,” Fonock said.
Survivors and those going through treatment will have the opportunity to sign the fire truck on Sunday as well.
Bowen said the Indigo Room is going to put them up for the night and the Edison Mall Chick-Fil-A will provide them with food.
He said the meals and lodging are usually donated by the local unions when they travel on the tours.
“Hopefully it will come back next year,” Fonock said.
Fonock said on Oct. 25, 26 and 27 they will be wearing pink duty shirts in honor of the National Cares Enough to Wear Pink days.
For information about the tour visit www.pinkfiretrucks.org, www.facebook.com/capecoralprofessionalfirefighters or call the Fort Myers Fire Department at (239) 321-7311.