By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer
October is less than a week away. And in Corbin, people are getting “in the pink of condition” to observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The Corbin Fire Department is getting ready, too.
The pink helmets are out, and 21 of them have been sponsored by local businesses and organizations this year.
Just as important, the fire department’s T-shirts promoting breast cancer awareness are expected to arrive by week’s end.
“We’re hoping they’ll be in by the end of this week. When they come in, we’ll have a banner up on South Main Street saying the shirts are on sale,” Firefighter Chad Jackson said.
When they come in, the black T-shirts will have a new design on the back. They’ll range in adult sizes from small to 3XL, and will be sold for $10 — just like last year’s.
“We’ve ordered around 600 of them. We took an average of what we’ve sold before, and hopefully, we can make one order,” Jackson noted outside the fire station on South Main.
The fire department’s T-shirts have been eagerly awaited for the last three years — not just for their message of solidarity in the fight against breast cancer, but also in what the T-shirts will look like each year.
“This year, the front design will be standard. It’ll stay the same on the front every year after that. But the back will now be a new design each year. We all sat down, looked around the Internet for designs, put our heads together and designed them,” Jackson said.
Getting out his smart phone, he showed a picture of what the back side of this year’s T-shirts will look like.
“We decided to use a normal fire hydrant which will be pink. Traditionally, fire hydrants are red or yellow, but we thought it would be cool to have a pink fire hydrant. And the pink ribbon hose with the nozzle on the end? We came up with that last year. A lot of the guys liked it, and we got great community feedback as well, so we brought the ribbon hose and the nozzle back this year on the design on the back of the T-shirts, which are again being printed with the help of Lowe’s Sporting Goods,” Jackson pointed out.
When the T-shirts come in, they’ll be sold at the Corbin Fire Department headquarters on South Main Street through the entire month of October. Those wanting to buy the shirts can do so at the fire station during regular business hours. If any are left over at the end of October, the department will sell the T-shirts until they run out.
Jackson said the T-shirts may be sold at another location in the city if plans come together.
“Last year, we set up on a Saturday at the Kroger store on the Falls Highway, and did real well there. We’re hoping to do that again this year,” he added.
Since 1985, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month has been a collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations and government agencies working together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease, raise funds for research and provide greater access to services.
Among the national organizations that work in collaboration with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month are the American Cancer Society, the American Medical Women’s Association, Men Against Breast Cancer and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
In our region, the Tri-County Cancer Coalition also collaborates with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Corbin-based non-profit organization provides vital services to help those afflicted with cancer, as well as their families, in Whitley, Knox and Laurel counties.
Like the sponsored pink helmets, all proceeds from the T-shirt sales go entirely to the Tri-County Cancer Coalition.
Last year, the coalition received $9,000 in sales and sponsorship proceeds from the Corbin Fire Department.
Jackson commented, “Right now, we’ve got all the sponsorships we need for the helmets. But donations for breast cancer awareness are always welcome, too.”
For the cause, and for the anticipation of seeing what they’ll look like, people look forward to T-shirt time in Corbin.
And it starts in less than a week.
“We sold a bunch of ‘em last year. Everybody liked them, and it always goes to a good cause. This is our fourth year with the T-shirts, and this campaign with them and the pink helmet sponsorships gets better and better every October,” said Corbin Fire Chief Barry McDonald.
Firefighter James Smith put it this way. “The majority of those who buy the shirts are breast cancer survivors, or know somebody who survived breast cancer. That touches a lot of folks.”
“And a lot of people support the fire department. If it’s a good cause, they come to help,” added Jackson.
Fire dept. expects breast cancer awareness shirts to arrive this week
By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer
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