In the United States alone it is estimated that over 1.7 million people will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in 2018. Treatment can leave those affected feeling self-conscious and lonely.
The City of Mentor wants to make it clear that no one fighting cancer is alone and that they will always have the support of the community
Over the years, Mentor Safety Forces have supported breast cancer awareness by wearing pink shirts in October as well as by participating in Movember to promote awareness for prostate cancer.
Last year, Fire Chief Bob Searles asked Public Education Specialist Jerry Craddock to explore the concept of wrapping a fire engine in pink. Through his research, Craddock discovered that lavender was symbolic of support for all victims and awareness of all forms of cancer.
So, last week, with some help from friends in the business community, Mentor Reserve Fire Engine 1154 was wrapped in lavender to support and comfort those in the community and in the firefighting fraternity that are afflicted by this terrible disease.
Materials and technical support, including the printing of a custom film, were donated by Avery Dennison. The company’s Label and Graphic Materials business North American headquarters are located in Mentor and it also manufactures graphics materials like the one used for the fire engine at its Hardy Road facility in Painesville Township.
“The City of Mentor Fire Department fights fires here in our community each and every day. We are proud to support them in their fight against cancer with the wrap of the lavender fire truck,” said Nick Tucci, Vice President and General Manager for Avery Dennison Label and Graphic Materials North America. “We created custom Supreme Wrapping™ Film material so the truck would be the perfect shade of lavender to represent cancer awareness initiatives.”
Additional support was provided by MC Sign Company and Visual Graphics, also Mentor companies, who jumped at the opportunity to become a part of the project.
“We have a really strong culture of philanthropy. We love giving back to the community,” says Tim Eippert, President and CEO of MC Sign, “We met with the Chief and I think they honestly thought they were going to have to spend some money to get this done. Between the three companies, we’re donating the entire project. It’s really an awesome opportunity for all of us,” says Eippert.
“Jerry called us up and asked for a quote. After looking at it and knowing what it was [about], the least I can do is donate half of the cost,” says Matt Whaley, Owner of Visual Graphics who lives and works in Mentor.
“We [had] to cut around all of the parts. We’re not allowed to dissemble the truck because it could be put back into service at any given time,” concludes Whaley.
Work was conducted at Mentor Fire Station 5 and took over 120 man-hours. The project was completed at no cost to the taxpayer.
This fire engine will remain a working vehicle in the fleet and has been renamed “Comfort 54”.
This special engine will be presented to the public prior to the Mentor City Council Meeting on Tuesday, August 21st. It will also be on display at the upcoming Mentor CityFest to be held on August 24th & 25th.
All of those affected by cancer will have the opportunity to write their personal tribute on the truck as it makes its way around the community in the coming years as reminder that no one is left alone in this fight.