Pink Breast Cancer Truck Raises Funds

PJ Hamel Health Guide

    Every morning I heave myself out of bed at 4:30 a.m. and sleep-drive myself to the gym. (Sleep-driving? It's like sleepwalking, only more dangerous). But some mornings I give myself a break, get up later, and take a walk. This happens more frequently now than it does in winter, when a walk might mean frozen ears, sleet lashing the exposed skin of my face, and icy patches on the sidewalk turning me into a bad imitation of Tonya Harding. Now, the sun is up at 5 a.m., and the morning is bright with promise. The town I walk through is deserted, looking for all the world like aliens have swept through in the night and sucked the population into their spaceship. It's broad daylight, but the sidewalks are empty, the traffic lights blinking red and green, and the usual hum-of traffic, commerce, kids-is stilled. As I walk along the college green, the dew on the grass catches the sun and sparkles like a wind-ruffled pond. I can almost imagine I'm on vacation, about to spend the day playing a lazy round of golf, then sitting by the pool, drink and trashy novel in hand. Till I get home, when reality kicks in and I shower, eat, and head off to work.

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    Today is Saturday, so I took an extra-long walk: 6 miles, a roundtrip to the general store where I could grab a cup of coffee and sit on a bench in the sun, watching the traffic in downtown Norwich, Vermont-all six or 7seven cars of it-before heading back. This route takes me over the Connecticut River, from my home in New Hampshire across to Vermont. I always chuckle at the midway point of the newly rebuilt bridge, where enterprising concrete workers drew a line in the abutment: "NH" on one side, "VT" on the other. What they didn't realize was the state line is actually somewhere over on the Vermont edge of the river, not in the middle... but it was a good attempt.

    As I rounded the corner and headed down the final straightaway towards home, I saw a bright pink and white truck parked alongside the road. And I mean BRIGHT pink, and obviously newly washed; it positively glistened in the early morning sun. As I approached, I could hear it idling, the deep gurgle-chug of the diesel engine softly competing with a crow-battle going on in the trees nearby. I noticed the driver was inside, arms draped over the steering wheel, waiting for... something. I walked up to his window, gave an admiring whistle, and called up to him, "Hey, that's some nice truck!"

    "Yeah, you like it?" he answered. "It's for breast cancer. We donate 1¢ for every gallon of propane we sell. We raised $30,000 for breast cancer last year."

    "Wow-that's great. Thanks a lot!" I said. As he spoke, I'd noticed the big pink ribbon painted on the back of the truck: the ABCF (American Breast Cancer Foundation) logo. I'd also taken note of the company name: Rymes Propane and Oil. And you can bet that when I go to select next winter's heating oil and propane supplier, I'll be calling Rymes.

    What prompted this company to make the extra effort to support those of us with breast cancer? I don't know, and I suppose it doesn't really matter. But the pink truck campaign is certainly a win-win. The ABCF has received $30,000 for its early detection efforts. And Rymes has gotten itself a new customer.

  • If you live in New Hampshire, or parts of Vermont or Maine, Rymes may provide service in your area. Visit their Web site to find out. And here's what they say about their truck:

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    "The Rymes family has joined forces with the American Breast Cancer Foundation (ABCF) to help promote breast cancer awareness! Our newest propane delivery truck is the first-ever "Pink-Ribbon" truck and is painted in the trademark pink of breast cancer awareness campaigns. As part of our effort to be actively involved in our local communities, Rymes will be donating one-cent per gallon to the ABCF's New Hampshire Key To Life program, and we will be displaying the truck at local events throughout the state to help promote awareness and encourage women to get a breast cancer screening. The truck will also be in active service throughout the state, so you may very well see it pull into your driveway soon!"

Published On: July 11, 2007