Each year around this time, I usually get at least one press release in my in-box about a trucking company that is painting one of its rigs pink as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
This year it's A&N Heating Oil, a family owned and operated heating oil distributor based out of New Rochelle, New York. It recently painted one of it's delivery trucks pink and white in hopes of reminding Westchester residents that early detection saves lives, and to encourage screenings.
Somewhere in the world, every 69 seconds, a woman dies of breast cancer. About 207,090 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the United States in 2010.
And despite the fact that pink is associated with all things feminine, it's an often-overlooked fact that men get breast cancer, too. While it's much less likely for men than for women, an estimated 1,970 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed in 2010.
"We thought that if we painted this truck pink and white - pink being the recognizable color for breast cancer awareness, which is highlighted in October - it could spread an important message," said CEO Jason Costa. A&N will also donate a portion of the proceeds from each gallon of oil delivered by the Pink Truck to the Solomon Katz Breast Center at Sound Shore Medical Center in New Rochelle.
"We've heard stories from our customers over the years, stories about cancer in their families," said Costa. "The Solomon Katz Breast Center has a local presence, and the money raised will have an immediate impact on the residents of our service area. We want people to stop, look, and ask the question, 'What's that all about?'"More Pink
Last year, Patriot Propane of Romona, Calif., decked out one of its trucks in pink-and-white, too, and donated a penny for every gallon of propane pumped by that truck to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation.
"We've seen these trucks out there and know that it's a good cause," said Dave Barrett, owner of Patriot Propane. "Breast cancer is close to many of us in our company; my wife has had it, my mother-in-law had it, a woman in our office is currently going through treatments."
A couple years ago, less-than-truckload carrier Saia organized a yearlong breast cancer awareness campaign, "Saia on the Road with Susan G. Komen for the Cure." The company dedicated a 53-foot trailer that featurds artwork designed to raise awareness about the disease and the need for increased research to find a cure. As the "pink truck" traveled throughout the United States, its progress was tracked online and on the back of the trailer.
Then there's the Convoy For a Cure.
This effort started in 2008, and last year had convoys in Alberta, Ontario and New Brunswick, Canada, and in Dallas. Last year, our own Jim Park drove in the New Brunswick event (despite being a male); you can read about it here.
It's great to see a male-dominated industry get out there and support this cause -- and it's great PR for trucking's image and for the companies involved.