By Katie Heck
In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District is raising funds for Pink Heals by selling limited-edition shirts. This annual fundraiser, organized by Field Training Officer Sarah Gribbin, has raised almost $30,000 for the Pink Heals organization since 2017.
This year’s shirt design features the phrase “United We Stand,” signifying the unity of firefighters, medical professionals, and law enforcement to support this cause. The shirts are available in a short sleeve soft cotton blend as well as a long sleeve dri-fit option.
Last year’s fundraiser hit new records, thanks to the involvement of several surrounding fire districts; Iona McGregor, San Carlos Park, South Trail, Captiva Island, and the City of Fort Myers. Although the color and front logo on the shirt varied by department, the design on the back was the same and signified support for Pink Heals and cancer warriors. Firefighters from each department wore the shirts with their uniforms throughout October, and members of the community also purchased shirts to show their support for the cancer warriors in their lives.
Inspired by her mother’s battle with breast cancer, Sarah designs a new shirt each year to help make a difference in the lives of others. “When someone is diagnosed with a serious illness, they need a strong support system to encourage them to keep fighting,” she stated. “We are here to show our love and support.”
Pink Heals partners with public safety organizations, local businesses, and families to provide home visits to people in need of support during a medical battle. The visits show the individuals that they are loved, cherished, and important.
Firefighter Paramedic Goldstein has volunteered with the Southwest Florida Chapter of Pink Heals since 2017, but she still remembers when she received her set of pink bunker gear. “The first thing I noticed was my mom’s name embroidered on the sleeve of my bunker coat. My mom received her diagnosis on the day that I was sworn in as a career firefighter,” stated Sarah. “Through her continuing battle, I’ve learned that fighting cancer is a family affair. Volunteering for Pink Heals is my way of honoring my mother and also encouraging others to stay strong in their battle. ”
The shirts are available to the public for purchase until September 1, 2021, at the website listed below. Shirt orders will be available for local pickup at a Lehigh Acres fire station on October 1 (or any day after). 100% of the proceeds benefit Pink Heals.
Website to select shirts for purchase: https://sarahgoldstein0.wixsite.com/mysite.