Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Thanks, Next Year, and support letters

I want to thank you for supporting the Pink Ribbon Tour and the
“Cares Enough to Wear Pink” Campaign.
The project was a total success with nearly 300 departments and different leaders throughout the Country getting involved to help raise awareness for our women in their fight against cancer, specifically breast cancer. Each one of these departments are starting their own fundraisers and giving it to an organization that helps their women close to home. I commend you for seeing that pink represents a lot more than the fight against breast cancer, it represents probably the single most important thing we have in our lives, our women. I hope that with time, I will have the ability to speak to different departments about how this program was started, where it is headed and how we can help each department raise more money for their women.
The Guardians of the Ribbon grew in time to support all our women in the fight against cancer as a whole. We will spread the “Cares Enough to Wear Pink” Campaign just like before but support all our women in their fight with Cancer. We will ask that all the awareness and fundraising still be geared toward your women of your communities. We believe it is vital to support the women who support our organizations and especially the ones that we serve on a daily bases. I am currently planning our next tour for 2009, we will call it the Pink Heals Tour and try and hit some of the same cities as before. We hope to add a pink fire truck every year and grow this into a huge support group for all.
As all of you know, I am still a fire fighter for the City of Glendale Arizona and getting time off and keeping my job will take a joint effort from my administration and all you folks that support this project. I would love for all of you to please write a letter of support and tell a brief comment on how this truck helped your community and the impact it had on your department.

Or mail: 1939 E. Palo Verde Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85016
Thanks again for your leadership and support and I look forward to seeing some of you in 2009.
Sincerely, Dave Graybill

Monday, October 27, 2008

Looking back

From hearing about a Fire Department that was wearing pink shirts to support their women who battle cancer, to driving a pink fire truck pulling a $300,000 statue of a ribbon around the Country. All this done in less than a year on a whopping budget of $3,800, NO marketing company, NO sponsors, No PR firm, just the passion to make a difference in a huge way, for so many and for such a small cost. The women of this Country vote yearly on the most respected and admired professions and most of the time Firefighters are at the top of the list. Knowing that and knowing the type of leadership that most Chiefs possess, it was a NO BRAINER when it came to asking our Public Safety to GO PINK in honor of our women. The greatest adjustment to our message was, "We as men in this Country honor our women and at the very least will wear pink in support of their fight against Cancer, all Cancer". I have not had one MAN in a sitting position of leadership say NO, to this calling of support. The great thing about it is, it is shirts and not ribbons or bracelets, it is a uniform commitment to our women by us men that will inspire our women, it will let them know we care, it will let them know we love them and it shows them that we will always be there in their fight against this disease.

The support has been unbelievable, with Police and Fire Departments all over the Country getting involved with this program, Military leaders and even Politicians on both sides of the Aisle are starting to support the program as well. Departments all over the Country are e-mailing us and telling us how great it has been wearing their shirts and how much money they have raised for an organization of their choosing that helps women in their fight against cancer. We are even getting Fire Departments, to take reserve trucks and paint them pink for their own fundraisers. Can you imagine a hundred or more pink fire trucks marching across the Country driven by us MEN, what a site!!! and what a statement that would be for our women. We support all organizations that help our women and we will bring our pink fire trucks to as many events that help our women as possible for FREE, all we ask is that our expenses for driving the truck be helped and that we have the ability to sell our own shirts and apparel when we get there.

I am a firefighter from Glendale Arizona, I wear a blue shirt 365 days a year, I think at the very least we can wear pink shirts to support all our women in their fight against cancer for at least three days. Women, by the way,do represent 50% of the vote and 50% of the population and it's in our nature as men to support our women. I am so lucky that our Chiefs and leaders of this Country did not see the color pink as just support for the fight against breast Cancer, but they saw PINK as support for all our women by us MEN.

Now that I am home we will begin to plan the next tour across the Country, we will call it the "Guardians of the Ribbon on the Pink Heals Tour". If the World was in pink especially by us men, a women who is battling this disease would wake up one morning and know that she is loved and not alone, a family would know that everywhere they turn there is help on the way, "Pink will Heal".

