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As someone who lost his oldest sister to breast cancer when she was only 41, I really don't need to be reminded about the horrors of the disease. That said, I also will not criticize the legitimate "pink" campaigns that generate dollars for cancer research and serve as an awareness reminder that breast cancer shows no favorites nor leaves any family untouched. Yes the push for pink may have gotten out of hand, just as marketing for everything else seems to (think Christmas), but I choose to embrace select campaigns, especially local ones, that truly benefit those with the disease and honor those who have survived it. If you ever doubt the sincerity of some of these campaigns, go to a Relay for Life event. Listen to the stories of loss, of struggle, of survival. I will never forget one of my last visits with my sister, Beth. She was still in the hospital getting treatment, before returning home to let the cancer finish its victory with her son, our mom and hospice workers by her side. Before I left, I bent over and gave her a big hug, sobbing. "I'm lucky," she said, stroking my hair, trying to soothe me. "I get to see daddy again." Our dad had died the year before. It's that spirit and attitude I choose to remember about my sister and her battle with cancer, with or without pink reminders. LOCAL PINK OUTS Businesses and individuals in the communities of Hallettsville, Cuero, Yoakum, Shiner and Moulton are taking part in the third annual "Pink Out," sponsored by Advanced Home Health Services. Staffers from the agency will be out and about the week of Oct. 17 judging displays at area businesses and schools. On Sunday, Oct. 23, Debbie -- Victoria's pink firetruck -- will be joined by three more pink firetrucks on national tour to raise breast cancer awareness. Members of the Guardians of the Ribbon South Texas Chapter are encouraging Victorians to go pink in support of the event from 2 to 6 p.m. at the corner of Salem Road and John Stockbauer Drive.