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Pink Helmet Award to honor courage in fighting cancer
pink pic
The Turlock Firefighters will once again be donning pink T-shirts, and selling them to raise money for the Emanuel Cancer Center. - photo by Journal file photo

The Turlock Fire Fighters 2434 union is readying to turn the town pink.

The organization is set to launch the second year of its pink campaign to help raise awareness of early detection efforts for breast, ovarian, and cervical cancer. This year’s efforts will include a salute to the courage needed to take on a cancer diagnosis with the first ever Pink Helmut Award.

The Pink Helmut Award is being given in partnership with the Emanuel Cancer Center and will be presented at the Women’s Cancer Awareness Night Out Oct. 8.

“The idea for the award came about by a couple of the guys down at the station who thought there should be some kind of recognition for what these individuals have gone through,” said Turlock Fire Department Capt. Frank Saldivar, who is spearheading the firefighter’s campaign.

The Pink Helmet Award is in addition to the specially designed pink T-shirts the fire department will be wearing and selling in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

All the proceeds from the T-shirt sales go to the Emanuel Cancer Center and are used for cancer treatment and research.

The fire fighters will select the recipient of the inaugural Pink Helmet Award and will base their selection on the characteristics that make for a good fire fighter, i.e. compassion, bravery, honesty, commitment, and courage.

Above all the recipient should represent this year’s event theme of “Beautiful Courage.”

“The theme of this year’s Women’s Cancer Awareness Night Out is ‘Beautiful Courage’.  The firefighters demonstrate those characteristics every day as they protect our community,” said Emanuel Medical Center spokesperson Pennie Rorex. “When they approached us about presenting this new award at Emanuel Cancer Center’s annual event, we knew instantly this was a perfect fit.  Our oncologists and staff see beautiful courage in their patients every single day.”

Nominations for the award must be electronically received by Turlock Firefighters no later than Sept. 23, at midnight. Nominations must be electronically submitted with a completed Entry Form via email to All submissions should use “Pink Helmet” as the subject line for the entry email.

The entry should describe the person being nominated and how they fit the theme of “Beautiful Courage.” Nominations can be submitted as a typed document no more than one page and sent as an email attachment; or a written email with a maximum of 350 words; or as a two to two and a half minute video recorded on a smart phone and emailed. Each entry can be created by one individual or a group.

To be eligible, residents must live in Stanislaus or Merced counties. The individual can be a cancer survivor, advocate, caregiver, or anyone touched by cancer in some way.

The winning nominator will be notified of the results by e-mail on or before Oct. 1. The winning nomination will become the property of Turlock Firefighters. The winning recipient will be secret and announced at the Emanuel Cancer Center event. The nominator will coordinate for the nominee to attend the Women’s Cancer Awareness Night Out and will be given 10 tickets to attend the event.

This year’s Night Out event will feature Allyn Rose as the guest speaker. Rose, as the 2012 Miss District of Columbia, chose breast cancer awareness as her platform after losing her mother, grandmother, and great aunt to the disease.

Tickets for the Night Out event are free, but must be requested in advance. Tickets will be available starting at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 16. Last year all the tickets were claimed within an hour and a half, Rorex said.

There is a limit of 10 tickets per person. Tickets will be available online at or by phone at 664-2434. The event will be held at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 8 at Monte Vista Chapel, 1619 E. Monte Vista Ave.

Initiated last year, the fire fighters’ pink T-shirt campaign was a huge hit in Turlock, helping spread awareness and generating more than $18,000 for Emanuel Cancer Center.

“This year we are hoping to at least hit $20,000,” Saldivar said.

This year’s T-shirt features a slightly different design and shade of pink, but still carries the signature pink hose reminiscent of the symbolic pink ribbon.

The shirts sell for $15 and come in sizes and styles for men, women and children.

The T-shirts can be pre-ordered online at The shirts will also be sold at the gift shop at Emanuel Medical Center at 825 Delbon Ave., or at the Turlock Farmers’ Market on Broadway every Friday through the end of October. Firefighters will also be selling the T-shirts at a series of special events in October.

The shirts are expected to be delivered and available for purchase in the next few weeks.