LIMA — Beginning Monday, 12 men in the Lima area will be approaching residents with their hats out.
A trip to Cancun awaits the one that is the most successful.
The American Cancer Society is hosting the first annual Real Men Wear Pink campaign. Individuals selected will raise money to support the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Lima and continue until Oct. 31.
Karla Batt said volunteers selected 12 prominent area men in the first-year venture. Men selected were retired business owner Pat Huber, Louis Jennings with Lima UAW 1219, iHeart Radio’s Todd Walker, Jed Metzger with the Allen County Chamber of Commerce, Biggby Coffee owner Adam Rector, St. Rita’s Medical Center physical therapist Dan Karapondo, The Lima News publisher Doug Olsson, Hardin County Chamber of Commerce president Jon Cross, Tom Ahl with Tom Ahl Dealership, Jonathan Lewis with the Lewis Family McDonald’s of Lima, WLIO anchor Jeff Gunter and patrolman Justin Wireman with the Lima Police Department. All 12 of the individuals will be free to use their creativity to raise the most money in the competition. The winner will receive a trip to Cancun, Mexico.
All of the competitors have been given a suggested goal of raising at least $2,500.
“Our community can make a huge impact in the fight against breast cancer,” said event manager Jesse Purcell. “We are grateful to our participants for lending their voices to our cause and fighting for everyone touched by breast cancer.”
At a brief event releasing the names of the participants at The Met in Lima Thursday, all 12 of the participants acknowledged being connected with a family member or loved one who had taken on cancer. Wireman with the LPD just went through the experience with his mother, who is now in recovery from breast cancer and doing well.
“I saw what the ACS did for her,” Wireman said. “This is a way for me to give back, to contribute.”
Wireman said the event is important because it also focuses on education.
“My mom is a survivor because she had learned it can be detected early if you get checkups,” Wireman said. “She is a survivor because she had learned to be aware of it.”
Huber is the retired owner of Warehouse Associates in Lima and has also been serving on the ACS board since 1978. Huber’s father died of cancer, and Huber himself has had six bouts with cancer.
“I am a survivor, so I have a vested interest,” Huber said. “I think events like this are extremely important, especially with the high incident rate of cancer in our area.”
In addition to raising money, each participant will be wearing pink and helping raise awareness of the disease. The funds will provide money for prevention, diagnosis, treatment, research and help with recovery.
The winner of the trip will be announced at a wrap-up party Nov. 7.
Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or at Twitter@LanceMihm