GREENVILLE — Pink Ribbon Girls, a nonprofit group based in Tipp City, appeared with their trademark pink firetruck at Dave Knapp Ford on Wagner Avenue Wednesday morning to take pictures, sell t-shirts and promote breast cancer awareness.
Knapp, who helped sponsor the group’s firetruck along with other local businesses, also announced that he would donate $50 to Pink Ribbon Girls for every vehicle sold at his lot during the month of October.
Tracie Martin, founder of Pink Ribbon Girls, started the organization after surviving her own struggle with breast cancer 16 years ago. Martin received help, including assistance with preparing meals and rides to and from doctor’s appointments, from family and friends.
“All the stuff they did for me is what we now do for women,” Martin said.
The group’s services, according to Martin, are free to women and families struggling with breast cancer, with no age limit or income restrictions. The group delivers healthy, family-sized meals three days a week, provides twice-monthly house cleanings, and transports women to and from medical appointments.
The group’s firetruck was donated by the Huber Heights Fire Department. Chris Williams, a fireman and Pink Ribbon volunteer, helped arrange the donation.
“They had an old fire truck they weren’t using,” Martin said. “So Chris said, ‘I wanna paint that thing pink and use it to raise money for Pink Ribbon Girls.’”
Martin credits the truck with bringing in between $100 and $150 thousand a year for the group, between donations from sponsors and stops throughout central and southwestern Ohio to sell t-shirts.
Dave Knapp became involved with the group four years ago through his daughter Kristina, whose friend and dance instructor had struggled with breast cancer. Kristina herself passed away in February of this year, but Knapp chose to continue her work with Pink Ribbon Girls.
“Breast cancer awareness was Kristina’s passion,” Martin said. “So Dave wanted to continue that on.”
“Kristina was the master of ceremonies,” Knapp agreed. “She put this whole thing together.”
Knapp said he was impressed with the group when he saw how helpful they were to Kristina’s friend, Shannon.
“They alleviated a lot of pressure on her,” Knapp said, “so that she could be able to spend time with her family.”
Ultimately both Knapp and Martin feel that they’ve enjoyed a long and fruitful partnership.
“We’re truly blessed to have partners like Dave Knapp Ford,” Martin said.
“We’ve worked with Pink Ribbon Girls for four years, and we’ll keep working with them as long as we can,” Knapp said. “Now let’s come together and support this worthy cause, and help all who are in need.”
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