Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign Catches a Ride on a Bobtail
Marketers shiny, new, pink bobtail sparks campaign to help others.
For many, a long car ride can germinate a hothouse of ideas. For Jim Rymes Jr., fleet and bulk plant operations manager for Rymes Propane & Oil (Keene, N.H.), one long trip home from Indiana with his father and two new bobtails sparked the idea that maybe he had been just a bit too busy between a hectic family life and running his familys propane and oil company. Instead of leaving for some long, soul-searching trek, Ryrnes. his wife, and his family searched within their daily lives to find something they could accomplish at home to help others.
That something was to help promote cancer awarenessspecifically breast cancer. While no one in his immediate family has been threatened by the disease, Rymes is a man surrounded by womena wife, three daughters, and a mother who was integral to establishing his familys oil and gas business.
(Rymes Propane & Oils new pink and white bobtail with gray interior was built by Shawn Auxier of Bulk Tank & Truck Service with a six-speed transmission and a Mercedes engine in a Freightliner truck.)
How does promoting breast cancer awareness fit into a propane marketing business? Breast cancer awareness, research, and health campaigns have generated a truckload of ideas and fundraisers, ranging from pink ribbons, to scarves, to jewelrynone of which are very important to Rymes. However, he does love trucks, and that ideagenerating ride sparked the inspiration to combine his cancer awareness plan with his love of trucks. The outcome is a big pink and white bobtail that will soon be plying the streets of New Hampshire.
The finished bobtail has Rymes logo printed on its pink sides, and once the truck is on the road later this fall, Rymes will donate a penny a gallon sold from the truck for an entire year. The recipient of his donation is the American Breast Cancer Foundation.
Rymes family gladly agreed with his plan, and even the idea to paint one of their new trucks the bright pink associated with breast cancer awareness ribbons. In fact, Rymes said, the excitement has been contagious.
While the propane business may seem to many to be a male-oriented business, Rymes had few misgivings about requesting a pink bobtail from his favorite truck supplier, Bulk Tank & Truck Service (BT&T: Hanover, Ind.). Shawn Auxier of BT&T was enthusiastically on-board with the idea as soon as he heard it. Auxier was so excited about the project that he became the driving force in establishing the Propane Manufacturers & Distributors Campaign for Awareness, which was inaugurated at the Southeastern Convention & International Exposition in Atlanta last month.
The unveiling of Rymes pink bobtail at the show launched the national effort by Auxier and BT&T, along with several industry manufacturers and distributors. Once Rymes order was in, Auxier began calling his suppliers to see if any would be interested in joining a bigger campaign.
The response was overwhelming. Rymes simple, but local, ideato paint his truck pink with some verbiage on breast cancer awareness as well as to donate a portion of the profits to the American Breast Cancer Foundation (ABCF)has blossomed into a national campaign. Auxier and Rymes efforts to get donations from suppliers resulted in contributions exceeding $30,000 as of early April. Nearly two dozen companies have agreed to give money, and in most cases an amount equal to or more than the piece of equipment they donated.
As the enthusiasm grew, the two men came in contact with Susan Sweitzer at ABCF. The foundation came up with the slogan (Save Them) and a poster that was handed out in Atlanta and at other industry shows. The idea for the slogan, said Auxier, is to encourage the men in the industry to get the ladies in their life to a breast screening. The truck, along with representatives of BT&T and ABCF. will be making appearances at trade shows this month. BT&T and ABCF are arranging for the truck to be exhibited at other events as well.
The money raised at the shows will be donated to the foundation's national Key to Life Program, which provides funds to women and men in need of breast cancer screening and biopsies. Grants are also available through the program to those in need of different kinds of assistance, including financial and medical. Rymes Propane & Oils donation will go to the foundations New Hampshire Key to Life Program.
Ms. Sweitzer told BPN that she was a bit surprised by the initial offer from Rymes and Auxier. Their enthusiasm was overwhelming, and she's very excited about the evolution of Rymes idea into a campaign that is geared toward men. A male-oriented campaign is a first for the foundation. Those interested in contributing to the campaign can find information on the foundation's website or by calling (410) 825-9388.
Summing up his feelings for the project, Rymes told BPN we may never get rid of cancer during my lifetime, but, in the back of my mind, I certainly hope we do.
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