An idea that sprang from something Don, John and Cheryl Caswell saw in southern Ontario, became a mobile tribute and advocacy project, courtesy of Caswell Concrete, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The pink cement truck, now in its fourth year, continues to be a truck with a mission, as part of Caswell Concrete’s fleet. And it’s all about breast cancer awareness.
“We thought about doing something for our 50th Anniversary (2012), and it seemed like serendipity when we saw a similar pink truck in southern Ontario.” said Cheryl Caswell, who, along with brother John and father Don, run the daily operations of Caswell Concrete.
While travelling, The Caswell family saw a large utility truck painted as an homage to a cause, and thought that it was a great way to spread a message of support.
“We thought – Let’s bring that up here. It’s for a great cause, and we had been wanting to do something to honour my aunt, Nora Mertes.” said Cheryl. “We thought it was something special, and that we could do it here.” she said.
As she stood in front of the huge pink painted cement truck on a rainy day at her family’s business, Cheryl Caswell told saultonline. “It’s been a real conversation starter and wonderful way to elevate the issue of breast cancer in our community. We send it out to various events.” she said. “The last one was at Fountain Tire, for their Car Wash and Anniversary celebration in August.”
Cheryl said that people can sign the truck, writing messages of support. “We have had survivors, and people who have been affected by breast cancer write notes on the truck. It’s a mobile tribute to a disease that still claims far too many lives.” she said “For the last few years, the truck has been parked at CIBC’s ‘Run for the Cure’.” adding, “Anyone can ask us for the truck to be at an event. The truck sits there like a beacon of hope.” she said.
4 years after being officially launched, Caswell Concrete’s pink cement truck continues to be a rolling billboard for breast cancer awareness. “People will honk at the truck and wave. It happens pretty much every time the truck leaves the yard here.”
“A percentage per meter (of concrete ordered) is designated as a donation to the Canadian Cancer Society. When someone orders concrete, they can specifically ask for that truck, or the truck will just get sent out automatically as part of our fleet.” said Cheryl.
“Whatever (cement) is sold off of that truck, a percentage of those meters gets donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. This year we donated to Tracy’s Dream as well.”
Over and above the donations made to The Canadian Cancer Society, a recent donation of $5,000 was shared with Tracy’s Dream.Find The Story Here
“Last year, ‘CRH Canada Group Inc.’, our cement supplier came on board with us and matched our donations to a dollar value per meter. They are doing it again this year as well.” said Cheryl. “We are thrilled they are on board. All of those donations are going to the Canadian Cancer Society as well.”
“I lost my sister, Nora in 1995. The truck was painted as a way to honour her, and other women we’ve lost to breast cancer, as well as survivors.” shared Don Caswell.
“Northland Auto Body painted the truck.”
Don Caswell said, “We’re local, and we deal with local people. And that included where we wanted to have the truck painted. When the truck goes out in the community, that’s our local people supporting the project. It’s all from the community, – the donations.”
” We’ve lived all our lives in this town, and it’s the local people that keep us alive. I’m happy to be in this community. Local people support each other in good times and bad times.” he said
“We were only looking to do this for about a year, for our 50th Anniversary celebrations, but with such great response from the community, we’re going to keep going.” said Cheryl.
“Next year will mark our 5th season with the pink cement truck. As long as the community continues to support us, we will keep doing this.” she said.
“We want to continue to raise awareness and do whatever we can for breast cancer research. We hope that we are paying it forward it some small way.”
Indeed. Caswell Concrete. You are. And it’s anything but small.
Caswell Concrete Products can be reached at 705-759-1994.