By Ann Rubin
KSDK -- In Wentzville, firefighters are thinking pink thanks to the newest addition to their fleet. But their pink truck won't be used to fight fires; it'll be used to battle breast cancer.
The truck will be the centerpiece of local fundraisers, traveling to golf tournaments, strip malls, and other charitable events where it's requested.
"We feel that this truck is a symbol that we can bring to the citizens that show love, hope, compassion and caring to our citizens," said Wentzville Fire Captain David Marlo.
As you can imagine, a truck like this might attract a crowd. And that's exactly what these firefighters want. They're hoping people will come together for a cause.
Past experience has shown them, this can work. Firefighters in Arizona have already been doing it, taking their "Pink Heals" tour cross country. They stopped in Wentzville the last two years, allowing the community to use their trucks to raise money for local cancer survivors.
In 2009, Wentzville firefighters raised $12,000, which they donated to 12 women. But the group decided they could do more, they wanted a pink truck of their own.
"They called me up and said, 'Hey, we'd like to talk to you about a unique project. We have a fire truck that we want to paint pink.' And I said, 'Excuse me?'" said Brad Hammond of Craftsmen Industries.
The people from Craftsmen caught on quickly, finding exactly the right shade for the new truck. Before that, it was regular red and about to be put out of service due to its age. The new paint, gave it a new lease on life.
"We've got people calling already just through the grapevine, 'Hey, I hear you've got a pink fire truck, is that true?'" said Wentzville Fire Chief Randy Bornhop. "And sure enough it is. 'And what do we have to do to get it to our community?'"
Marlo adds, "You can go to our website. You can request us to come to your cancer event."
Wenzville's outreach program will be far-reaching, they say. They plan to take the truck throughout Missouri, Illinois and possibly more of the Midwest as one of the first regional branches to the Pink Heals project. Their hope is to raise a lot of money to give right back to cancer patients who need it.
"And here we are today and we're going to take this truck around and we're going to show the women in our community and in the St. Louis area that we're here to support them," Marlo said.
The truck was donated by the Wentzville Fire Department to its outreach program. The program then used funds they raised from their 2009 event to pay for the paint job. The truck will be officially dedicated in early April.
For more information on the pink truck and how to get it to your event, visit www.wentzvillefirefighters.org. The Wentzville Fire Department is also selling t-shirts to help fund the project.