Firefighters go pink to raise awareness

Published 3:10 pm Friday, September 30, 2011

Clanton Fire Department participated in the "Cares Enough to Wear Pink" T-shirt project that raised money for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

It would be hard to find a firefighter on the Clanton Fire Department who hadn’t had someone close to them diagnosed with breast cancer, said Fire Chief David Driver.

The T-shirts were designed differently for each department that participated in the project, including incorparting emblems and other artwork.

That’s why firefighters are participating in The Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama’s pink T-shirt campaign — to honor their wives, mothers, sisters and others affected by the disease.

Back in August, the department sold more than $1,300 in pink T-shirts as part of the “Cares Enough to Wear Pink” project. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Money from the shirts goes to the research foundation and the work they do at UAB’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. The shirts cost $15, and a portion of the proceeds ($8-$10 depending on size) from each shirt went to the research foundation.

“It was a good cause to raise money for,” said Driver.

The shirts were recently delivered to firefighters and other community members who bought them in August. The department ordered several extra T-shirts, but they have all since been sold, too, Driver said.

Firefighters from across the state participated in the “Pink” project. Besides Clanton, some other departments selling the shirts include, Bessemer, Birmingham, Cahaba Valley, Center Point, Chelsea, Forestdale, Gardendale, Glennwood, Guntersville, Homewood, Indian Ford, McAdory, McCalla, Mountain Brook, Oneonta, Oxford, Pelham, Springville, Tallassee, Tuscaloosa and Vestavia Hills.

The BCRFA is a non-profit organization founded in 1996 by Dolly O’Neal and Bruce Sokol, both of whom were affected by breast cancer. O’Neal, a two-time breast cancer survivor, and Sokol, whose wife D.D. had been diagnosed with breast cancer, had the desire to “pay it forward” and raise money for breast cancer research in Alabama.

Since the inception of the BCRFA, nearly $3 million has been donated for seed money to pave the way for the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center to receive sought-after and sustaining grant dollars. It is estimated that for every dollar donated by the BCRFA, $16 is received in grant money, which is a great return on investment. All funds donated by the organization stay right here in Alabama.

For more information, call 205-871-4653 or visit