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Seeing pink, delivering fuel, local company driving for a cure

Jason and Jeremy Kratt of Hamiltonís review a delivery schedule near their pink truck. Photo by Bob Flath. (click for larger version)
October 20, 2010 - One area company has taken the fight against breast cancer on the road.

Fighting breast cancer can be as simple as buying propane delivered in a pink and white Hamilton's fuel truck. Hamilton's donates a portion of the profit from each gallon to the Karmanos Cancer Institute to help battle breast cancer. Hamilton's Feed and Fuel, Ortonville, is the sister company to Hamilton's Propane. The original downtown store has been in business since the early 1920's, selling everything from baby chickens and ducks to fishing and hunting licenses. The Kratt family has owned Hamilton's for 33 years, and the tragic death of Billy Kratt, who died suddenly of a heart attack at 48, was the driving force behind Hamilton's idea to give back to the community.

"Bob Kratt and I chose Karmanos because we wanted a semi-local institute to donate to, since our main goal is to give back to the community," said General Manager Paul Amori.

Karmanos Cancer Institute is a cancer research and treatment facility in Detroit that has been fighting to find a cure for more than 60 years. Half of the profits collected by Hamilton's is going toward helping men and women with no insurance to get cancer treatment, such as biopsies and chemotherapy. The other half will be going to the Karmanos Center for Experimental Therapeutics Facility Expansion (Phase 1 Clinical Trials). This center specializes in getting to the root of cancer- finding genetic cures, having already found three. The Experimental Theraputics Facility is a last resort treatment for chronically ill cancer patients. This other half of the money raised by Hamiltons will go to help expand the small number of people this center is able to treat each year, from 150 to, hopefully, around 300.

The response from community members has been positive all the way around-if not slightly different between genders.

"Women come up to us and applaud us for doing such a positive thing, while men, who give us the same positive feedback, always end up asking us if we are going to get rid of the pink by next week," laughs Amori. The pink trucks have been a huge hit throughout the Oakland County area, giving Hamilton's an edge over competitors as well as a free and happy conscience. Hamilton's goal is to keep a few of the trucks pink for at least five years, hoping to donate around $50,000 by the end.

"Many of our customers have asked me, 'Why breast cancer? Why not toward research for healthier hearts?'," said Amori. "My response was that breast cancer affects every family in some way and our duty as a local business is to give back to our community in any way we can."

Staff Writer Senior at Goodrich High, part of the marching band color guard, and excited to be a part of the Citizen Newspaper.
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