SEBRING — Highlands County Fire Services will soon be wearing and selling pink T-shirts in an effort to raise awareness and money for breast cancer. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and this is the first campaign to be launched under the Highlands Fire and EMS Foundation.
The 501© 3 nonprofit should be formed within a couple of weeks according to Public Safety Director Marc Bashoor. The organization will be made up of community members.
The hot pink shirts have been made in two designs. One design for the county’s fire safety and EMS responders and a separate one for members of the community.
According to Bashoor, several different color combinations were “tested” out among employees. All but one person, a male, said he wouldn’t wear a pink shirt.
“The Fire Service will be getting more involved with the community,” Bashoor said. “Over the course of the year, we will have different fundraisers for a variety of charitable causes that are near and dear to the community for one reason or another.”
Bashoor admitted T-shirts have been sold before but wants to be able to donate 100 percent to charity. Bashoor has been working with Highlands Breast & Imaging Center in Sebring. They provide mammograms and other imaging tests for breast cancer. The center is the first organization to receive the funds to promote their mammogram program.
“The men and women can wear their T-shirts to work during the month of October,” Bashoor said. “No one has to buy a shirt, it’s entirely voluntary. No one is forcing anyone to participate and the county is not buying it for them. I will be wearing mine as much as possible during the month.”
Community residents can order and pay online. They can arrange for shipping online or they can pick the T-shirts up at a “pick-up” party from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29. The party will be at Captain Hawk Design at 6940 U.S. 27 N. in Sebring. The party will have free hot dogs and guests will have a good time for a common cause.
Bashoor said the nonprofit will expand its offerings (coffee cups, etc.) once it is better established.
The T-shirts are $20 and extended sizes cost slightly more. The deadline to order T-shirts is Sunday, Sept. 16. If there is interest, Highlands Fire and EMS Foundation will order another printing. Visit hcfr2.captainhawk.net to order.
For more information on the organization or the T-shirts, email Bashoor at firstname.lastname@example.org.