Breast Cancer Awareness Month – DeFuniak Post Office on a Mission to Sell Stamps

By RUBY KEARCE 

“Everybody in some form or another has been touched by cancer, whether it be breast cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, etc., some kind of cancer, and getting behind something like this provides an opportunity to send more money to the research and just helps out everybody,” said DeFuniak Springs Postmaster Mike Kolmetz, talking about the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) Breast Cancer Awareness Month postage stamp charity. 

Kolmetz explained that for as long as he can remember the USPS has promoted breast cancer awareness each year during the month of October by selling a special Breast Cancer Awareness stamp and donating the proceeds going to support breast cancer research work of the National Institutes of Health and the Medical Research Program of the Department of Defense. 

Kolmetz said that in his first year as DeFuniak Springs Postmaster in 2022, DeFuniak Springs was crowned Number Two in sales for the district by selling $9,964.50, with, Front Desk Clerk Patsy Register selling $6,542.25 of stamps. DeFuniak Springs is a part of a district that spans from Pensacola to Jacksonville to Gainesville, Fla. Kolmetz said that the year prior, in 2021, DeFuniak Springs Post Office only sold approximately $240 in stamps. 

Asked if there was anything in particular that drove Kolmetz, and the post office staff, to promote the sale of the stamps at the velocity they do, he responded that everyone has been impacted in some form by various types of cancer. Kolmetz believes if a cure was found for one, such as breast cancer, it could assist in finding cures for other forms as well. Kolmetz added that breast cancer specifically has affected his family. 

Kolmetz also purchased a pink suit around five years ago when he managed a post office in Alabama where he assisted in the promotion of USPS’s Breast Cancer Awareness stamps. He would host a celebration breakfast for the top three offices in the area that sold the most stamps, and he would wear the pink suit for the photo ops. 

Kolmetz attributed last year’s success to the front clerks’ vigorous promotions of the stamps to customers. Front Clerks Patsy Register and Kathy Carter were selling so many stamps at the time that Kolmetz would have to travel to other post offices to replenish inventory. Meanwhile, Wilnita McKinnie and Dylan Arnold, working diligently in the back, keep Register and Carter at their posts up front. 

This year’s goal is to sell $10,000 worth of stamps. The post office currently has 12,000 breast cancer awareness stamps, which equates to 1,200 books of stamps, and Kolmetz would like to sell all 12,000 stamps. 

“I really challenge the community to come in and get their stamps, ‘’Kolmetz said, adding that when a customer buys a book of stamps, they are awarded a pink ribbon with either their name or the name of a survivor.

Breast Cancer stamps cost more than the average 66 cent stamps, at 85 cents per stamp. The difference goes as a donation to breast cancer awareness and research.