The Rotary Club of Flagler County presented a $14,125 donation to purchase 115 cancer-preventing hoods to Hoods For Heroes at a ceremony on March 26. The donation includes matching grants from the Rotary Foundation and Jeff Evans State Farm. The national State Farm corporation also is purchasing 23 hoods for $2,875. Together, these hoods will be donated to every firefighter in Flagler County and Flagler Beach.
“The Rotary Club of Flagler County is passionate about protecting the firefighters who protect us. Firefighters risk their lives by going into a burning fire or when putting out a burning car to avoid an explosion at a crash scene but years from now they may see the effects of their dangerous role when some may be stricken with several forms of cancer from carcinogens they were exposed to,” said Cindy Kiel Evans, president of the Rotary Club of Flagler County. “I personally am passionate about protecting these men and women because of my own grown daughter’s father, who is battling Stage 3 brain cancer after 25 years as a firefighter at Cape Kennedy.”
Hoods for Heroes is a local non-profit organization that raises funds to purchase protective hoods for firefighters. The hoods protect firefighters from cancer-causing chemicals that have caused an epidemic of cancer among first responders. One in three firefighters can expect to be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime, and more than 60% of line-of-duty deaths are due to cancer. Hoods For Heroes has donated hoods to firefighters across Northeast Florida and around the state. It is currently expanding its efforts to go nationwide.
“The Rotary Club’s mission of ‘service above self’ is evident in the support of its members for firefighters,” said William Hamilton, president of Hoods For Heroes. “Firefighters are facing an epidemic of cancer, with one in three expected to face a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. By supporting the heroes who take care of us, the Rotary Club of Flagler County is modeling its service to the community in a powerful way.”
“Hoods for Heroes also is grateful to Jeff Evans State Farm for purchasing additional hoods,” said Jeff Rountree, CEO of Hoods For Heroes. “They have increased the impact of the club’s members so that we can protect every firefighter in Flagler County.”