Fire department raises money for cancer awareness

Proceeds obtained from pink T-shirt sales will go to local cancer center


Ben Sanford

Pink T-shirts available for purchase at the St. Louis Park Fire Station 1. The shirts cost $20 and are being sold in support of breast cancer awareness.

Gabriel Kaplan

John Wolff, St. Louis Park’s deputy fire chief, said he believes the fire department’s pink T-shirt sales — which support the local Jane Brattain Breast Center — will make a positive impact on the community.

“We’re trying to help where we can. It’s a small gesture on our part to support folks that find themselves in the jackpot with cancer,” Wolff said. “Cancer touches a lot of us and this is a nice way to support a local health care facility that treats cancer. You get to wear a really cool pink shirt with the fire logo on it.”

According to junior Ben Lubka, the sales will not only be beneficial by raising money, but also by spreading awareness.

“It’s for a good cause, and as the money goes toward that, it seems like it (will have) a positive effect and is a good way to raise awareness,” Lubka said.

Wolff said students can buy the shirts weekdays through Thanksgiving at Fire Station One.

“We are selling (the shirts) for $20,” Wolff said. “We are selling them October through November. I think we’ve sold close to 30 (as of Nov. 21) and proceeds will go toward that cause.“

Freshman Gilian Kapinos said she supports the fire department’s initiative.

We’re trying to help where we can. It’s a small gesture on our part to support folks that find themselves in the jackpot with cancer.

— John Wolff

“I think it’s good to help raise awareness about this. Breast cancer is a real issue and it’s important to study for it,” Kapinos said. “A lot of people suffer with (cancer) so it’s a good cause.”

According to Wolff, in addition to breast cancer, the T-shirt sales are meant to raise awareness for other common male and female cancers.

“We combined (the awareness months of) October and November of the female and male cancers and wanted to touch all bases,” Wolff said. “I’ve been impressed with the fact that most people who have bought shirts are not a part of our extended family — friends and neighbors if you will — it’s been people that have seen this opportunity to donate.”

Students can help bring visibility to cancer by participating in the fire department’s initiative, according to Lubka.

“Because the shirts spread awareness, (by buying the shirt) you are normalizing the issue so it’s not as stigmatized,” Lubka said. “(We can also raise awareness) through word of mouth, personal donations and just talking about it.”

Kapinos said she would encourage students to buy the pink T-shirts, if able to, in order to support the community.

“(Students) should probably buy one,” Kapinos said. “It would help the community out and it’s going to a good cause.”