TURLOCK -- Turlock firefighters were pink with pride after far exceeding their initial goal and raising more than $17,000 to fight breast cancer.
The Turlock Fire Department ran its first pink T-shirt fund-raiser for Emanuel Cancer Center in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Turlock Fire Chief Tim Lohman said that when they launched the campaign to sell T-shirts, they hoped to raise $3,500. Instead, they will donate some $18,000 to Turlock's Emanuel Medical Center.
"It was phenomenal. Every Friday people had pink shirts on," Lohman said. "I want to thank the firefighters. They had the passion and they drove it. It was just an amazing event."
Firefighters sold the pink shirts around town, at the downtown farmers market and a fund-raiser at Chili's restaurant. More than 2,400 T-shirts were sold during the drive.
Fire Capt. Frank Saldivar helped present a $17,000 check, written on pink paper, to cancer center representatives Tuesday evening at the City Council meeting. An additional $1,000 was raised and also will be donated to the center.
"It was probably one of the most exciting things to work with the people in our community," Saldivar said. "It was such a giving community and I was so pleased to see this happen."
The cancer center will put the money into an endowment fund for research, education and outreach.
"I've been doing a lot of fund raising for many, many years in this town, but this was one of the most inspirational, motivating campaigns I've worked on," said Jana Rhine, Emanuel's director of annual giving. "These gentlemen were true gentlemen and worked their fannies off."