HUNTERSVILLE – Community involvement is a big part of the Huntersville Fire Department’s focus, according to HFD Public Information Officer Bill Suthard. And there is also a family-type connection among the department’s team of volunteers who provide fire and emergency response services for the town.

And in the community, and within the HFD “family,” breast cancer has had an impact.

“We know there are people in the community who have dealt, and are dealing with this disease,” Suthard said. “And that includes some in our department.”

Last October, to demonstrate support for the breast cancer cause during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the department initiated a project selling customized T-shirts to raise money for breast cancer research. The effort resulted in a contribution of several thousand dollars to the Charlotte chapter of the international Susan G. Komen breast cancer foundation.

And this year, according to Suthard, the department wants to raise even more.

“Last year, we got pretty good response, and we had some people ask if we were doing it again this year,” Suthard said. “We got together, ordered the shirts, and we have them for sale now.”

The shirts, gray with pink lettering and a HFD logo blending a firehose with the traditional breast cancer awareness pink ribbon, cost $15. All profits from the fundraising project will go to the Komen organization’s Charlotte chapter.

“We put our money together to purchase the shirts, and we were able to negotiate a really good deal because we ordered them from the place that provides all of our shirts,” Suthard said. “We’ll reimburse our fund, but the rest of the money will go to the Komen group.”

Suthard and the HFD leadership team are supervising the sale, and a pink and gray banner is how they are promoting the places where T-shirts are available.

“We’re trying not to tie up too many of the firefighters will this,” Suthard said, “so when there is someone on duty who can handle a sale, we’ll have the banner displayed at that station.”

He added that each of the HFD’s command vehicles will also be stocked with T-shirt supply.

“Anywhere you see a department Tahoe, the shirts will be available,” Suthard said.

The department will also have a T-shirt tent at the Huntersville Fall Festival to be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at Barnette Elementary School, 13659 Beatties Ford Road.


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