McKeesport firefighters sell T-shirts to aid cancer victims
McKeesport firefighters are raising funds so that a nonprofit organization can provide financial assistance to young women living with breast cancer.
They are selling custom pink “Courage for the Cure” T-shirts to benefit the McKeesport-based Kristy Lasch Miracle Foundation.
The front is adorned with the International Association of Firefighters logo, with a pink ribbon in the center, and the back shows McKeesport Area High School's mascot Tiger embracing the logo.
Tom and Lynn Lasch started the foundation in 2005 in memory of their daughter Kristy Leigh Lasch, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 22 and passed away on Oct. 2, 2004, at age 26.
The high cost of treatment became a burden to the family, and that inspired their mission to help others get through similar situations.
“Kristy always wanted to start a foundation for women under 30 with breast cancer,” Lynn Lasch said when the foundation was formed. “She got close to the people who ran the (Susan G.) Komen (for the Cure) and with Bosom Buddies, but there was no one her age. Kristy always said she would start a foundation, but unfortunately she wasn't able to.”
IAF Local 10 president Jeff Tomovcsik said the union made breast cancer awareness one of its main charitable causes, and contributed about $1,300 to the foundation last year.
“We lucked out in the fact that we have a great local foundation to donate money to,” Tomovcsik said. “We have a few firefighters here who personally knew Kristy Lasch and are on a personal level with Tom and Lynn.”
Tomovcsik said sales have been brisk.
“We're trying to move as many shirts as possible,” he said. “It seems like each year the sales expand a little bit more.”
Firefighter Matt Holtzman designed and printed the shirts through his business, Shogun Graphix.
“I was inspired by (Mayor Michael Cherepko's) administration and their signage promoting respect, hope, love and dignity throughout the city,” Holtzman said. “Trying to inspire some civic unity, I wanted to use the Tiger design because that's obviously the high school mascot. My brother (Mark Holtzman) is the principal of the high school.”
“We've got a great football team, good athletics, and we've turned out some pretty notable people from McKeesport Area School District,” Tomovcsik said. “This year, with the Tiger on the back, kind of brings everything together.”
It is the fourth year that the fire department has used shirts designed by Holtzman to raise money and awareness.
“Last year it was a ribbon with a fire helmet on it,” Holtzman said. “I try to do something different each year.”
Holtzman said it is a privilege to create something that benefits people, noting many firefighters know someone who has battled cancer.
“People who struggle with this in life are always supportive,” Holtzman said. “I'm always really surprised by how many people buy them. It's unbelievable.”
Cost is $15 for small through extra-large, and $17 for bigger sizes. They can be ordered online at www.mckeesportfirefighters.org.
Information about the foundation is available online at www.kristylasch.org or by calling 412-872-4125.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1965, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.