I have a great story to tell, I have met thousands of women and a few men that have been affected by Breast Cancer and Cancer in general. 1/5 of the women on the truck are younger than 30, I have met a lady who drove 90 minutes to put her daughters name on the truck who had a double mastectomy, she just turned 13. The comments by Chiefs and Politicians when they saw the pink fire truck with the thousands of signatures, their stories of hardship going through their own personal struggle and their thoughts on this project. I will write a book about this great event and the support that I have gotten from my own fire department, the support that I have gotten from so many other organizations to help this pink fire truck touch so many lives across the Country. We are blessed to be healthy and we need to start standing up for those that are battling Cancer, I think it will speed up the healing process for so many and maybe inspire someone to find a Cure, once and for all.
These are just a few fire departments that have sent us information on their own fundraising and awareness campaigns for their women.
Just wanted to share our efforts with you. We are wearing special uniform shirtsthis month, and selling them. The profits are going to the American CancerSociety. Ryan Christen

Sycuan Fire Department outside San Diego

Sycuan Fire Department and the Sycuan Casino Resort welcomed the Pink Ribbon Tour to Southern California and what a welcome they gave us. Everybody had pink on and there was not a dry eye in the area as we pulled into the front entrance of the Casino. What a great bunch of fire fighters make up that fire department and thanks to Warren, who I met in Emmitsburgh at the National Fire Academy, for inviting us and planning the event at the Casino.
We will have more pictures of this stop when Wally sends them to me from Las Cruces.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Coming Home Celebration, Scottsdale Waterfront

We will be holding a Celebration for the Pink Fire Truck with it's 20,000 signatures and supporting the organizations that help our women who struggle with cancer. Please come out and be apart of our first Annual event.

The Bridge with Pink Lights

7135 E. Camelback Rd

October 26th (Sunday 4-7pm)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bonnie Hunt Show and meeting Olivia Newton John in one day

The show was great, I wish we had more time to explain our mission to all the folks that watch her show, but it was great to meet her and Olivia Newton John. Olivia Newton John jumped right into the fire truck and drove it down the lot like she was an Engineer for the Glendale Fire Department. The biggest concern for all us men in pink was going down the pole on National TV, blowing out a knee and then needing to call 911 on her show would have been quite the site. Where we come from, we do not slide down poles and two of our crew are not firefighters, so we were a little nervous. We have been getting so many e-mails of support from so many women across the Country, I have asked as many of them as I can to please send letters of support to the Ellen, and Oprah shows, so we can get that pink truck some more support. We plan on doing a tour Across the Country every year and with each year we will add a pink fire truck. We will do this until our mission is complete and that is to have all our men and whoever wants to participate in the "Cares Enough to Wear Pink Days" in their pink shirts. I can't say it enough, it is about the men in this Country supporting our women in their fight against cancer. Can you just imagine a hundred pink fire trucks making a tour to the department of Health in Washington DC and driven by us men in pink and demanding a cure for our women, What a site!!!! You can take our money and you can even take our health, but you will never take our inherent want as men to take care of our women.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I can't believe we finally made it to Los Angeles

We will be taping on the Bonnie Hunt Show tomorrow and it will be on Wednesday, they have us sliding down a pole and then hitting a gong, hope we don't blow out a knee. Olivia Newton John will also be signing the truck and going for a ride on the pink fire truck. Wednesday we will be in front of City Hall in Los Angeles to do a static display with the fire department and selling some shirts and letting the ladies sign the truck. I can't believe it is almost over, we are very tired but it is a good tired.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

So many people and organizations were involved in this event

Susan G. Komen, Nevada Cancer Institute, Hope Coach, North VistaHospital, City of North Las Vegas, FPAN, Nevada Burn Foundation, MaryKay Cosmetics, Walmart, Las Vegas Kettle Corn, Starbucks, Krispy KremeDoughnuts, Nellis AFB, Nevada Division of Forestry, City of North LasVegas Parks Department, City of Las Vegas Fire Department, North LasVegas Relay for Life, American Cancer Society, BEMITT, Nathan Adelson,Rancho High School, Absolute Equipment, Hope Chest, Coyote 104.3

I met the Chiefs from North Las Vegas in August and in a short time they brought all these folks together for this event. I think we are on to something that will help millions of lives across the Country and even the World. I am currently stirring up the Fire and Police in other Countries to join us in support of our women.
North Las Vegas sold almost a thousand shirts to the Public to raise money for an organization in their community that helps women with cancer.

