A cab of a different color

Dawson Taxi goes pink to raise breast cancer awareness


If you’ve walked or driven around Baldwin recently and been shocked by the sight of a bright pink taxicab, don’t worry: It’s all for a good cause. The Dawson Taxi Company, based in Baldwin since 1924, has painted one of its cabs pink this month to promote awareness of breast cancer and raise money to fight it.

Dawson Taxi, long known for the yellow-and-blue color scheme of its vehicles, is donating $1 from every fare its new pink car collects to the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against

Breast Cancer campaign. The fundraising effort is part of the first international “Pink Ride” program spearheaded by the Taxicab, Limousine and Paratransit Association, a global collection of for-hire vehicle fleets representing around 1,000 companies.

“Every one of us has a story about someone we know with breast cancer,” Dawson spokesman Jason Verity said, “and every time a passenger rides in our pink car, from Oct. 1 through Oct. 31, we’ll automatically donate $1 to the fight against breast cancer.”

The fundraising element of the project is, of course, paramount, but Verity said he hopes the pink cab will produce more than just money. “We also hope people will see the vehicle and be spurred to do something on their own,” he explained. “Perhaps start their own fundraiser, help out a friend or maybe just get screened.”

Hundreds of taxicabs, limos and paratransit vehicles from North America to Australia are taking part in the Pink Ride effort. The TLPA, the program’s founding body, believes that its member fleet of almost 100,000 vehicles can be a powerful force. “Our members represent 100,000 vehicles on the road today, so we already have a tremendous presence and visibility,” the organization’s CEO, Alfred LaGasse, said in a phone interview from its headquarters in Rockville, Md. “Now we’re harnessing that visibly to make a difference.”

In Baldwin, response to the pink cab has been overwhelmingly positive, according to Verity. “Some people are surprised when the car shows up, but once they find out what it’s all about, everyone gets behind it,” he said. “We’ve even had passengers try to give extra donations to the driver, which, obviously, we can’t accept, but it’s still nice.”

Verity estimated that the cab will raise over $1,000, and added that Dawson Taxi is “keeping the car on the road as much as possible to maximize the amount it raises.”

Interested potential passengers can request the pink cab by calling (516) 223-2400 or logging on to www.Dawsontaxi.com.

Comments about this story? CConnolly@ liherald.com or (516) 569-4000 ext. 283