During the months of September and October, a number of fire departments, including two in Walker County, will be selling custom-designed black and pink T-shirts for $15 and $20. A portion of the proceeds ($9 to $13 depending on size) from each shirt will help the BCRFA provide the seed dollars required to compete for sustaining, national grants for breast cancer research at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center in Birmingham.
Dolly O’Neal, the co-founder of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama, said the pink t-shirt campaign was inspired by the grass-roots fundraising efforts of several creative fire departments in 2010. In 2011, the campaign went statewide and the T-shirt’s color was changed from pink to black, in keeping with the theme “Black Out Breast Cancer.”
“These firefighters are experienced life-savers, and we are grateful that they are devoting so much to saving lives through breast cancer research,” O’Neal said. “The firefighters also share the BCRFA’s passion for keeping the money raised in the state of Alabama to help attract the best and brightest researchers. Our mission is to find a cure for this devastating disease — black it out forever — so that our children will not know the impact breast cancer has had on previous generations.”
The T-shirts will be available for purchase later this week at Jasper Fire & Rescue’s Station One on 18th Street.
“This will be our first year to participate,” Jasper Fire Chief Calvin Kluesner said. “We’re very excited, and really looking forward to raising a lot of money for such a worthwhile cause. Breast cancer is more prevalent than most people think, and this is just one way, through fundraisers like this, that we help find a cure.”
Kluesner said Jasper Fire & Rescue will have the “Black Out Breast Cancer” community T-shirts available in both short-sleeve and long-sleeve in the following sizes: small, medium, large, X-large and XX-large.
“The short-sleeve is $15 and the long-sleeve is $20. We also purchased T-shirts for all of our firefighters, and they will be wearing them on certain days throughout the month of October in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” Kluesner said. “We’re also taking orders from any businesses in our community that would like to order shirts for their employees to wear as well, the orders just have to be for 50 or more T-shirts. The business owners can just call me at 205-221-8509 to place their order.”
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama was formed in 1996 with the goal of establishing and expanding breast cancer research labs at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. With support from corporations and individuals, the foundation has raised nearly $3.5 million for research.
UAB has been able to generate $16 million in grant funding from the “seed money” provided by the BCRFA.
For questions or information about BCRFA events, or to get involved with the BCRFA, please call the BCRFA office at (205) 996-5463 or visit their website at www.bcrfa.org.