Pink fire truck to service women in Southwest Georgia, North Florida

Published 7:10 pm Friday, April 22, 2016



After three years of hard work, the Tallahassee chapter of Guardians of the Ribbon, also called Pink Heals, will be putting the finishing touches on its pink fire tuck this weekend.

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When completed the truck will service women who have been diagnosed with life threatening illness throughout North Florida and Southwest Georgia, including Bainbridge.

“The mission of Guardians of the Ribbon and Pink Heals is that we raise our fundraiser dollars and keep it local,” Sarah Cooksey, president of the Tallahassee Guardians of the Ribbon chapter said. “We sell t-shirts to keep the fire truck on the road and if any businesses, organization or people decide to donate money then 100-percent of those proceeds go to things that pertain to women’s health care issues.”

Many of the final touches to bring the truck to completion were performed under the guidance of Mark Mitchell at Precision Auto in Bainbridge.

“We restored this truck from the ground up as far as the body is concerned,” Mike Desherila said. “There’s really not a lot [Mark] hasn’t helped on. There’s no way that anybody in this organization could say enough to Mark for everything that he’s done. He’s gone so far above and beyond.”

Once completed, the truck will be presented at signing ceremonies throughout the area where women who have been diagnosed with illnesses and/or their family members will have the chance to sign the truck with their names and messages about the battle. The truck will also be used on goodwill missions during which volunteers of Guardians of the Ribbon will visit women who have been diagnosed and offer them encouragement.

“It can be signed in honor of or in memory,” Cooksey said. “Say we get a newly diagnosed cancer patient. We’re going to drive that pink fire truck to their house and let their family members sign it and bring flowers.”

The organization will also help women if they cannot afford the cost of their treatments or cost of living while going through treatment.

The revamped pink truck is a 1972 Pierce fire truck that was originally used by the Tallahassee Fire Department and then the Wakulla Fire Department before it was donated to Guardians of the Ribbon.

The engine will be dedicated during a ceremony at the Classic Car Museum in Tallahassee on April 30, when it will officially be christened “Ariel” after Ariel Gandy who died from liver cancer in July 2012.

“This truck is being named after her because of what we witnessed and the kind of person she was and what she did for people,” DeSherila said.

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