Newport News Shipbuilders Take Action Against Cancer by going pink

Posted at 5:32 PM, Oct 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-24 17:45:08-04

Newport News, Va. (WTKR) - They are tougher than steel – the men and women who build, maintain and supply the ships that make up America’s Navy.

At Newport News Shipbuilding right now, there is an awful lot of pink in the sea of gray.

Shipbuilders are donning pink hard hats to raise awareness and money in the fight against cancer.

“We've had so many shipbuilders that have been affected by cancer or everybody has been affected one way or another, that we wanted something to allow people to express themselves,” says Tool Yards General Foreman Warren Doyle.

5,000 pink hard hats were donated by safety company MSA and sold for $10 each with all the money going to the American Cancer Society.

The first batch of hats sold out in just two days.

“We had them lined up out the door and couldn't sell them fast enough,” Doyle says.

For Material Handler Norman Stith Jr., a 50-year veteran of the shipyard, seeing all his teammates wearing pink is a reminder of how supportive folks can be when you need them the most.

His wife of 43-years, Shirley, lost her battle with breast cancer last year.

“She was a real strong person. She fought til the end. It`s something I don`t anyone to go through but you can make it, just stay strong,” Stith told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo Friday.

“They might say pink is for ladies or whatever, but what I've been through, I'll wear pink in a heartbeat,” Stith said.

“They may be in pink hard hats, but they are tougher than steel, every one of them,” says Material Handling Supervisor Eden Jones.

The shipbuilders expect to donate more than $50,000 dollars to the American Cancer Society as a result of the pink hard hat campaign.