More from North Las Vegas

They even made us a new set of Pink Turnouts and gave us a Pink SCBA so that our outfits are complete. North Las Vegas Fire Department and the surrounding Cities will be on the radar for many events in the coming year and hopefully we will land some celebrities like Sheryl Crow or Melissa Etheridge to perform at one of our events, to help raise more money for the women of Las Vegas who battle cancer.
The Red Knights motorcycle clubs around the United States have escorted the Pink Fire Truck in every place we have been, they have been just as important to the overall success of this event and we look forward to working with them in the future.

North Las Vegas and surrounding Cities

Nancy Oconnor, Cedrick Williams and the Chiefs from North Las Vegas have made our stay the best so far. They have given the truck a tune-up, put us up in the Cannery Hotel where they gave us coupons for free food, it even has a movie theatre so we can relax and get some down time. We were given a Proclamation by their Mayor, a Brophy graduate, Michael L. Montandon, we also received acknowledgement by the Governor of Nevada, Jim Gibbons. Senator Harry Reid also gave us a Certificate of Commendation and his office helped us get clearance with the Secret Service and FBI to be at the Joe Biden event in Henderson.

It says a lot that they let us have the truck at that event, it represents so many women in this Country who need support from our leaders and most importantly our MEN. I have tried since I started this event to get support from all the politicians on both sides of the aisle, this event is driven just by the passion for life and the will to do more for others in need. No hidden agendas, No Corporate money, just a small amount of money from a savings account, a women who loves me, my family and some great friends around the Country.

Thanks goes to Wally Monsivaiz the firefighter who had the great idea to have his fire department wear pink shirts for the women of Las Cruces. The Fire Chief of Las Cruces, Adolph Zubia should be honored for being the leader he is, seeing how by wearing pink, would not only support the fight against cancer but also show support for all our women by us MEN. I think that is why so many Fire departments and Police departments and Politicians are in support of this event.

We made a quick stop in Bountiful just outside Salt Lake

Thanks to Sean a Bountiful firefighter for getting a hold of us on the Internet, we had a nice stop in the Salt Lake area. We had a breakfast outside one of their stations, media and many breast cancer survivors came to see and sign the truck. Bountiful and surrounding fire departments will get on board the Cares Enough to Wear Pink Days next year.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Aurora Colorado another great city sporting Pink!!

On short notice the Aurora Fire Department put on a great show of support and now is sporting pink for their women. I met the Fire Chief at the Fire Chiefs convention in Denver in August and they wanted us to show up and show off the truck. They are excited about the program and their Mayor is doing a Proclamation so that their City can honor the Pink Days for their women. They too, will raise money for a cancer organization that supports the women of Aurora CO.

Denver's surrounding cities going PINK!!!!!

What a City Broomfield is and what a woman Wendy Forbes is for putting on one of the greatest events of the tour. If it hadn't snowed and been very cold, the event would have been an absolute smash. She rallied fourteen different departments to come out to the event and also got them to committ to the Cares Enough to Wear Pink Days. I want to thank these cities for showing their support for the women of their communities.
Adam's County Sheriffs, Berthoud Fire Department, Broomfield Police, Flight for Life, Greater Brighton Fire Protection District, NorthGlenn Police, North Metro Fire Rescue, North Washington Fire Protection District, Louisville Fire Department, Mountain View Fire Protection District, Rocky Mountain Fire Authority, Thornton Fire Department, Westminster Fire Department and Windsor Severance Fire Protection District. All these departments see the real benefit to wearing pink on duty to support their women and they all have planned fundraisers to eventually make donations to a local cancer organization. Thanks Wendy Forbes and we will see you in the future on the next tour.
Mayor of NorthGlenn Kathy Novak and Mayor of Broomfield Patrick Quinn giving us Proclamations for our work and honoring the Cares Enough to Wear Pink Days.

