By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Some men are uneasy about wearing pink. Not Ben Batey. And that’s a good thing, considering Batey will be wearing pink every day during the month of October.
Batey, Wood County’s health commissioner, has signed up for the American Cancer Society fundraiser called “Real Men Wear Pink.” Ten men from Northwest Ohio were asked to take the pink challenge to raise funds for breast cancer research. Batey is the only one in Wood County.
In order to wear pink every day for the month, Batey is having to augment his wardrobe.
“My wife went out and bought me a bunch of pink shirts,” he said. “I told her not to go too crazy, it’s just for one month.”
Some days it may be a pink tie, or pink socks. So far he hasn’t purchased any pink pants or jackets.
Batey was approached to take the “Real Men Wear Pink” challenge by Kami Wildman, outreach coordinator at the county health district. He agreed – and then he saw the rules.
“I thought she just meant occasionally,” wearing pink – not every day. “But by then I was committed,” he said.
Batey actually doesn’t mind wearing pink. “That’s never been an issue for me,” he said.
Batey has decided to take the pink challenge a step further – well, many steps further. He has promised to walk one mile in Wood County for every $100 that people contribute to the cause.
“If I’m going to be asking people to contribute and support this cause, I want to do something as well,” he said.
The goal for each of the 10 “Real Men Wear Pink” participants is to raise $2,500. If Batey meets that goal, he will be walking 25 miles through the county. And if he raises more, he promises to walk more.
“I’ll do it,” he said.
In fact, several of Batey’s exercise buddies have offered to wear pink and walk with him.
Batey is actually hoping that he raises more than the $2,500, even though that means more walking for him.
“If I have to, I’ll hike with a sleeping bag,” he said. “I’d be ecstatic to do that. I promise I’ll do whatever we come up with.”
This means, of course, that Batey will have to come up with some pink athletic wear for his cross-county trek.
Breast cancer research is a meaningful cause for Batey, whose best friend’s mom is a breast cancer survivor.
“That raised my awareness. This is a way men can show support,” he said.
Batey’s wife is also an oncology nurse at UTMC. “It’s definitely a passionate subject in our household.”
Anyone wanting to donate to Batey’s Real Men Wear Pink campaign may do so at http://main.acsevents.org/goto/BenBatey.