By Jim Newell
Mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, friends, colleagues. Most people know someone in their lives who has been affected by breast cancer.
And real men wear pink – especially when raising awareness and donations for the American Cancer Society’s Real Men Wear Pink campaign.
This year, the Orion area has four Real Men of Orion: Matt Pfeiffer, owner of Northern Flooring & Interiors, who was the first ambassador from Orion in 2017; Garret Hoffman, last year’s Real Men of Orion ambassador; and new ambassadors, Lake Orion Police Chief Jerry Narsh and Orion Township Parks & Recreation Director Aaron Whatley.
“It’s a great cause and I have family, friends and co-workers that have been touched by cancer; all forms, not just breast cancer. It’s a great cause to raise money and awareness,” Hoffman said. “This year it’s a little unique for us because we’re doing it as a group and not so much as individuals.”
Pfeiffer said a Real Men Wear Pink campaign is “a lot work and you really have to be focused.” In 2017, he raised more than $15,000 for the campaign.
“I wasn’t going to do it, but I got talking to Jerry and said, ‘I wouldn’t mind it if I could do it as a group.’ The Real Men (campaign) has never had that, so this unique,” Pfeiffer said. “The four of us are doing it to share the responsibility and commitment and we think we can blow it up even more…together we think we can make a pretty big impact.”
Pfeiffer and Hoffman usually come up with some antics to help promote Real Men and make fundraising fun. Pfeiffer is known for wearing a pink tuxedo and hat, while Hoffman dyed his beard pink last year. Both said they’ll come up with some fun surprises this year as well.
Some of the events that the four Real Men of Orion are planning include camping out in the big pink Making Strides against Breast Cancer chair from Sept. 10-12 at Northern Flooring,
The group also wants to make the “largest pink float in history” and will host the Boob, Tubes & Dudes fundraiser from noon-3 p.m. Sept. 15 at Green’s Park off of M-24. Guests are encouraged to wear a pink shirt, bring their paddleboards, kayaks, tubes or canoes and paddle out into Lake Orion, Pfeiffer said.
Tickets for Boobs, Tubes & Dudes are $25 and are available through Eventbrite.com and include refreshments during the fundraiser. All funds will go to the Real Men of Oakland County fund.
Pfeiffer is never one to go small in his endeavors and wants to enlist businesses and volunteers to help spread the Real Men of Orion message and raise funds.
“People have said they want to help. We’re going to try to get people to get as many businesses we can involved so that we can, again, show the world Lake Orion’s generosity,” Pfeiffer said.
“In a perfect world, we have people wearing pink shirts all throughout town,” Pfeiffer said. “We’ll have pink signs on businesses and we’ll raise a lot of money and a lot of awareness.”
“I was originally going to be Aaron Whatley’s campaign manage and help him out. But we all came to the decision of making it a group effort. I was down for that, so I jumped back in the saddle,” Hoffman said. “I definitely look forward to having the team and I think it’s going to make a greater impact because all of four of us have very big networks individually, so I think that will benefit us, utilizing our networks as a whole.”
To donate, checks can be mailed or delivered in person to: Northern Flooring, 845 S. Lapeer Rd., Lake Orion, MI 48362; the Lake Orion Police Department, 21 E Church St, Lake Orion, MI 48362; or Orion Township Parks and Recreation, 1335 Joslyn Rd, Lake Orion, MI 48360. Please make checks payable to the American Cancer Society.
Online donations can be made through realmenoforion.com.
Every dollar raised helps the American Cancer Society save lives from breast cancer through early detection and prevention, innovative breast cancer research, and patient support, according to the American Cancer Society.