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Fundraiser Spotlight: Paul Kim and the Costa Mesa Fire Department

Costa Mesa firefighter Paul Kim not only fights fire, but also helps in the fight to end breast cancer forever. His mother-in-law is a breast cancer survivor, so with the issue close to his heart Paul decided to get involved with the cause.

During October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Paul got the Costa Mesa Fire Department involved to wear and sell pink shirts, with proceeds benefitting Komen Orange County. He sold more than 300 shirts, raising $1,600 for our organization.

Paul and the Costa Mesa Fire Department were not alone – Redlands Fire Department, Bear Grass Fire Department (North Carolina), Elbert Fire Rescue (Colorado) and Care Ambulance (Anaheim) also sold shirts to help Komen Orange County.

Paul began selling the shirts in 2010, and hopes to get even more departments and organizations involved. The shirts are universal and Paul can easily plug in your company or organization’s name as a supporter of Komen OC. If you are interested in getting involved next year, let us know and we’ll put you in touch with Paul!


Tough Guys with a Soft Side

L to R, Braden Peters, Fire Capt. Jeff Peters, firefighter Andrew Harris, firefighter Philip Storey, firefighter/parramedic Anthony Vitello

L to R, Braden Peters, Fire Capt. Jeff Peters, firefighter Andrew Harris, firefighter Philip Storey, firefighter/paramedic Anthony Vitello

Firefighters are tough guys who do tough work, right? It turns out that they clean up well AND they have a soft side. The Komen Orange County Affiliate was blessed to have members of the Costa Mesa fire department on hand at Race for the Cure as volunteer “Tux Men.” The Tux Men and Tux Women assist during the Survivor Tribute – escorting survivors safely up the stairs and to their seats, wearing formal attire as one more way to honor the ladies in pink.

When Costa Mesa Captain Jeff Peters was asked to volunteer, he recruited a rookie fireman and his teen-aged son (Tesoro High School), then brought two more firefighters along for good measure.  Were these “tough guys” touched by the emotional tribute? Yes, just like the rest of us.

Capt. Peters said after the Race: “What was truly eye opening was how many peoples’ lives this disease touches. You hear the commercials and the statistics and you know it is a big disease, but seeing the people firsthand and their supporters really brings it home.”

“Watching all the survivors walking up had me happy and sad at the same time. I found myself smiling and crying. Me and my son knew two of the survivors.”

“We were a very small part of this event but it appeared the ladies enjoyed having us there and we enjoyed being there to assist them,” Capt. Peters said. Sounds like a repeat volunteer, doesn’t he? In fact, both Jeff and Braden Peters plan to volunteer again at the 2010 Race.

Thank you to the firefighters and all the Race volunteers, and to Friar Tux for donating the classy tuxedos.