Many breast cancer survivors and community members came together Tuesday to raise awareness and money for those affected by breast cancer at the 11th annual Turn Tyler Pink on the T.B. Butler Fountain Plaza in downtown Tyler.
The event is presented by the Tyler Professional Firefighters Association. Tyler firefighter Cancer Awareness & Relief Effort (CARE) shirts were sold to raise money for local women’s cancer organizations.
Firefighter Scott Dodgen, CARE chairman and Turn Tyler Pink event coordinator, said turnout and sales were good this year.
“We are here to honor these women who are survivors and those who are no longer here,” Dodgen said. “We’ve had a lot of people come out. A good shirt sale year enables CARE to donate more.”
He said the event showcases helpful resources and recognizes the journey women and men battling cancer go through. Various health and medical organizations had booths to educate attendees on cancer and health information.
Over the 11 years, $71,210 has been raised for local women’s cancer organizations, $22,300 for current and retired Tyler firefighters and their dependents battling cancer, and $2,300 for national firefighter cancer organizations, Dodgen said.
Survivors signed the pink CARE firetruck during the event.
Linda Dill, of Tyler, a breast cancer survivor for 11 years, said the event is wonderful. She recalled her cancer journey as challenging, but having loved ones by her side helped.
“At first, it was hard, but I had a lot of support from my family and friends,” Dill said.
Maria Barrera and Iysesi Rayas with XCO Latin Workout by Jackie presented an interactive workout to improve muscular activity and increase mobility and endurance. Barrera said the exercise is a dynamic, fun class that mixes Latin music with athletic movements.
Rubye Kendrick, of Tyler, enjoyed Turn Tyler Pink and the exercise presentation. She is a physical therapist and her sister is a breast cancer survivor.
“There’s so much information that you can have access to,” Kendrick said. “Exercise is really important when it comes to disease and it keeps our bodies healthy.”
Jennifer Kielman, a KLTV-Channel 7 anchor, served as emcee for the event. She is a nine-year breast cancer survivor.
CARE shirts will be available for purchase through October at Carter BloodCare (815 S. Baxter Ave.), Cavender’s Boot City (2025 WSW Loop 323), Gallery Main Street (110 W. Erwin St.) and Holiday Inn (5701 S. Broadway Ave.), Dodgen said.