Pink Heals


Pink Heals in the Verde Valley

History of the Verde Valley Pink Heals Fund

The Guardians of the Ribbon were invited to Jerome, Arizona, in 2010, at the invitation of the Mayor of Jerome, Al Palmieri, and Vice Mayor, Jay Kinsella. The Mayor agreed to coordinate a fundraising event with their visit and requested Rosemarie Shemaitis, the deputy clerk for Jerome, to put something together.

On the website, Ms. Shemaitis saw that the Guardians enter a community driving in on their pink fire engines. The men are dressed in pink fire gear to honor and support all women, especially those in the fight for their lives. The Guardians support all types of cancer relief efforts and focus on women as a whole, in whatever type of cancer they battle.

For several years now, the pink fire trucks have traveled to cities across the United States and their non-profit mission is to provide a national movement for the support of women by wearing the color Pink. It is a show of support for the women of this country.

After reading the information about the pink trucks, Ms. Shemaitis decided that a fund needed to be created here, in the Verde Valley, which would benefit the women in the Valley dealing with the financial stresses due to cancer. Mayor Palmieri and Judge Joan Dwyer introduced Ms. Shemaitis to the board at the Verde Valley Medical Center and a dedicated account was set up with the Verde Valley Medical Center Foundation in Cottonwood, Arizona. This account, the Verde Valley Pink Heals Fund, would be for all monies raised and donated at the fundraising event in Jerome.

In August 2010, the first event included a dinner, which was donated in its entirety from various organizations and restaurants in the Town of Jerome and the Verde Valley. There was a raffle and silent auction, which had items donated by Jerome’s merchants and a few others from the Valley. Also, as part of the fundraising effort, T-shirts were printed up and sold to commemorate the event.

Additionally, various groups set up information tables and disseminated information on cancer.

The event was a great success and around $1,200 was raised that first year. Deanna King, president of the Cornville Community Association, offered her town as a stop in the Valley if the Pink Trucks came back.

Because of the success of the first event, the Guardians of the Ribbon returned to the Verde Valley for a three-day Kickoff event in 2011.

Cottonwood, Camp Verde, Cornville and Jerome hosted the Pink Fire Trucks with fundraising events in each location. The event again was an overwhelming success and raised over $6,000. All the proceeds were again deposited in the Pink Heals Fund at the Foundation at Verde Valley Medical Center.

In July 2012, a one-day Kickoff event was held in the Food City parking lot in Cottonwood. Sponsors included Food City Cottonwood, the Town of Jerome, the Cottonwood and Jerome Fire Departments, and the Clarkdale and Montezuma-Rimrock Fire Districts. The event was successful and raised over $5,000 for the Pink Heals Fund.

Also, by August 2012, the Fund was able to assist five women in the Verde Valley. This assistance included help with medical bills, co-pays, mortgage and utility payments and a gas card.

In October 2012, a local business, Acme Pizzaria, held a fundraiser for the Verde Valley Pink Heals Fund and raised over $6,000. They have also decided to make the Pink Heals Fund a continuing beneficiary of their fundraising activities. The Verde Valley Pink Heals Fund will also be receiving a large bequest in the future. All these funds benefit the women of the Valley, and to date, we have now helped 11 women with up to $1,000 each, and we have two applications pending. Most of these women had used up all of their insurance benefits or had no insurance at all.

Purpose of the Verde Valley Pink Heals

The Pink Heals Committee plans and hosts events to generate funds that will provide assistance to women of the Verde Valley struggling with financial issues due to cancer. This is not purely clinical – it is about the needs of the woman. For example, assistance will be available for obtaining prosthetics and wigs and/or meeting financial obligations, such as rent, utilities, etc., and may include items needed by their families.

Philosophy of the Pink Heals

To support the women of the Verde Valley struggling with cancer.

Methodology (the way the organization works)

Proceeds from fundraising events go to the Verde Valley Pink Heals Fund. Based on an application process, and with guidance from the all-volunteer Pink Heals administrating Board, the funds are dispersed based on legitimate financial need. An application can be received by the Foundation or a member of the Board, at any time, as there is no established cycle.

Also, donations can be made directly to the Foundation.


Funds may be allotted to approved applicants. However, the money is not dispersed directly to the recipient. For example, funds for payment of medical and/or other bills are issued directly to the provider/vendor.

Management Structure

The all-volunteer Pink Heals Board may consist of interested individuals from any organization, group or municipality that participated in an event for Pink Heals, so the Board members may change each year. The Board, during the course of their year, will review applications and make the decision as how best to disseminate the funds.

We currently have a three-person board and the staff at the Verde Valley Medical Center Foundation who review the applications and implement the fund

Town of   Jerome    Arizona