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Kickoff for Guardians of the Ribbon chapter set for Wednesday, July 20, in Leitersburg

July 15, 2011

LEITERSBURG — Local breast-cancer survivors and other supporters are encouraged to join Leitersburg Volunteer Fire Co., 21431 Leiter St., north of Hagerstown, at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, for the kickoff of The Western Maryland Chapter of Guardians of the Ribbon.

Guardians of the Ribbon are firefighters, police officers and community leaders from across the United States who help raise money for local cancer patients, through donations and T-shirt sales, according to information at www.pinkfiretrucks.org. According to the organization's Facebook page, pink apparatus is used to support women in their fight against all cancers, not just breast cancer

Leitersburg firefighter Bill Green is spearheading the local effort. Green said he became involved with the program through a friend and Hagerstown native Shane Shifflett, who started a local chapter in Savannah, Ga.

 Green and Shifflett will be bringing a pink firetruck to the event, which cancer survivors and their families will be able to sign. The same firetruck will be traveling to Baltimore later in the week to kick off another Guardians of the Ribbon chapter.

T-shirts will be for sale at the event, which Green said will be brought up from Georgia.

Currently, Green is looking for corporate sponsorships to produce fundraising T-shirts locally. He is also hoping for a corporation to purchase a used firetruck or other apparatus for the Western Maryland Chapter to paint pink and use for local events.

"It's a long process, and we hope to give the chance for the community to see what (Guardians of the Ribbon) are all about," Green said.

For more information about the local chapter of Guardians of the Ribbon, or to make a donation, call Green at the fire company, 301-733-9155. More information about the nationwide program is available at www.pinkfiretrucks.org.

—  By Amy Dulebohn

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