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Members of the Forest Park Fire Department are recognizing October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month not only by wearing special T-shirts but also by offering the shirts for sale.

Shirts are available for $20 each through Forest Park Firefighters Local 2753 Facebook page or online at Squareup.com/Store/Local2753. The unisex shirts are available in sizes small through 2XL in blue with pink lettering or in pink with blue lettering. Firefighter Kevin Hedrick said firefighters will be wearing blue shirts. Those placing orders will be informed when their shirts are available for pickup at the firehouse, 517 Des Plaines Ave. Delivery is not available.

Hedrick explained that all proceeds from the sale of the T-shirts will be given to Gilda’s Club of Chicago.

According to the organization’s website, Gilda’s Club is a place where men, women and children whose lives have been impacted by cancer, as well as their families and friends, can feel they are part of a welcoming community of support. 

The organization’s namesake, Gilda Radner, was one of the original cast members of “Saturday Night Live.” She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1985 and died in 1989. 

Hedrick said firefighters chose Gilda’s Club of Chicago after researching organizations supporting breast cancer research.

“Based on everything we read, a very significant amount of funds raised for Gilda’s Club of Chicago benefits people they serve,” he said. “Their administrative costs are minimal.”

Hedrick also noted that although there are over 20 active affiliates of Gilda’s Club nationwide, funds donated to Gilda’s Club of Chicago benefit Chicago area residents. 

He said the union local has undertaken similar projects in the past and that the national union supports such efforts.

 “Everybody seems to want a fire department T-shirt,” Hedrick said, noting that members of the fire department have family members who are either battling cancer or who have died of the disease. 

“You can’t find anybody who hasn’t been touched by cancer,” he added. “We just want to get out there and do some good. We’re just trying to raise awareness.”

Hedrick said the goal is to sell 500 shirts. With 350 sold so far, “We’re on our way.”

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