♦ About the Founder ♦

 

Donald Crutch,
Founder of the National Pink Tie Organization

Donald Crutch awoke one morning in February 2011 with a clear vision: Wrap every October in pink ties.

It is one of those deceptively simple ideas that have the potential to catch on quickly because of its ease of execution. It has staying power because it strikes a familiar chord.

Crutch is the founder of the National Pink Tie Organization, a Jacksonville, Fla., non-profit whose mission is “men supporting the fight against cancer.”

The NPTO is built around Crutch’s vision of every man wearing a pink tie during the month of October – officially breast cancer month – to raise awareness, educate and inform the community about cancer prevention, treatments and support groups.

“Our goal is 10 million men in pink ties supporting the fight against cancer,” said Crutch, 44.

The NPTO will promote the wearing of fuchsia ties in months other than October to represent all cancers. The important thing is changing men attitude about cancer.

“Men aren’t always comfortable talking about cancer, either their own or about someone they love, and the NPTO wants to change that,” Crutch said.

While Crutch, an ordained minister, credits the “good Lord” for planting the seed for the NPTO, his inspiration to get involved in the fight against the disease had its genesis in the passing of his first wife of breast cancer in 1995.

He remembers feeling helpless as the cancer spread through her body.

“We didn’t have a support group. Cancer victims should have other people to turn to – doctors, survivors, other victims or even families who lost people to cancer,” said Crutch, originally from Queens, N.Y.

Crutch moved beyond the pain of his loss. He remarried, raised a family and relocated to Jacksonville in 2006, but he always felt the need to help in the fight against cancer.

He just didn’t know exactly how until he awoke in February with his pink tie vision. He worked the past few years for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and as a Sears store manager, he felt that now was the time to act.
He immediately designed a logo, started a website and, most importantly, built a network of businesses, potential donors, supporters and cancer victims and survivors with the use of social media.

“My biggest skill is my ability to network,” Crutch said. “That’s because it comes from the heart; I just love people, love getting interesting, positive people together. Anything can happen.”