Fire Girls combat cancer with “We Care to Wear Pink” luncheon

VERO BEACH — Red may traditionally represent fire departments, but the Fire Girls of Indian River County are turning up the heat in the fight against Breast Cancer with a sizzling pink passion. 

The enthusiastic group, made up of firefighter wives and active members of Indian River Fire Rescue, formed just this past March, but already their “”We Care to Wear Pink” tee-shirts have been generating sales and notice all over town. Inspired by friends and family members stricken with the disease, the Fire Girls banded together to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer annual fundraiser.  On Wednesday, the dynamic ladies hosted their first “We Care to Wear Pink” Fashion Show and Luncheon at the Costa d’Este Beach Resort, with approximately 70 guests in attendance.

The core group consists of Melinda Judson, Cynthia Chisholm, Barb grass, Stacy Gabbard and Erin Graul, and Chisholm said they hope to get all firefighters and spouses involved.

“It started as a social group,” said Chisholm.  “But now we’re trying to become a force in the community.  The goal is to bring attention and awareness to everyone about women fighting and dealing with breast cancer.”

Committee members amassed numerous door prizes and silent auction items from local businesses, ranging from beauty and medical treatments to jewelry and car repair.  Guests also received hot-pink Indian River Fire Rescue swag bags filled with donated goodies.

“It’s not our usual uniform, but we’re allowed to wear it today,” said Fire Medic Stacy Zedek with a smile about the pink-striped tie worn with her uniform.

Shades of pink prevailed, from outfits and accessories worn by guests, to luscious cupcakes topped with pink fondant ribbons at each place setting, and even rosy Shirley Temple sodas.

“I’m not scared to drink pink,” laughed Dr. Alan Durkin of the Advanced Facial Cosmetic & Laser Surgery Center, the event’s top, “Passionately Pink” sponsor.  “I can speak for my esteemed colleague too,” indicating Dr. Patrick Domkowski, of Riverside Surgical & Weight Loss Center.

It’s hard not to get emotional,” said Chisholm in her welcome to the group, after being introduced by event emcee Lt. Toby Turner of IRC Fire Rescue. “Let’s just let it all be about pink.”

“I don’t think they knew how successful they were going to be,” said Nancy Madsen, ACS Patient Services Manager, speaking briefly of the Fire Girls’ accomplishments.

A true/false quiz on breast cancer facts, handed out by radiologist Dr. Heather Nagel, was a scary indication of how little people actually know about the disease, but her closing remarks gave hope.

“Breast cancer is not a preventable disease, but it is a treatable disease if it’s caught early,” said Nagel.

Following a delicious Asian infused luncheon of tuna steak and chicken, a number of firefighters, firefighter wives and friends modeled fashions presented by Downtown Divas, a new high-fashion boutique located in the Indian River Mall, and Patchington on Ocean Drive, which offers year-round resort wear and accessories.

The Fire Girls will continue to build what they hope will be the largest pink team to participate in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (MSABC) Walk, scheduled to take place on Saturday, October 15 at the Sebastian River Medical Center.

To join their team call (772) 532-4042 or email  {igallery 393}

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