Man About Town is Pink & Raising Money for Breast Cancer Research

IBM executive is second in the nation in the Real Men Wear Pink campaign, looking to hit #1

If you look around Seattle, you may run into a distinguished and affable gentleman, an executive for IBM, sporting a bright pink hair color who is happy to stop and say hello.

The pink hair is to catch your attention, but Tom Flookes, co-chair of the American Cancer Society’s Board of Advisors, really wants to talk with you about breast cancer awareness. He would also like your help in his Real Men Wear Pink campaign. Flookes is currently second in the nation in fundraising for this campaign that takes place in October, Breast Cancer Awareness month.

The campaign is to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research, services and programs. Flookes has been so committed to the cause that he had a contest and those who donated could pick the color of his pink hair. It’s an eye-catcher –a pink-haired executive in the halls of IBM.

“It’s a conversation starter,” Flookes said of the heads that turn to stare at the color. “We lose 1,600 people to cancer every day and it’s a problem that screams for help. I want to help.”

Although Flookes doesn’t have cancer in his immediate family, he said the odds are one in three women will get cancer in their lifetime, and one in two men, “so I want to think ahead and raise the funds now.”

Flookes has raised more than $43,000 and is second in the nation. He’s trying to top the first-place fundraiser from Louisiana. He has until the end of the day on October 31 to raise additional funds and claim the top spot.

“I would love to see Seattle get accolades for being at the top of the campaign for Real Men wear Pink,” Flookes said. “We’re hoping for a little civic pride—let’s put Seattle in first place, and while we’re at it, help save lives.”

The RMWP campaign encourages participants to wear pink throughout the month of October, increase breast cancer awareness wherever they go, and help raise funds for breast cancer research, programs and services offered by the American Cancer Society.

To donate to Flookes and the Real Men Wear Pink campaign, go to

About Gus Swanson