I will have pictures later because the camera we took them with is having a hard time downloading to the computer.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Topeka Kansas Fire Fighters Rock!!!!!

Topeka greeted us with a round of applause as we turned the corner, a 100 or so of it's firefighters and community leaders made us feel right at home. Thanks goes out to a very special lady Teri Troth and her husband Mike, a fire Captain for Topeka Fire. I met Teri on line and she told me she was just diagnosed a few months ago and said that I would pay her a visit in the truck, she went so far as to create a huge event and get the fire department in their new uniforms to honor the Cares Enough to Wear Pink days. Teri you are an angel and we look forward to a return visit.

Columbia MO an added spot that made a difference

It didn't take the fire department long after seeing the fire truck and the response the women of their community had, to understand how great a project this is for their community. I am already in the works to get them the art so they can get their shirt made and ready for next year. They are a proactive fire department and I am sure glad that Mark Woolbright suggested I stop in and see them.

On my way to Topeka we made a special stop at Shawnee Mission Fire Department, a suburb of Kansas City, they to took a liking to the event and already are printing up their shirts. Tim Cordin a Phoenix Fire Engineer traveled with us a week and set up our special visit to these great folks.
Chris Torres from Las Cruces, who has been traveling with us the entire time, is a natural in front of the camera, he has been a very important part of this journey.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A special visit, releasing the Balloons at Ann's Bra Shop

We had a great time at Ann's Bra Shop and celebrated the women at the event and all the women on the truck who are very important to this mission of hope and awareness.

While we were there, we heard about a beautiful women who's battling for her life against breast cancer, we were asked by a friend and the family if we could come by and see her. Ginger, has been battling her second occurrence with cancer for about 6 months, the family thought if we came by with the pink fire truck, dressed in our pink turnouts, it would lift her spirits. As she made her way to the front door, she was shocked at the sight of us standing there, I think she was so weak and tired, that it was hard for her to show any emotion. But when she saw Jasper, she broke out into a smile and wanted to love on him, Jasper has become so important on the tour, it made a huge difference just to have him there. When we got in the truck for the drive back, you could hear a pin drop it was so quiet in the truck, it really hit home as to why we need to do this. I am asking everybody out there that if you are healthy and have not been affected by cancer to please start helping our women in their fight against this disease. As we know men can be affected as well but more importantly we need to rally around our women to march on their behalf so they do not suffer anymore. Please just find a CURE

Wentzville and surrounding towns stepped up BIG!!!!

Dave Marlo, Chief Randy BornHop and the gang from Wentzville Fire really took care of us. They let us stay in a new station that hasn't been opened yet and they escorted us everyday were ever we went. They planned events and they even had our truck serviced and worked out the deal so it was free of charge. Our Pink Fire Truck needed the bearings packed on the left front wheel, new shocks and a front end alignment, they even through in a new front tire. Peggy and the great women from Ann's Bra Shop worked hand-in-hand with the firefighters so that all these events went smoothly. Our last event at Ann's Bra Shop was our most memorable and inspiring, it was a true event for all the women who attended that battle breast cancer and cancer in general. Each one of us had a pink balloon, 150 in all and let them go in celebration of the Pink Ribbon Tour and all the women who's signatures are on the truck. Thanks go out to Pattonville Fire, Lake Saint Louis Fire and Central County Fire and rescue for supporting this effort. Local 2665 with it's 2200 members really have stepped up for the women in their cities, they should all be proud. There will be more pictures of the Wentzville stop in the next few blogs.

Wally being from Las Cruces has a little cowboy in his blood, Wally and Chris from Las Cruces have been awesome, there selflessness for the tour is unmatched, accept with our other companion Steve and now our puppy Jasper.