Ahead of October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Waxahachie residents might notice pink T-shirts for sale in the town's H-E-B grocery store.

To kick off its annual Cares Enough to Wear Pink campaign, the Waxahachie Fire Department's firefighter's association has teamed up with the grocery store chain to sell the tees.

"The fire department created the design on the t-shirts, and then [Store Director Jordan Simeonov] sent that information over to our vendors who printed everything, and so now we're able to sell these shirts at H-E-B Waxahachie for $15…," said Chelsea Thompson, H-E-B's area community coordinator for north-central Texas.

"When H-E-B builds a store in a community, they're making a promise to support and take care of the community," Thompson added. "In Waxahachie, that's such a special store because all the managers, all the partners with that store are so involved in the communities, especially the fire departments and first responders, so any project they have we like to do everything that we can to support them."

Some of the funds from the T-shirt sales will support local charity organizations including the firefighters association's own Benevolent Fund and the Dinah Weable Breast Cancer Survivors' Event.

For the past 11 years, the Benevolent Fund has paid out thousands of dollars to assist firefighters battling different cancers.

"We have several members in the department that have fought cancer before, and that are currently fighting cancer," the association told the Daily Light in 2017. "We all work together to raise funds to help our fellow firefighters and our community to make them aware of the dangers of cancer so they can get checked."

The Dinah Weable Breast Cancer Survivors' Event was established in 2007 to fund mammograms for Waxahachie residents who are either underinsured or uninsured. The organization says it has provided the exam for more than 1,200 people to date.

"I am overjoyed that the Waxahachie Firefighter's Assoc. is continuing their support of our group with their annual shirt sales," said Chair of The Dinah Weable Breast Cancer Survivors' Event, based in Waxahachie. "When sales have concluded, H-E-B will donate one-third of the sales to the Waxahachie Firefighter's Assoc. The Firefighter's Assoc. will then donate one-half of these proceeds to our foundation while keeping the other half for their own Benevolent Fund. It is a win-win situation for all involved."

The American Cancer Society reports that breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the U.S. after skin cancer. It estimates that there are more than 3.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. It further concludes that over 271,270 people will be diagnosed with the disease in 2019 – 268,600 women and 2,670 men. By year's end, the illness will claim the lives of some 41,760 women and 500 men.

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Patrick Clarke | @PatrickClarke1