ProLift Wins Online Auction, Winning Pink Forklift & Donating to Susan G Komen

ProLift Wins Online Auction, Winning Pink Forklift & Donating to Susan G Komen 

When entering the corporate office of ProLift Toyota Material Handling in Louisville, KY, you will see it – the “pink forklift.” The team was ecstatic to be named the owners of a forklift that represents more than moving product. Auctioned by Toyota Material Handling, every dollar of the highest bid was donated to the Susan G. Komen organization, who’s focused on research, treatments, and saving lives for those impacted by breast cancer in the United States.  

Building the Idea & Forklift 

The idea to raise funds started with LeaAnn King, VP of General Affairs & Legal Counsel for Toyota Material Handling. As the champion for T-WIN, the Toyota Women’s Impact Network, LeaAnn knew efforts to give back to the community would engage Toyota associates and their dealer network. The fundraiser sponsorship by T-WIN also provided an opportunity to build awareness of diversity and women in the material handling industry. The pink forklift was unveiled during Toyota Week, an annual gathering of the dealers, alongside the announcement of an online auction.  

The auction was the first collaboration between Toyota and the Susan G. Komen organization. Toyota worked in coordination with the Indiana office for Susan G. Komen, which also supports Kentucky, where ProLift is headquartered. Last year, the Indiana office provided almost $300,000 to breast cancer patients for direct financial assistance to cover medication, utilities, food, and gas cards. Additionally, the non-profit connected women to resources and medical providers that could help them with their cancer diagnosis and treatment.     

While Toyota builds forklifts every day, the pink forklift was special, and the team knew attention to detail was important. Shelby Kushner, Product Marketing Specialist, joined the project to source the equipment and lead logistics of the build, including the delivery of the forklift to Toyota Week. Toyota chose to build one of their most popular models, a 3-wheel electric forklift. Kara Hoffman, Toyota’s Graphic Designer, also offered to get involved in the development of this special forklift. Kara developed a creative vision board that included inspiration for color, logos, and decal placement.  

It was decided the tagline of “Lifting Up Hope” best represented the partnership with T-WIN, its dealer network, and Susan G. Komen. For Shelby and Kara, they wanted associates to feel connected to the pink forklift and its purpose. “Breast cancer is most often detected in women, and the diagnosis affects their family members. As the pink forklift came through various stations on the production floor, it created conversation of how breast cancer had impacted them personally or their family and friends,” said Shelby.   Check Presentation with Toyota Pink Forklift

ProLift Commits to Synergy & the Highest Bid 

This sentiment rang true for ProLift’s President, Chris Frazee. His family navigated the journey when his wife, Noelle, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Susan G. Komen provided a highlight for Noelle during that time.  During the Kentucky Oaks, a race of 3-year-old fillies (female horses), the Susan G. Komen organization coordinates a Survivor’s Parade at Churchill Downs. When the pink forklift auction was announced, Chris was committed to ProLift being the highest bid.  

ProLift is fortunate to cover a geography that includes Toyota Material Handling in Columbus, IN.  Because of that proximity, ProLift and Toyota Material Handling take advantage of opportunities to partner in support of our local non-profits and communities.  “As a Toyota company, it’s important ProLift leverages synergies with Toyota Material Handling. This particular initiative also provided an opportunity to show support to women both in and outside of our industry”, stated Chris. “The purchase of the Susan G. Komen Toyota forklift was just the beginning.  We plan to offer this special forklift for rent to customers and will donate all profits to the Susan G. Komen organization.” 

Adding to the synergy was Enersys, a global leader in stored energy solutions. Upon learning that ProLift won the pink forklift, they provided a donation of an industrial battery.  

Share Your Story 

ProLift encourages you to build a community of inspiration by sharing your breast cancer story. In addition to conversations or participation in community service events, post a picture of our pink forklift to social media with the hashtag #LiftingUpHope.  

Interested in joining ProLift to raise more funds for breast cancer awareness? Contact us at and ask to rent the “pink forklift”! 

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