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story.lead_photo.caption Photo by Susan Holland Students, teachers and staff poured out onto the parking lot at Gravette Upper Elementary School early on Monday morning, Oct. 9, to greet Pink Heals tour members. The youngsters were fascinated by the big pink fire truck, pink ambulance and police car and were excited to be able to help honor their schoolmates, Brooklyn Carte and Sarah Hollingworth, fifth graders who are battling cancer.

— Members of the Pink Heals tour visited Gravette Upper Elementary School early on Monday morning, Oct. 9, to honor two fifth-grade girls who are battling cancer. Pink Heals tours the country "celebrating and bringing love to those who are battling major illnesses." Their arrival always creates a flurry of excitement as they pull up in their pink vehicles with sirens sounding for a bit.

"It's a pretty special deal to get on their list of visits," said Mandy Barrett, GUE principal. Barrett was excited to have the school be chosen as one of the stops on the Pink Heals tour in the area but not nearly as excited as the youngsters being honored, Sarah Hollingsworth and Brooklyn Carte, and their classmates.

The driveway was lined with GUE students when the pink police car, pink fire truck and pink ambulance pulled in. When Pink Heals crew members exited the vehicles in their pink uniforms, one student was heard to comment, "They even have pink shoes!"

Both Brooklyn and Sarah received hugs from all members of the Pink Heals tour, as well as from Gravette fire chief Lonnie Mullen and his wife Dawn. They were also given bouquets of flowers and allowed to sign their names among many others already on the big Pink Heals fire truck. Sarah remained in her father's car until just before her presentation since her immune system is weakened and she must avoid airborne germs. She was taken to Arkansas Children's Hospital the day after the tour visit and remains a patient there. Brooklyn is expected to be able to return to classes on a part-time basis soon.

Seth Kallick, of Bella Vista, was a part of the Pink Heals tour that visited Gravette. He is president of the local chapter in Bentonville. Kallick said he joined the current tour June 14 in Jacksonville, Fla., and traveled with the group until July 8. The tour was going from here to San Marcos, Texas. Other drivers on the tour were Jeff Rand, of Wisconsin, and Chris Noeldner, of South Dakota.

The tour made two other stops in Gravette during the morning. At R & R Packaging they honored employee Lisa Hughes, and at Gravette High School they honored high school custodian Cherie Hamilton.

Pink Heals is health care support at a grassroots level, according to the organization's website. Pink Heals is a program that partners with public safety, local businesses, and families to bring a community together. It provides visits to show individuals that they are loved, cherished and important to others. Pink Heals brings back the human element by celebrating people, not causes.

The Pink Heals national tour operates by the sale of merchandise, gifts, local sponsorship and in-kind donations to maintain their vehicles, buy gas and travel across the country to visit individuals and share the program. Tour drivers volunteer up to 21 days at a time to drive pink fire trucks and police cars and deliver the Pink Heals program to communities. Local chapters use the pink vehicles as a visual reminder that people matter.

To learn more about Pink Heals, go to the Pinkhealsnwa.com website or contact Seth Kallick, seth.r.kallick@gmail.com.

Community on 11/01/2017

Print Headline: "Pink Heals" tour stops in Gravette, honors four

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