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Sanibel firefighters wear pink throughout October

By Staff | Oct 13, 2010

Sporting their pink T-shirts are members of the Sanibel Fire Rescue District, from left, Matt Scott, Tom Tracy, Danny Duncan, Shane Grant, Tim Barrett and John DeMaria.

Thanks to an idea envisioned by Assistant Chief Matt Scott, all of the members of the Sanibel Fire Rescue District will be wearing pink T-shirts for the remainder of October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

As October is the month dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness, the firefighters and staff have taken it upon themselves to wear pink to bring awareness to the cause.

“Actually, I thought of it after the Pink Heals Tour came to town,” said Scott, who noted that his mother succumbed to breast cancer. “They do a lot of education and awareness about breast cancer, so I thought we should do something here on Sanibel.”

Last month, the Pink Heals Tour visited Cape Coral, one of 46 cities they visited over 74 days. The tour assists in raising hope, awareness and money for each community it visits.

According to Cape Coral firefighter Brendan Fonock, the Pink Heals Tour is a campaign for women and children. He explained that 50 percent of the donations received at the Sept. 26 visit to The Joint will be given to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. The remaining 50 percent will be provided to two local women who are currently battling cancer.

Jonathan Smith, a North Carolina volunteer firefighter, paramedic and instructor, purchased a fire truck and painted it pink to start the North Carolina Chapter of the Pink Heals Tour. He noted that he started driving for the 2010 tour in Miami.

Smith also noted that the Pink Heals Guardians of the Ribbon is a “labor of love” with the cause of raising awareness and “honoring women by wearing their color of pink.”

“Real men wear pink — not because we have to, but because we want to,” he said.

Cape Coral resident Rae Riki Menna also attended last month’s Pink Heals Tour event. She is still going through chemotherapy for breast cancer.

“This means the world to me,” added Menna, whose husband Tony has been a member of the Cape Coral Fire Department for 21 years. She said the love and support of the community and fire department is wonderful.

Scott hopes that when islanders see their local firefighters wearing the pink T-shirts, that they will think of a special lady in their lives.

“My goal is to heighten awareness about breast cancer,” Scott said. “The women in our lives are so important to us, and everybody knows somebody who has been touched by this disease.”

(Staff writer Meghan McCoy contributed to this report.)