Annapolis scrutinizes firefighters for breast cancer fundraiser

Firefighters are accepting donations in exchange for the t-shirts. Photo: Suzanne Kennedy

On the day that the Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk begins in Washington, a stir over t-shirts of support for breast cancer survivor and awareness is being raised in Annapolis.

For the past 12 days, firefighters and medics in Maryland's capital have been wearing shirts that say "Annapolis Firefighters for a Cure." Anyone who wanted one of the shirts could pick one up for a $12 donation to a breast cancer fund. However, when the city caught wind of the plan, they said the firefighters weren't in compliance with city laws.

The issue revolves around who has to register to solicit donations in the city of Annapolis. According to Mayor Josh Cohen, anyone who solicits for donations has to register and pay a $35 fee.

"The law is pretty clear," Cohen said.

The firefighters and their union head says that they aren't soliciting at all; they're just accepting donations in exchange for a pink shirt.

"We're not out for a hassle," Local 1962 President Carroll Spriggs said. "We're not trying to create controversy. We're trying to raise money for persons that may have breast cancer."

In the midst of the spat, Annapolis residents say that they're having a hard time understanding why the efforts are coming under scrutiny.

"I think they need to make it as easy and accessible as they can to raise money," resident Stacey Oliff said.