COVENTRY— People cheered as the Pinks Heals National Tour fire trucks and police car made their way into the parking lot of Nino’s Tuesday night to kick-off the organization’s week long tour of Rhode Island.
The welcome reception held at the restaurant in Coventry was the first of many events for members of the Pinks Heals Foundation, Inc. who will be traveling to various locations throughout the state to show their support for women and to raise awareness about cancer.
Members from chapters in Michigan, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah joined the tour.
President of the Rhode Island Pinks Heal Chapter, Ted Dion, explained to the 50-person audience how the organization got started in Rhode Island.
In 2009, he said, “I was working at the fire station [Central Coventry Fire District] shortly after my mother was diagnosed again with cancer.”
He said his mother, Jackie Houle, had been diagnosed for the fourth time and he wanted to figure out a way to help fight back against the disease.
After looking through a firefighters newsletter, he spotted information regarding Pinks Heals.
“When I read about Pinks Heals and the mission Dave Graybill started in Arizona and what their mission was,” he explained, “it fell in line with what my mother had taught me when she raised me: If I’m going to give a dollar, I’m going to give a dollar to my neighbor and see where it goes.”
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