The 2013 Pink Heals Rally and 5K made its way to San Marcos Saturday when more than 325 participants gathered to raise awareness and support for those affected by breast cancer.
The event was hosted by the San Marcos Professional Fire Fighters Association and took place Oct. 26 at River Ridge Park. The race began at 8 a.m. with a variety of participants that included men, women, children and pets. The Pink Heals organization was created in 2007 by former professional baseball player and retired firefighter Dave Graybill. The organization serves a purpose to help people battling cancer with a focus on women and what they mean in the daily lives of those they encounter.
“We wear pink because pink stands for women,” Graybill said. “And pink heals. We bring our pink fire trucks to cities and teach people how to hold fundraisers and generate proceeds that will stay in their communities to help pay bills, support research, and provide general financial help for families that may be struggling.”
Graybill, author of “Pink Heals: The Mending of America,” said he provided a company overview on the organization’s Facebook fan page.
“These men honor those who can no longer fight, stand with those who can fight and inspire those who watch,” the page says.
In flyers and brochures promoting Pink Heals, the organization describes itself as a program for community leaders to adopt, which allows them to fundraise for people rather than causes. While breast cancer is a large part of the Pink Heals, the program concentrates on the common referral to America as “she,” therefore putting all women and children first.
Pink police cars and fire trucks that have been signed by thousands of people tour the country to raise awareness with the organization. In the selfless effort to, “put people first, starting with women,” the trucks are driven by “Guardians” who provide inspiration for the battle against cancer in communities.
As a participant in the Hays County chapter tour stop, Texas State student Chloe McReynolds brought her dog along for the cause. It was not her first marathon, but McReynolds said this was her first time running for Pink Heals.
“I wanted to actually run—I need to get in shape,” McReynolds said. “I thought it would be a good opportunity to offer support from San Marcos.”
McReynolds said she saw some of the participants wearing wings and tutus along with other pink items and “some of them really went all out.”
A parade down Aquarena Springs Drive followed the 5K, and a rally was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Bobcat Stadium. Kathleen Chomel, director of the Hays County chapter of the Pink Heals Tour, said she was excited and appreciated the halftime introduction of the organization during the Texas State Homecoming game.