Meadville Tribune

Our Health

October 23, 2013

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS: Pinkvette leaves lasting legacy of hope

MEADVILLE — In less than two years, the PinkVette raised thousands of dollars, logged hundreds of miles and touched countless lives — feats that left a lasting legacy of hope, according to volunteers who supported the project from the beginning to its recent end.

Brian Bair, of Bair’s Corvettes, Linesville, and David Gray, of Smith-Gray Buick GMC, Meadville, initially put their heads together last spring to raise money for the Yolanda G. Barco Oncology Institute transportation program. The program provides rides to patients who would otherwise struggle to make it to treatments and appointments.

The two car buffs decided to restore a 1984 Chevrolet Corvette, paint it pink with breast cancer awareness in mind, and auction it off after touring it around and accepting donations from those who wanted to sign it.

They figured a bright pink sportscar would garner some attention. But even as the fundraising campaign — dubbed Crusin’ for a Cure — neared its conclusion, they couldn’t believe the overwhelming response of support from the community.

PinkVette quadrupled its original $20,000 goal in the project’s first year and crossed the finish line last month having raised $129,000 with about 5,626 signatures, according to Bair and Gray.

“The car ended up being more than just a fundraiser,” Bair said. “It’s the hope of surviving the battle. It shows how much people care about each and every person out there.”

PinkVette “became a landmark,” Bair said. “Go on up and touch it, feel it. There’s 5,600 people (who signed the car) that cared about you.”

The car made its public debut in May  2012 when it began making stops where the public was invited the public to sign the car for a donation.

Proceeds from the PinkVette’s tour purchased a sport utility vehicle and established a fund to maintain the vehicle. Since the SUV was purchased last fall, it has provided more than 400 trips to about 40 patients, according to Valerie Waid, the Barco Oncology Institute’s director.

Dan Rhoten, president of the Meadville Medical Center Foundation, purchased the PinkVette on behalf of the Foundation to give the sportscar what the Foundation felt was an appropriate home — the Barco Oncology Institute.

The PinkVette sold for $20,000, and all of it went to the transportation program.

While the Foundation is still ironing out details concerning the car’s future mission, Rhoten stated at the auction he hopes to keep the PinkVette on track serving cancer patients.

Whatever purpose the car will serve, “it’s going to be talked about for a long time,” Bair said.

After the PinkVette’s auction, Bair and Gray posted a letter of gratitude on the car’s website,, to express their appreciation to the community at large.

“(Bair, Gray) and the entire PinkVette project would especially like to thank all of the individuals, corporations and organizations who donated sponsorships, memorials/honors, goods and much more,” it read. “Thanks to you and all those involved, we will remember the PinkVette and its amazing journey for years to come.”

Konstantine Fekos can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at

Text Only
Our Health
  • Is getting your daily ‘shot’ of caffeine OK?

    Can’t live without your daily dose of caffeine? I know many people who will go out of the way just to grab a fresh cup of Joe or any caffeine shot to jump start their day or combat that afternoon lull.

    March 17, 2014

  • How virus sleuths and public health officials track the cause of a mysterious illness

    When a mysterious disease fells people - as happened in California recently, with as many as 20 children experiencing unexplained paralysis - teams of physicians and epidemiologists quickly mobilize. Perhaps you saw the movie "Contagion"? The idea is to find the culprit before it spreads but also to prevent public panic.

    March 12, 2014

  • Enjoy the taste of eating right

    It’s National Nutrition Month, and I really love this year’s theme: “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.”

    March 11, 2014

  • ERIC-HOLDER.jpg Holder: Heroin deaths an 'urgent and growing public health crisis'

    Attorney General Eric Holder, calling the rise in deaths from overdoses of heroin and prescription painkillers an "urgent and growing public health crisis," is outlining a series of efforts by the Justice Department to combat the epidemic.

    March 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lilly's diabetes drug rejected by FDA

    A diabetes pill developed by Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim was rejected by U.S. regulators because of previously disclosed manufacturing deficiencies at a German plant that hadn't been resolved.

    March 5, 2014

  • Study says too much protein could lead to early death

    Even as researchers warned of the health risks of high-protein diets in middle age, they said eating more protein actually could be a smart move for people over 65.

    March 4, 2014

  • Do flu shots cause runny noses?

    The vaccine used in the study is similar to FluMist, of which 13 million doses were distributed in the United States this year. The work helps explain why runny noses were an occasional aftereffect of FluMist in clinical trials.

    March 4, 2014

  • Trying to lose weight? Reach for the nearest calico cat

    Interesting studies have discovered that cats may actually help us with weight loss.

    March 3, 2014

  • Six reasons childhood obesity has fallen so much

    A major new paper appearing in Wednesday's edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that childhood obesity - age 2 to 5 - has fallen from 13.9 percent in 2003-04 to 8.4 percent in 2011-12.

    February 26, 2014

  • Does your insurance plan cover self-inflicted injuries?

    Dealing with a suicide or attempted suicide is stressful enough. Some health plans make the experience worse by refusing to cover medical costs for injuries that are related to suicide or an attempt - even though experts say that in many cases such exclusions aren't permitted under federal law.

    February 26, 2014

Business Marquee
AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide