Perhaps you’ve seen the funky, choreographed dance moves of the Huber Heights Fire Department Local 2926.
If not, it’s absolutely worth a couple of minutes:
“Not many people can say they got a call from a producer five hours after posting a video,” Huber Heights Firefighter and Paramedic Chris Williams said.
The video, which is now featured on ellentube.com under the “best of user submitted” category, has been a viral hit. But it’s also one that has a definitive message and purpose behind it.
Williams, who four years ago came up with the concept for the pink fire engine and, ultimately, the music video, wanted to raise awareness for the Pink Ribbon Girls, a Tipp City-based non-profit that provides meals, transportation and house cleaning services for families affected by breast cancer.
“The goal is to get recognized by Ellen. Let Ellen hear our story of why we are fans of her, but also…we want to thank her for giving this non-profit organization and our community the ability to serve our people.”
In an attempt to increase its promotion campaign, Huber Heights Fire Department Local 2926 partnered with the Pink Ribbon Girls, Williams said, and the amount of sponsors and dollars raised steadily increased. The campaign garnered 40 sponsors and raised $40,000 in the first year, which has ballooned to 165 sponsors and $150,000 raised in 2015, Williams said.
But Williams said none of that would’ve been possible without the help of Ellen DeGeneres.
The organization received a $45,000 matching grant from the Houston-based Lester and Sue Smith Foundation. DeGeneres then mentioned the group as one of 20 winners on her show in 2012, according to Pink Ribbon Girls Executive Director Heather Salazar.
The partnership between Pink Ribbon Girls and the Huber Heights Fire Department Local 2926 one of mutual understanding.
“The thing is, they get what we do,” Salazar said. “They see so many of the women that come out and are so happy. They get why we raise money so that women can have meals, transportation and house cleaning.”
“We wanted to thank Ellen...,” Williams said. “Had it not been for Ellen’s generosity that she shows throughout October, for families that are battling breast cancer, we would never have met the Pink Ribbon Girls,” Williams said.
If it looks as though the video is professionally done, that’s because it is. Williams said the fire department used a choreographer to nail down the dance and one of the firefighters has a background as a videographer.
“Our goal is obviously to promote [the Pink Ribbon Girls], and what better way than to thank the person that made it possible for them to serve meals,” Williams said.
Salazar said she’s a huge fan of the video and hopes that the firefighters go from EllenTube to Ellen’s stage.
“I love it. I’m hoping they’ll get on [Ellen],” Salazar said.