Caravan of pink rescue vehicles join in Pink Heals Day
This weekend, Post Road will be pink.
For the fourth year in a row, Pink Heals will visit Warwick on Saturday for Pink Heals Day with a day of fun and fundraising. This year, however, will be the first time the National Pink Heals Tour will join the Rhode Island chapter at the event with a total of 10 fire trucks and other rescue vehicles.
The event, which will begin at 10 a.m. on Post Road, is co-sponsored by Sunny & Shear’s and United Ink Tattoos. The two local businesses will be donating their services for the entire day, providing haircuts and tattoos in exchange for donations to Pink Heals.
Pink Heals is a national organization that travels around the country with their pink rescue vehicles to support women battling different forms of cancer and inspire men to join the cause. The trucks and other vehicles are driven around the country by the “Guardians of The Ribbon,” a group of firefighters, police officers and public safety officials in the community.
The Rhode Island chapter of Pink Heals is based out of Coventry and was started by Ted Dion, a firefighter whose mother is a cancer survivor. A donated Coventry fire truck was the first vehicle in Rhode Island’s fleet and is named “Jackie” after Dion’s mother.
According to the RI Pink Heals website, in 2011, the chapter was the first in the country to establish a law enforcement division through the donation of two police cars for the organization. “Anna” was the car donated by the Johnston Police Department, and “Susanne” was donated by the Warwick Police Department. The same year, RI Pink Heals acquired a rescue truck for the fleet, named “Jenna” after a 9-year-old girl battling cancer.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Cher Pierce-Ebert, a tattoo artist at Sunny & Shear’s and United Ink Tattoos who will be donating her service for Saturday’s event. Pierce-Ebert explained the event is scheduled to last from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., but they will stay as long as people are there to donate.
“Last year, we went until 1 a.m.,” she said.
While Sunny & Shear’s is located at 1265 Post Road, Pierce-Ebert said the trucks, food vendors and other entertainment will stretch down Post Road, from Pioneer Pizza to Pilgrim Physicians.
“It’s a lot of fire trucks,” said Pierce-Ebert about the scale of the event.
In addition, the Gloria Gemma Foundation RV will be at the event to provide counseling and speak with women currently fighting cancer about their experience.
“They try to help families out,” explained Pierce-Ebert. “Let them know what they will be going through.”
She explained that Pink Heals and Gloria Gemma have a great working relationship.
“They work very well together,” said Pierce-Ebert.
During Saturday’s festivities, Pierce-Ebert said attendees could expect to see a lot of food, drinks, live music, raffles and a dunk tank featuring firefighters from around the country as part of the national tour. All proceeds from the night are going to Pink Heals.
“The organization takes all of it,” said Pierce-Ebert, whose husband Peter is also a tattoo artist working the event. “None of the money goes in our hands.”
Pierce-Ebert said that participants who donate can designate if they would like a haircut or a tattoo. The individual will then receive a ticket for that particular service and turn it in to the stylists or tattoo artists.
Pierce-Ebert encouraged people from across the state to come out for the event, adding that vendors are coming from neighboring states such as Connecticut.
“Post Road is pretty much going pink,” she said.
The Pink Heals Day on Post Road begins on Saturday at 10 a.m. A full schedule of national tour stops in Rhode Island this weekend and more information about RI Pink Heals can be found on the Rhode Island chapter’s website, www.ripinktrucks.com.