The Marshalltown Fire Department was unable to get the International Association of Fire Fighters big pink fire truck to tour Marshalltown. But, that didn't stop the IAFF local 16 from promoting breast cancer awareness.
With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, local fire fighters decided they would jump on board with the effort, giving it a local touch. The Marshalltown Water Works donated a decommissioned fire hydrant. Fire fighters painted it pink, mounted it to a piece of plywood and attached wheels.
They now have a mobile monument physically representing MFD's commitment to breast cancer awareness.
T-R PHOTO BY DAVID ALEXANDER
Val Ruff, executive director of the MMSC Foundation, signs the Marshalltown Fire Department’s pink fire hydrant Thursday morning at the fire station. The hydrant will make its way around Marshalltown in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month so breast cancer survivors, like Ruff, and those who have lost loved ones to the disease can sign it.
"Breast cancer has touched everyone in some way or will touch everyone in some way," said Capt. Tim Hillygus, with the MFD. "It's a worthy cause."
The pink hydrant will travel around Marshalltown for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, making stops at Marshalltown Medical & Surgical Center, McFarland William R. Bliss Cancer Center and Fisher Community Center.
MFD and MMSC Foundation are asking cancer survivors and those who have lost loved ones to sign the hydrant as a testament to the disease's far-reaching effects.
If You Go ...
Oct. 1 to 7 Marshalltown Fire Department, 107 S. First Ave.
Oct. 8 to 14Fisher Community Center,
709 S. Center St.
Oct. 15 to 21McFarland William R. Bliss Cancer Center, 312 E. Main St.
Oct. 22 to 29Marshalltown Medical & Surgical Center, 3 S. Fourth Ave.
Oct. 24Breast Cancer Luncheon, Orpheum Theater, 220 E. Main St. (11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
The MFD also has pink fire fighter T-shirts available for $18. All the proceeds from the shirts' sale go to MMSC Foundation's Prevent program, which provides mammograms to all who need them regardless of income.
Val Ruff, executive director of MMSC Foundation, a breast cancer survivor, said that early detection is paramount in treating breast cancer. Every dollar toward the program makes a difference. She said she is optimistic about the prospect of the hydrant touring Marshalltown.
"We just thought [having the hydrant] would be a fun initiative to have the community rally around breast cancer awareness," she said. "With things like this, you never know what can happen."
Breast cancer is the second most prevalent cancer in woman, killing an estimated 34,520 woman in 2011 - more than any other cancer except lung cancer, according to the most recent data released by the American Cancer Society.
Although the hydrant's schedule has been determined for October, it will be available to agencies that want to host it following Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
To purchase a T-shirt or find out how to host the hydrant, contact the Marshalltown Fire Department at 641-754-5151.