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Pink is turning up everywhere with Ceres Fire
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Ava Presson
Ava Presson, daughter of firefighter Bret Presson, enjoys frozen yogurt at Thursdays event at Supermom's Frozen Yogurt in Ceres. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/Courier photo

Thinks have gotten very pink around the Ceres fire stations with the most noticeable display of pink being on fire engine #1 as the department celebrates October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The department is sporting five-foot-tall pink vinyl wrap on both sides of the fire engine #1 during the month. The $700 decal was paid for through a Chamber fundraiser and local businesses. Signs & Banners Express of Modesto applied the decal.

For the four consecutive years, Ceres Firefighters Local #3636 members are donning pink T-shirts on the job as well as selling them to help promote breast cancer awareness and fundraising. Firefighters sold the shirts at Thursday evening's "Frozen Yogurt with a Firefighter" event held at Supermom's in the Richland Shopping Center. Pink T-shirts for both men and women are being sold for $15 at the Ceres Community Center, 2701 Fourth Street; at La Morenita Restaurant at 1667 Hatch Road; and at Supermom's Frozen Yogurt in the Richland Shopping Center on Whitmore Avenue.

The T-shirt sales are also being conducted by Keyes, Hughson, Denair and Turlock fire departments with all of the proceeds going to the Bill and Elsie Ahlem Cancer Endowment.

Firefighters wore their pink shirts in their version of the Coffee With A Cop when they hosted a "Froyo with a Firefighter" event at Supermom's Frozen Yogurt on Thursday. The event was designed to allow the public to meet Ceres firefighters, be shown tours of the engines and equipment, ask questions about fire, medical, and life safety issues, and selling the pink shirts. Twenty percent of the night's proceeds were donated to cancer research.

Firefighters are also expected to participate in the Tuesday, Oct. 20 fundraiser at La Morenita Restaurant where they will serve as waiters and bus tables from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The eatery will donate 20 percent of to the Bill and Elsie Ahlem Cancer Endowment when customers presented a fundraiser flyer.

Ceres Firefighters are teaming up with EXIT Realty Consultants to put on an annual Drive-Thru Barbecue on Thursday, Oct. 29 between 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. The food will be available for pick-up at River Oaks Golf Course Realty, 1768 Mitchell Road, Ceres. Tickets may be pre-ordered at any EXIT office or at Ceres Fire Station and are $10 per person or $35 for a family pack. The meal includes tri-tip beef or chicken, potato salad, beans, roll and a soft drink. Proceeds will go to the Bill & Elsie Ahlem Cancer Endowment.

Turlock Fire Department started the local trend four years ago to highlight breast cancer awareness.

"We kind of piggybacked on the Turlock guys because we had seen a thing on Facebook that the Turlock guys had pink T-shirts," said firefighter Jason Cripe. "A couple of us just kind of sat around one day and said ‘Let's do that.' The first year we just got shirts for the guys and our families and there was just so much chit-chat in the community ... they would ask us about it. So the next year we ordered a bunch of shirts to sell them to the community."

Embroidery Plus, a downtown Ceres business, makes the approximately 750 shirts that are sold each year.

Last year the department donated about $5,100 to the Turlock foundation.

Breast cancer affects one in eight women during the course of their lives. A diagnosis of breast cancer occurs every two minutes in the United States. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women except for non-melanoma skin cancers. It accounts for the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women except for lung cancer.

An estimated 85 percent of women affected by breast cancer have no family history of it. But breast cancer can strike men too. In 2015, more than 230,000 women and over 2,000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
It's recommended that all women 40 and older should be screened annually for breast cancer.