Pink Angels, Driving Pink Fire Engines
Two years ago Ruth Kramp, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Just six weeks earlier, her husband Randy, a third-generation Aurora Firefighter, had succumbed to pancreatic cancer. Yet on the night before Ruth’s first of three breast cancer surgeries, she was having a night on the town, surrounded by family and friends sporting pink feather boas, and firefighters wearing pink fire gear and driving bright pink fire engines. She was attending a stop on the Guardian's of the Ribbon, “Pink Heals Tour” hosted in 2010 by Naperville firefighters.
Kramp is now in full remission, but she will never forget the love and the joy given by the Guardians, and she is eager for other women -- and all those battling cancer of any type -- to experience that same support when the pink fire engines roll back through northern Illinois.
“Those pink angels driving pink fire engines were sent to me to give me hope” says Kramp. “When I would get down and out after my chemo treatments and feeling crummy, I would go back thru the photos we had taken during the 2010 Naperville Pink Heals event. Those memories got me thru many lonely and very hard nights.”
Firefighters and police officers traditionally wear a blue uniform. The Guardians of the Ribbon trade their blue-uniforms for pink in honor of women, to let women know they care.
“We wear pink because pink stands for women,” said Graybill. “And because -- Pink Heals."
Graybill cautions the Pink Heals Tour raises awareness, but it is not simply an awareness campaign. "We bring our pink fire trucks to cities so that they may hold fundraisers and generate proceeds that will stay in their communities.”
David Lewis, curator of the Aurora Regional Fire Museum further explains, “The Guardians do not ask for financial support for bringing the pink trucks to any community. All moneys raised at each tour-stop stays within that local community.”
Lewis adds, “This is a free event, but it is intended as a fundraiser. There will be firefighters painting fingernails (pink) for donations, and pink firefighter tee shirts and other merchandise for sale. Although the event is being co-hosted by the Aurora Fire Department and the Aurora Regional Fire Museum, all proceeds will benefit local cancer care centers and organizations.”
At each tour-stop anybody that has experienced cancer, (whether that is a victory or a loss), is invited to sign one of the pink trucks, and receive words of support and encouragement from the firefighter Guardians.
In addition to seeing, and signing the pink fire engines, this free event will feature, local health clinics and cancer resource organizations, safety displays, games, family-friendly entertainment, and free admission to the Aurora Regional Fire Museum. Food (pink hot-dogs, pink cotton candy, and pink lemonade and cherry-pink ice cream) will be available for purchase along with other pink merchandise. Please note, all sales are by cash or check, we are unable to accept credit or debit cards at this time.
Aurora’s Pink Heals event is hosted by the Aurora Fire Department, and the Aurora Regional Fire Museum with generous support provided by the Aurora Firefighters Local 99, the Aurora Firefighters Auxiliary, and the City of Aurora, among others.
The event will be located at the corner of New York and Broadway (Rt 25) -- on the grounds of the Aurora Regional Fire Museum and Aurora’s Central Fire Station -- in downtown Aurora. [click here for a map and directions] The event will be held Saturday, August 25, from 11am to 3pm. For more information, maps, directions, and parking information, see our website: www.AuroraRegionalFireMuseum.org.
More about the Guardians of the Ribbon
The Guardians of the Ribbon, are an all volunteer group of firefighters and police officers, who bring love and hope to local communities around the country in the form of pink fire trucks. Dressed in pink fire gear, and driving bright pink fire trucks, the Guardians travel across the United States on a three-month road-trip sharing their mission of support and awareness for all women who have fought a battle with cancer.
For more information see their website: www.PinkFireTrucks.org