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PINK PATCH PROJECT: Cedar Valley law enforcement raising money for breast cancer awareness

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CEDAR VALLEY, Iowa (KWWL) - The Black Hawk County Sheriff's office and the Cedar Falls Public Safety Department are just a couple of over 390 law enforcement agencies to take part in the Pink Patch Project.

The law enforcement agencies are wearing pink patches during the month of October to show support and bring awareness to breast cancer.

"Pink patches on our uniform and then our firefighters are also wearing pink shirts as well to raise awareness for breast cancer," Patrol Lieutenant Kari Rea said.

The Cedar Falls Public Safety Department is raising money for a local nonprofit organization that focuses on giving back to breast cancer support, education, and advocacy in the Cedar Valley Area. The organization is the Beyond Pink TEAM.

"The idea that they're willing to tackle it with everything else that's going on, we really appreciate it," Beyond Pink TEAM development chair Gabbi DeWitt said.

While speaking with DeWitt, she outline the importance of breast cancer awareness.

"We want people to have access to screening. We want them to get regular screening because of the pandemic, a lot of people are staying home and maybe not going in for their regular check-ups. Just making sure that they're making their preventative health a priority, knowing that breast cancer is not preventable, but regular mammograms can maybe help it be found earlier," DeWitt said.

The Beyond Pink TEAM also holds other events to raise breast cancer awareness, such as a Virtual Pink Ribbon Run that will go until October 10. Information on that and other events can be found on their website.

Cedar Falls Public Safety is reaching out to the public to purchase these patches to help with the cause. Last year the department raised almost $3,000 dollars, but this year it will look different.

Due to the pandemic, there won't be any events in which they can promote the sale of the pink patches. As a result, the public safety department is relying on word of mouth and community engagement.

"Almost everybody knows someone that's been affected by breast cancer. The patches are a way for us to reach the public and to spark those conversations. It's not just a police thing, it's not just a fire thing, it's not just a city hall thing, it's something that affects everybody in our community, and that's what we're really about, is helping everyone," Lieutenant Rea said.

Each patch is $10 and can be purchased at the Cedar Falls Public Safety Building or at the Cedar falls City Hall.

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Diego Hernandez

Multimedia Journalist

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