FINAL PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE
On June 13, 2008, with the support of the Los Angeles Fire Department, the Memorial Fire Station 27, and the California Highway Patrol, C3FAC launched its first Mission of Hope and Honor across America. I, along with other C3FAC team members, drove a fire engine to fire departments around the country and as far away as Nova Scotia to call attention to cancer in the fire service. On the C3FAC fire engine we carried the memorial fire bell, which was placed on the empty jumpseat to signify the loss of a firefighter to cancer. Throughout our missions, we collected the names of firefighters who died from cancer and placed them in the compartment of the memorial fire bell. At the end of each mission, our team would conduct a memorial fire bell service to remember and honor those firefighters who died from cancer because their sacrifices paved the way for better equipment and procedures used by firefighters of today. We would read out the names of the firefighters and ring out the bell once for every name called out.
Throughout the past 10 years, C3FAC conducted special missions requested by firefighters battling cancer, who joined the C3FAC team and traveled with us to share their own personal cancer experience and encourage early cancer screenings. In addition to providing awareness and education, our Foundation was honored to provide financial assistance to firefighters and their families throughout the country. We are grateful for the tremendous support we received from fire departments, law enforcement, and corporate sponsors. We send out a special thank you to all those who came out to support C3FAC fundraising events and to all those firefighter athletes who went beyond the call and wore the extra weight of firefighter gear during their athletic running events.
This year I, along with the C3FAC Board of Directors, has decided to retire the operation of C3FAC after 10 years of faithful service. I salute our entire Board of Directors for volunteering their time in guiding and directing the C3FAC purpose and mission. The last mission of the C3FAC memorial fire bell will be in the near future. Its final destination will be East Allen Township, PA where it will be proudly displayed along with memorabilia collected from missions across the country. All assets from C3FAC will be turned over to The East Allen Township Fire Department, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Also, they will take over ownership of the C3FAC trademark.
As President of C3FAC and a 3-time occupational firefighter cancer survivor, I would like to share this message with you based on my personal experience. If you are diagnosed with cancer, don’t be afraid--just take action. Remember that your body is now a battlefield and that you are the general. The doctors, oncologists, and the radiologists will provide you with information about your enemy. So learn as much as you can before taking action. If you don’t like the battle plan recommended, then get a 2nd, 3rd or even a 4th opinion. And surround yourself with the power of love from family and friends. Have faith and keep a positive attitude. Hug a tree! I did.
Thanks again to all those involved who supported C3FAC these past ten years on its Mission of Hope and Honor across America.
I wish you all good health and peace!
CODE 3 FOR A CURE
MISSION OF HONOR AND HOPE
We are deeply saddened to report that Bob Burton, husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, brother and friend, dedicated Board Member of Code 3 for a Cure, and previously a Training Captain with the Yakima Fire Department, passed away on Christmas Day 2017 after battling melanoma. Bob will forever be a Hero. Here is his story as printed in the Yakima-Herald:
Bob was born October 28, 1955 and raised in the Yakima Valley, graduating from West Valley High School in 1974. In high school he played football and tennis and participated in youth ministries. He shared his father’s mechanical abilities and loved cars, which led him to Wyoming Technical Institute to become an auto mechanic. He worked for Lynch Motors for many years, taught auto mechanics at Yakima Valley Community College and was a pit crew member for Don Dowty’s racing team based out of Yakima. Though he was an avid race car fan, his desire to start a family was stronger. He resigned from his racing family to start his own and in 1982 he had a son, Cody.
In January of 1984, Bob began his career as a firefighter for the City of Yakima. He was passionate about the challenges of the job, enjoyed taking care of people in their time of need and especially enjoyed the people he worked with. His desire to take care of his fellow firefighters would be one of his driving motivations to seek advancement with his first promotion to Lieutenant occurring in 1993 and eventually ascending to the rank of Captain in 1998. As a Captain, he reveled in the opportunity to take care of and teach his fellow firefighters.
In 2000, Bob met his soulmate, Peggy Boushey. They would be married in the summer of 2001 and with his only child moving on to college, he savored the chance to raise a family again and became a father to her 3 girls, Camille, Lauren and Genevieve.
He eventually retired from the Yakima Fire Department in June 2011 at the rank of Training Captain, moved to Whidbey Island with his family and embarked on a new career with Emergency Reporting, a Bellingham based company that works with fire departments across the country. He initially started out as a Trainer but rapidly ascended to the position of Product Owner due in no small part to his ability and desire to take care of and mentor the people that worked for and with him. Bob continued to work with and care for his people until he found himself in a position where he couldn’t work anymore.
Bob defined himself by his passions. Family, friends, racing, firefighting or cancer outreach, he did his best to not only maximize his opportunities but help those around him. One of the main manifestations of his work was with Code 3 for a Cure. This not-for-profit organization raises awareness to frontline fire service personnel across the country of the dangers of job-incurred cancer. He demonstrated, through even his most trying times, the desire to raise awareness among his fellow brother and sister firefighters the dangers of cancer.
In the beginning of 2017, Bob was diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma. Bob had fought melanoma cancer off and on since his initial diagnosis when he was 40. Unfortunately his cancer, which is common among firefighters continued to grow despite his tenacious outlook. On Christmas of 2017 he passed with family next to him. He was preceded in death by his parents, Alex and Aggie Burton. He is survived by his sister Effie Burton, wife Peggy, his step-daughters Camille, Lauren, and Genevieve whom he raised as his own, son Cody Burton, daughter-in-law Ali and his grandchildren which he adored, Katie, Olivia and Henry.
Services to honor Bob will be held at Stone Church located at 3303 Englewood Ave., in Yakima on Friday, February 9th at 1:00 PM.