Firefighters join breast cancer battle in Burr Ridge
Engineer Mike Stoffle polishes the ladder truck that he usually drives to fire calls while wearing a pink shirt for breast cancer awareness. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Hinsdale South paints the school pink
Hinsdale South High School is helping to spread the word about breast cancer with a week’s worth of events that Principal Brian Waterman said are designed to provide awareness and fun.
The week started Tuesday with pink socks day, followed by a soccer game Wednesday to which fans were encouraged to dress in pink.
Thursday was pig tail and pink pajama day. The Oct. 12 football game against Downers Grove South will take on a pink hue, as will the girls’ volleyball game on Oct. 16. On Oct. 15, South students and staff are encouraged to dress in pink from head to toe.
Waterman said students will decorate the school’s halls pink for the week and the school’s athletic teams will don pink uniforms.
“It is great our students get involved in such a great cause while also having some fun,” he said.
The community is invited to follow South’s breast cancer awareness activities on Twitter at #PaintSouthPink.
Updated: December 10, 2012 1:55AM
BURR RIDGE — David Zalesiak’s mother lost her battle with breast cancer when he was just a kid.
Decades later, his fight continues.
And he’s not alone in his efforts. He has the entire Tri-State Fire Protection District behind him.
“Every year it grows more and more,” Zalesiak, Tri-State fire marshall, said of the department’s efforts to raise awareness of the disease and money toward its treatment and cure.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Tri-State firefighters are marking the occasion by wearing pink T-shirts and by flying pink flags on their vehicles and at each of the district’s four stations.
While Zalesiak dons a pink helmet this month in memory of his mother, Chief Michelle Gibson will wear a pink helmet that bears the words “Cancer Survivor.”
A six-year survivor of uterine cancer, Gibson wants women to know that early detection can save their life.
“If you get checked, they can catch it,” Gibson said during last year’s efforts to spread the word.
Also sporting a pink helmet in support of breast cancer awareness is Deputy Chief Jack Mancione.
Tri-State personnel will be among the 300 or more guests and volunteers expected at this year’s breast cancer fundraiser, to be held at Ashton Place, 341 7th Place, Willowbrook, from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Oct. 29.
This 10th annual event is hosted by Dominick’s Finer Foods in Willowbrook but has long had the support of Zalesiak and Tri-State.
“He plays a huge part,” said Maria Tornabeni, co-manager of the Willowbrook store.
She said breast cancer awareness is a mission not just of the Willowbrook store, but of the Dominick’s corporation.
“It impacts lives. It impacts our customers’ lives. It impacts our employees’ lives,” she said.
The Oct. 29 fundraiser will include a buffet dinner and cash bar, along with a live auction and raffle.
Zalesiak himself acquired a banner from the White Sox’s 2005 World Series championship for the raffle, and Bo Jackson, a frequent customer of the Willowbrook grocery store, has donated a signed football and baseball bat.
Event tickets and raffle tickets are available at the store, Route 83 and 63rd Street. Raffle tickets are $5 each or $20 for five. Tickets to the event are $20.
“Every year it gets better and better and better,” said Zalesiak, who hopes that every year also brings him closer to a day when no one is lost to breast cancer.
“I know a lot of people who have beat it,” he said. But he also knows far too many who did not.