Nevada City police partner with Riebes to support Pink Patch Project | TheUnion.com

Nevada City police partner with Riebes to support Pink Patch Project

This October, Nevada City's police officers have been sporting touches of pink — with pink T-shirts under their uniforms or highlighted pink uniform caps — to raise awareness of breast cancer.

All month long, the department also has been selling specially designed pink patches as part of a nationwide fundraising project, thanks to the hard work of records supervisor Monica Barbao.

"I'm giving Monica all the credit," said Police Chief Tim Foley. "She came up with the idea and she has done a wonderful job."

Barbao first spotted the pink patches on Vallejo Police staff at a training session several months ago, she said. Intrigued, she discovered they had been designed for their department's Pink Patch Project, a breast cancer awareness fundraiser where participating police agencies across the country sell their pink patches with all profits going to cancer treatment, research and education.

Barbao got the go-ahead from Foley to run with it, designed and ordered 100 patches.

And then, she said, she realized she needed to sell them. She started small, placing them on the front counter and posting on her personal Facebook page.

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"Patch collectors started messaging me," Barbao said. "I sold 40 or 50 that way, just over Facebook."

Then Jay Cooper from Riebes Auto Parts called and wanted to help with the fundraiser, Barbao said.

Cooper initially bought 30 of the patches, so Barbao ordered another 100. After Riebes started an incentive-based contest for its regional drivers involving the patches, Barbao back-ordered another 100 patches.

Riebes then decided to host a tri-tip luncheon fundraiser, with all of the proceeds going to Barbao's designated charity: the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation/Barbara Schmidt Millar Fund, which will be distributed directly to women and men of Nevada County who are in need of mammograms. In addition, a scholarship established in Millar's honor will be awarded to a female high school graduate of Nevada County that is pursuing her education in the healthcare field.

The luncheon, held on Wednesday at Riebes' Nevada City location at 535 Searls Ave., raised more than $600, and Napa and Riebes each donated $1,000 during the event, Barbao said.

"It's been more than I expected, that it would turn into this," Barbao said. "We'll definitely do it next year — it could be a new tradition."

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.

Pink Patch Project

Through Oct. 31, patches are available for a $10 donation, pink hats for $25, at the front counter of the Nevada City Police Department, 317 Broad St., or by calling Monica Barbao at 530-265-4700.