Members of the Cinnaminson Fire Department donated $2,000 for breast cancer research Monday night after selling hundreds of T-shirts supporting the cause in honor of one of their own.
A check was presented to the Virtua Fox Chase Cancer Program and the money will provide head coverings, scarves, and medicinal and transportation costs to women living with breast cancer.
The department started raising funds each October a few years ago, after their business administrator Jean Dietrick was diagnosed with breast cancer. A few months after her diagnosis, she was deemed cancer-free, yet the department’s members continue to donate to the cause.
“A lot of us have relatives touched by breast cancer,” said Fire Chief William Kramer, whose own mother succumbed to the disease 25 years ago. “We wanted to raise money as a group.”
For the month of October, the fire department’s members donned T-shirts and pink fire-resistant protective hoods on their uniforms, all paid for by the individual members. Family, friends and residents also bought T-shirts to support the cause, several sold at the township’s annual Cinnaminson Day last month.
To date, about 350 T-shirts have been sold, which equaled $2,000 for the hospital’s cancer program. Kramer said more T-shirts are still being sold and those proceeds will also be donated.
Rose McManus Coleman, vice president of the Virtua Foundation, was on hand to receive the check Monday night at the Cinnaminson Avenue fire station.
“It’s pretty amazing,” McManus Coleman said. “It’s about being able to reach out to patients to give them that extra level of support. It’s the little things that count as you go through treatment.”
Also accepting the check was Kim Mazzei, AVP for oncology at Virtua. Mazzei said the donation “touches everybody affected with cancer.”
Sen. Diane Allen was also in attendance and said going to an event like this is a nice break from Trenton.
“It’s real people doing real things that matter,” Allen said.
Children- and adult-sized T-shirts are still available and can be purchased at the Cinnaminson Avenue station.
“This means a lot,” Dietrick said. “I’ve always thought this is the way I can give back.”