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Going pink at curbside: Local initiative raises money for area hospice houses

This pink cart is like the ones available to Perham residents from Steve's Sanitation. Submitted photo

Pat Udelhofen likes to stand out in her neighborhood development in Perham.

She also likes to stand up for something she believes in, including breast cancer awareness. That's why she went pink at curbside.

Udelhofen heard from a friend at church about the option to get a pink garbage cart from Steve's Sanitation and knew she wanted to get one. It wasn't just to get a pink cart, but to make a donation to a local hospice center that cared for cancer patients.

"I have relatives that have passed away from cancer, so that is why I have a pink garbage can," Udelhofen said.

While the pink cart stands out among the standard brown carts, she said she has not had a comment from neighbors yet asking about the pink cart. But she said she looks forward to talking about it.

"I think it's a wonderful way to earn money for Lakeland Hospice," Udelhofen said. "I would like to see one at every stop."

The pink carts are starting to pop up more in the area. President of Steve's Sanitation Kelly Melgard said Otter Tail County and Becker County have 317 customers that opted to make a $25 donation in order to replace their standard garbage can with a bright pink one as a way to support breast cancer awareness. Many more carts are at the ready for people looking to support the cause and add some pizazz to their curbside.

"We probably have another 200 containers," Melgard said.

The program started in October in Perham and is part of The Pink Cart program (www.thepinkcart.com), developed by Cascade Cart Solutions in collaboration with the American Cancer Society, which enables households and businesses nationwide to make a very visible demonstration of their support for the fight against breast cancer. Five dollars from each Pink Cart purchase supports the Society's breast cancer awareness programs.

The $25 donation given by local users of the cart goes to local hospices like Lakeland Hospice House in Fergus Falls and Hospice of the Red River Valley in Detroit Lakes.

"It's not a money maker for us," Melgard said. "It actually creates more work for us, but it is a good way to raise money and help the people in our communities who are struggling with cancer."

The cause hit close to home at Steve's Sanitation when an employee's wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"We want people to be taken care of the best we can," Melgard said.

Steve's took on the pink cart initiative after acquiring Jon and Sons Disposal Services in Detroit Lakes, which was already involved in the program.

As long as customers continue service with Steve's, they keep the pink container.

To find out how you can get a pink cart, contact Steve's at (218) 346-4834.

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