Geneva Firefighters Think Pink—and Don It
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Geneva firefighters are in the pink—literally.
Firefighters with the Geneva Fire Department are foregoing their usual crisp navy or white uniform shirts for much of this month and are going pink, instead.
Many of the firefighters—including Chief Steve Olson—purchased pink T-shirts or polo shirts that promote the fight against breast cancer. The firefighters are wearing the shirts during October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Pink ribbons have been the official symbol of breast cancer awareness since 1993. Fire department Administrative Assistant Tammy Kleveno (who also is a graphics designer) designed the shirts, intertwining the "GFD" logo with the pink ribbon.
"I kind of manned it up a little bit," she said with a laugh.
The idea for the GFD shirts spun out of Kleveno's discovery of the Guardians of the Ribbon organization, which travels the country with a brigade of pink fire trucks to support women in their fight against cancer and inspire men to get involved.
The group's motto is that the men behind the pink truck "care enough to wear pink." Despite the color, that organization isn't focused on breast cancer awareness, as the typical pink ribbon (and the month of October) are, Kleveno said. So she adapted the idea and sold Geneva Fire Department personnel on the notion that firefighters could wear pink, too. And she hopes next year to bring the the pink trucks to Geneva, as well.
On-duty personnel are wearing the shirts throughout the month. And the shirts (I have one myself) are available for sale to the general public as well. "The mayor bought a couple," Kleveno said, of Mayor Kevin Burns. "And most of the guys bought multiple shirts."
T-shirts sell for $15 each and are available at the Geneva Fire Department Station No. 1, 200 East Side Drive. (The phone number is 630-232-2530; it would be wise to call first to check on availability.)
Kleveno originally ordered 250 shirts and already has placed a second order, due to demand. Proceeds will benefit Fox Valley Volunteer Hospice and Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization.
Editor's note: In the interest of full disclosure, Fire Chief Steve Olson is Beth Bales' husband.