Pretty in Pink
Praire Material Debuts Two Rosy Cement Trucks —
Howard Ludwig, Staff Writer
Marcowka, of Oak Lawn, drives a real head- turner.
Marcowka has driven a cement truck for Praire Material
Sales Inc. for 10 years. This summer, he received a new
truck with a bright, shiny paint job. A pink paint job.
Bridgeview - based Praire Material purchased two pink
cement trucks in an effort to raise breast cancer
awareness. The disease is expected to kill 43,000 women
this year. “I was honored,” Marcowka said of being asked
to drive the pink truck” Marcowka’s mother-in-law is a
breast cancer survivor. And nearly everyone in the
company knows someone who has been impacted by the
disease, said Michael Oremus, owner of Praire Materials.
Nevertheless, Marcowka still catches abuse when he
arrives on a job site. Then as the truck’s mixer turns
to reveal the pink ribbon symbolic of breast cancer,
most of the smirks turn solemn. “He definitely gets
ribbed. I have some rough-and-tumble guys here,” Oremus
said. The pink truck was the suggestion of John
Christopher Oremus – Michael Oremus’ 13 year-old
halfbrother. John Christopher’s aunt was hit hard by
breast cancer. Praire Materials is solicited about three
times per year by advertisers interested in marking its
rotating mixers into rolling billboards by adding
company logos, Oremus said.
declined such offers in the past but decided to make an
exception this Christmas. The pink trucks are branded
with a “Breast Cancer Awareness” sign and a pink ribbon
on the rotating mixer. Praire Materials ordered 40 new
trucks this year. With all but two trucks painted in
Praire Material’s signature green, the pink trucks
became a difficult special order, Oremus said.
trucks finally arrived in April, joining Praire
Material’s fleet of 600 cement trucks in Chicago area.
One of the pink trucks opereates out of the main office
in Bridgeview. The other truck works exclusively on
projects in downtown Chicago. “It goes out everyday. It
is a regular truck,” said Oremus, denying rumors that
the pink truck was made exclusively for parades and
fundraisers. Praire Materials gets about 12 years of use
out of each cement truck. New trucks are added annually
at a cost of about $150,000 each, Oremus said.
has become a bit of a celebrity as the driver of a pink
cement truck. He frequently poses for pictures with the
vehicle and waves to drivers honking their horns. Though
happily married, Marcowka jokes that his pink truck is a
“chick magnet.” “If you are sitting in an intersection
with a Lamborghini and I am sitting in this pink truck,
I will get more phone numbers than you,” Marcowka said.
Ludwig may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Oremus Materials is a proud participant
in the fight against Breast Cancer.
We are committed to supporting
the Breast Cancer Awareness effort.
Our Pink Trucks signify our
respect and admiration for those
who are currently battling this illness
and those who have survived
Our hearts go out to those who
donate their time to organize, walk,
run and contribute to the
drive for a cure.